Fearn historian becomes a Reader

An Easter Ross academic has been awarded a Readership in recognition of his research on the Highlands and empire. Dr Jim MacPherson, a historian at the Centre for History in Dornoch, received the UHI title earlier this year.

Dr MacPherson joined UHI in 2011, following academic roles at University College Dublin, the University of Bristol, Leeds Trinity and All Saints College and the University of Sunderland. He is a collaborative cultural historian of modern Britain. His current research focuses on the Highlands and empire, examining how imperial connections shaped the region from the 18th century onwards. He is exploring these interests through a book on James ‘Ossian’ Macpherson and history writing, through re-designing the Clan Macpherson Museum and by working with local communities and the Historylinks Museum in Dornoch to explore the town’s connections with trans-Atlantic slavery.

Dr MacPherson has organised and presented at many international conferences, supported 13 PhD students, authored and edited five books and secured significant research grant funding.

Speaking about his new title, Dr MacPherson said: “I’m thrilled to have been awarded a Readership and I’m looking forward to using my research to strengthen UHI’s already excellent links with the region’s communities. The past is never past and there’s considerable power in using Highland and Island history to imagine new, more sustainable futures for the region and its peoples.”

Professor Neil Simco, Interim Deputy Principal (Tertiary and Research) at UHI, commented: “I am delighted that Jim has joined our community of readers. The title is reserved for academics with distinguished international reputations in their research or scholarship. Jim is a worthy recipient. Since he joined us in 2011, he has been dedicated to developing our expertise in modern history and has contributed to this field of study on the global stage by sharing his research through publications, media activity and international conferences.”

Dr MacPherson will be organising three public workshops as part of the Being Human festival of the humanities in November. For more information and to book, visit www.beinghumanfestival.org/festival-events