THE SCOTTISH STUDIES FOUNDATION is a charitable organization dedicated to actively supporting the Scottish tradition in Canada at the academic level by raising the awareness of the Scottish heritage in Canada through various levels of education. As well as maintaining a Chair of Scottish Studies at the University of Guelph, the Foundation funds academic scholarships in Scotland and Canada, publishes the annual scholarly journal International Review of Scottish Studies and sponsors and organizes Canadian and Scottish conferences and cultural events. Please click here for information on how you can help by donating to our cause. All contributions are greatly appreciated.
Representatives of the Scottish Studies Foundation are pictured above at the launch of the University of Guelph's Digitization Room which the Foundation heped fund. L to R: David Hunter, President; Murray McEwen, Patron; Doug Ross, Director; Maggie McEwan, Vice-President; John McMillan, Director; Bob Smart, Patron. Read more about our activities over the past year in the Annual Endowment Report.
Everyone is invited to attend this presentation (admission free). To register and for more information please contact:
The Centre for Scottish Studies
In September, Canadian author Ken McGoogan will publish Flight of the Highlanders: The Making of Canada. The book tells the story of those courageous Scots who, ruthlessly evicted from their ancestral homelands, sailed in "coffin ships" to Canada, where they battled hardship, hunger, and even murderous persecution. While in How the Scots Invented Canada Ken celebrated outstanding individuals, this time around he focuses on the common people. During the infamous Highland Clearances, tens of thousands of dispossessed and destitute Scots crossed the Atlantic - unfortunate prototypes for the refugees we see arriving today from around the world. If contemporary Canada is more welcoming to newcomers than most countries, Flight of the Highlanders shows that it is at least partly because of the lingering influence of those persecuted Highlanders. Together with their better-off brethren - the lawyers, educators, politicians, and businessmen - those unbreakable Scots proved the making of Canada. The book can be pre-ordered online or through any bookstore.
Canadian researcher Bryan Davies is now working to create the first full-life biography of the enigmatic figure of Sir Robert Watson-Watt, the Scottish radar pioneer credited with developing the technology which Churchill claimed saved Britain from the German Luftwaffe and a likely 1940 military invasion. Bryan and his team has recently discovered over 5,000 pages of previously unknown personal correspondence, documents, photographs, unpublished radar research, speech notes, books and medals. All of these newly found artifacts allow for a new and comprehensive multi volume biography series. More information here.
The Scottish Studies Society's annual Scot of the Year Award took place at the Arts & Letters Club on Friday, October 26, 2018, during which tribute was paid to this year's recipient: Graham Fraser, Canada's sixth Commissioner of Official Languages, a former Canadian journalist and a writer whose Scots ancestry can be traced to the north of Scotland. More information here.
Doug Gibson CM, former board member and Scot of the Year 2005, is pictured above at Rideau Hall with Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada when, on January 25 at Rideau Hall he was inducted into the Order of Canada. Congratulations to Doug from all of us at Scottish Studies!
We are delighted to announce that award-winning professor, researcher and arts and humanities advocate Samantha Brennan (pictured above) has been named the next dean of the University of Guelph's College of Arts (COA). Samantha began a five-year term on January 1, 2018. Details here.
The Scottish Studies Society's 25th Annual Tartan Day Dinner and Scot of the Year Award presentation took place at the University of Toronto's Hart House on April 20. The recipient of the 2017 award was Bruce Simpson and the award was presented by Rob McEwen who was the 2015 recipient. Originally from Scotland, Bruce Simpson is a Senior Partner of McKinsey & Company, the leading consulting firm, where he has worked for 30 years. He moved to Canada from Paris with his wife Tracy and three sons in 2000. He is a business leader deeply committed to innovation and Canadian competitiveness, and a community leader engaged in the arts, human rights, healthcare, the environment, women's advancement, and other social causes. Pictures of the event have been posted here.
We are excited to announce that the Scottish Chapbook Digital Humanities website has been launched! Thanks to funding from the Scottish Studies Foundation, this collaborative project between the University of Guelph Library and Centre for Scottish Studies provides unprecedented free online access to a hidden collection of over 600 chapbooks housed in Archival & Special Collections, as well as essays and exhibits to interpret and contextualize them. (Read more about chapbooks here.)
At the 2016 Fall Colloquium: Prof. Ted Cowan delivers the Scottish Studies Annual Jill McKenzie Memorial Lecture: "Caledonian Canada: Building the Foundations." Details here.
At the 2016 Fall Colloquium: Dr. Katie McCullough presents her paper entitled "Scottish Studies in Canada: Notes from the Pacific Northwest." Details here.
This new book by Stephen Marquis tells the extraordinary Story of the Marquis Family of Kintyre: of Gaelic bards, clan warriors for the MacDonalds, Jacobite Rebels, smugglers and fishermen. A chronicle of adultery , murder and execution. Details at
A new initiative:
The Sept/Oct 2011 issue of History Scotland featured an article about the Foundation co-authored by SSF Directors, John B. McMillan and David Hunter and includes many other items of particlar interest to Canadians. A transcript is available here.
We were delighted to have radio broadcaster Denis Snowdon as our guest speaker at the "Oor Club" on March 6. You can listen to his talk here. Denis has now arranged for his show, "A Little Breath of Scotland" to be available as a weekly podcast. Details here.
We have gathered a number of radio programmes that we trust will be of interest to Scottish Studies enthusiasts. Details here.
In remembrance of our former board member, the late Duncan Campbell, we invite you to make a donation to the Scottish Studies Foundation to be used to provide scholarships to students to travel from Canada to Scotland to further their research, or to assist lecturers from Scotland in travelling to Canada. Details here.
On May 13, 2016 we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Scottish Studies Foundation at our annual Scot of the Year Award event during which we paid tribute to this year's recipient, Canadian author and Nobel Prize winner, Alice Munro. Video taken during the event including the speech given by Author and Publisher Doug Gibson can be seen here.
All books in the Guelph series in Scottish Studies are now available for purchase online. Details here.
This new book edited by Janay Nugent and Elizabeth Ewan counters traditional assumptions that young people are peripheral to our understanding of the political, economic, and social contexts of the premodern era. Details here.
Launch of Rural Diary Archive: read, transcribe and enjoy old Scottish-Canadian diaries online. Details here.
Thanks to the initiative of Scottish Studies Foundation Director Doug Ross, the Foundation has sponsored the concept of a "Clan Passport" to be used at various Highland Games. These have been enthusiastically received as you can see here.
Back issues of our newsletter have been posted here.