Stephen is from Cumbernauld, a town on the outskirts of Glasgow, and studied for a BA (Hons) in Scottish History and an MRes in Historical Research at the University of Stirling. He has benefited from having hitherto studied a variety of social and economic historical themes and has also worked in conjunction with National Museums Scotland. He is excited to be starting his PhD at the University of Northumbria and is looking forward to exploring the North East of England, an area he perceives to have a great deal in common with his home. Away from academia, he enjoys listening to the music of Runrig, Texas, Bruce Springsteen, Dick Gaughan and Mark Knopfler. An occasional, but always mediocre, player of the Highland pipes and Scottish smallpipes, he is very happy to have discovered Morpeth, a town with a bagpipe museum.
The English Diaspora
The English Diaspora Project reflects Stephen's interests in nationalism, culture and identity. English diaspora studies have indeed hitherto been neglected, which makes this project all the more stimulating and important. By looking at expressions of English national identity in the past, Stephen hopes to play a part in redressing the historiographical imbalance and help foster a positive and more clearly defined sense of Englishness for the future.
'Anglo-Saxon Rapprochement: The Origin, Formation and Activities of the Early Pilgrims Society, 1890s to 1920s.'
The objective of Stephen's PhD project is to analyse the networking processes among American and English elites from 1890 to the 1920s. This will focus on the development and activities of the early Pilgrims Society, an organisation which emerged at the same time the United Kingdom was beginning to recognise that its industrial pre-eminence was being challenged by the US. Simultaneously faced with an external threat from the growing German empire, the London government began to feel that its fellow Anglo-Saxons across the Atlantic, who shared similar liberal values, might prove useful allies. It is clear that Anglo-Saxon racism provided an intellectual framework for this diplomatic rapprochement and encouraged the formation of elite transatlantic societies like the Pilgrims Society and the Anglo-American League. The final thesis will result in the first comprehensive history of the early Pilgrims Society and the elite networks that underpinned it within the wider context of Anglo-American rapprochement. Therefore, the thesis will shed not only on transatlantic elite networking processes, but also the pre-history of the 'special relationship.'
Stephen receives a Northumbria University PhD scholarship that was granted in support of the work of the AHRC-funded English Diaspora project.
Stephen's Northumbria University website
Department of Humanities
Newcastle upon Tyne