Upcoming Events

//Upcoming events will be posted within two weeks of presentation date.

Please contact Konstantin Wertelecki (kw85) with a 100 word biography and a 200 word abstract if you wish to secure a presentation slot. 


Wednesday, 13 February 

‘Italian Explorers, the English Crown, and No Frenchmen:

Justifying the First Scottish Colony in America, 1621-1632

Joseph Wagner (PhD Candidate)


On 29 September 1621, a charter for the colony of Nova Scotia was granted by authority of the Scottish crown to Sir William Alexander. The total area of the territory granted was twice that of Scotland and, for this reason, the grant has been described as ‘almost certainly the greatest gift ever bestowed on a subject by a British sovereign’. But how could such a gift be justified? Unlike the European states already engaged in colonisation, Scotland had no history of oceanic exploration. Without being able to argue that they discovered this territory, how could the Scots justify their claim to it? Interestingly, they based their claim on discoveries made by Venetian explorers operating under the auspices of an English king 134 years prior to Alexander’s colonial charter being granted.


This paper aims to explore how this justification was put forward in light of competing French claims to the territory. Furthermore, it will be argued that the first Scottish colony in America was only justifiable within the context of the 1603 union of crowns that saw James VI of Scotland accede to the English crown: without the union, Nova Scotia would not have been founded.

Wednesday, 13 March

‘No Pains, No Lanes: Dissent, Soft Power and the Automotive Industry in Pahlavi Iran, 1953-79’

Guan Kiong Teh, PhD Candidate

‘Don’t Write in the Dark: The Commercialisation of the Visible Typewriter in Scotland’

James Inglis, PhD Candidate

Wednesday, 17 April

(1/2 Presentation Slots AVAILABLE )

Wednesday, 8 May

( 2/2 Presentation Slots RESERVED )