Dr Elizabeth Ritchie
Lecturer in Scottish History
Tel. 01847 889626
I joined the Centre for History in April 2009. My PhD was undertaken with the Department of History of Guelph University, Ontario, on ‘The faith of the crofters: Skye and South Uist, 1793-1843.’ When I'm not reading about them, I can often be found cycling around the countryside thinking about the people who used to live there: how they organised their settlements and used the land; what they believed; how they were connected to each other and other parts of the world; and what their family lives were like.
My main research interests lie in the social and cultural history of the early nineteenth-century Highlands, with an especial focus on religion, education, land use, and the family. In addition, I am developing a research project on Scottish women emigrants to Canada from 1782-1850. I am happy to supervise PhD students in any aspects of the social and cultural history of the Highlands between 1700 and 1900, or in the history of Scottish emigration to North America in that period. I especially enjoy work that involves fieldtrips and collaborating with local schools, organisations and heritage groups.
'Pregnant emigrants: gender, childbirth and migrant families in rural British North America, 1818-1850', in Alice Glaze et al, Gender and Mobility in Scotland (Guelph, 2017) (forthcoming)
‘Feeding in the forest: how Scottish settlers learned to raise livestock in the old growth forests of Upper Canada, 1814-1850’ The Agricultural History Review 65 (Spring 2017)
‘Cows, sheep and Scots: livestock and immigrant strategies in rural Upper Canada, 1814-1851’ Ontario History 109.1 (Spring 2017), pp. 1-26.
‘The people, the priests and the Protestants: Catholic responses to Evangelical missionaries in the early nineteenth-century Scottish Highlands’, Church History 85.2 (June 2016), pp. 275-301.
'"Alive to the advantages of education". Problems in using the New Statistical Account to research education: a case study of the Isle of Skye', Northern Scotland (May 2016), pp. 85-92.
'Looking for Catholics: using Protestant missionary society records to investigate nineteenth-century Highland Catholicism', Innes Review (Spring 2014), pp. 52-75.
'"A palmful of water for your years" babies, religion and gender identity among crofting families, 1800-1850', in Jodi A. Campbell, Elizabeth Ewan and Heather Parker (eds), The Shaping of Scottish Identities: Family, Nation and the Worlds Beyond (Guelph, 2011), pp. 59-75.
'"Most Anxious to have a Teacher": Gaelic Schools in the Northern Highlands' History Scotland (Jan-Feb 2016).
'From Mull to Canoe Cove: The Indirect Route, Part I', History Scotland (Jan-Feb 2014).
'From Mull to Canoe Cove: The Indirect Route, Part II', History Scotland (Mar-Apr 2014).
Historylinksdornoch blog (2012-present)
- I edit and write for a local history blog, encouraging research and writing from academics and locals about the history of Ross-shire and Sutherland.
- Women’s History Scotland ‘The “Dreadful Hard Work” of Nancy Smibert in Upper Canada’, March 2014
- EDINA Statistical Accounts of Scotland ‘The Working Lives of Ordinary Scots’ February 2015
- British Identities Hub ‘“The Re-forming of a scattered Scottishness” Part 1: The Claymore Boys’ Magazine’ June 2015
- EDINA Statistical Accounts of Scotland 'Of Pibrochs and Preachers: Music and Folk Culture in the Old Statistical Accounts' September 2015
Sample of Book Reviews
Lizanne Henderson,'Witchcraft and Folk Belief in the Age of Enlightenment', International Review of Scottish Studies (2016)
John MacAskill, 'The Highland Destitution of 1837', Innes Review (2015).
Alexander Murdoch, 'Scotland and America, c.1600-c.1800', Northern Scotland (2013).
Annie Tindley, 'The Sutherland Estate, 1850-1920', Journal of Scottish Historical Studies (2011).
'The Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women', Family and Community Studies (2010).
Eric Richards, 'Debating the Highland Clearances', Journal of Scottish Historical Studies (2009).
Much of my work can be found on academia.edu
Teaching and Supervision
I have designed and teach a wide range of modules on Scottish and North American history including:
- 'Land and People: The Scottish Highlands, 1800-2000'
- 'From Champlain to Vimy Ridge: A History of Canada'
- 'The Scots in North America: Experience and Identity'
- 'Culture and Christianity in the Scottish Highlands, 1742-1893'
- 'Gender in American Culture and Society, 1776-1917'
I have also designed and taught several Masters level modules including:
- 'Gender and the Family in the Scottish Highlands, 1700-1900'
- 'Contemplating the Clearances' - co-designed with Professor James Hunter
David Taylor, 'Social and economic change in Badenoch, 1750-1800' (2016)
Wade Cormack, 'Sport and physical education in Scotland's northern mainland burghs, c.1600-1800' (2016)
Mary Souter, 'Public Health in Inverness-shire, 1846-1912'
Graham Hannaford, 'Scots in the Limestone Plains of Australia, 1820-1850'
Board Member for:
- Women’s History Scotland
- Historylinks Museum, Dornoch
- Emblems: A Journal of British Studies - Editorial Board
- Agricultural History Journal - Editorial Board
Frequent speaker at local history, heritage and U3A societies
MacKay Country Oral History Workshops (2014-15)
Land and People in the Northern Highlands Conference (2014)
Statistical Accounts of Scotland Board Member (Edina) (2012-16)
Bettyhill Adult Education weekend (2013)
Clearances Trail iphone app - Timespan Heritage Centre, Helmsdale (2011-12)
Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council Local History Scoping Project (2010-11)
‘John A. MacDonald and the Scots-Canadian connection’ day seminar (2010)
Book Review Editor for The International Review of Scottish Studies (2006-8)