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Professor Colin Kidd

MA, DPhil, FBA, FRHistS, FRSE, FSAScot
Fifty-Pound Fellow since 2005
Professor of Modern History, School of History, University of St Andrews
My current research focuses on the intellectual history of the English Enlightenment and its nineteenth-century aftermath, particularly in fields such as antiquarianism, mythography and religious apologetic. Eventually, many years hence, these obsessions will intersect with an emerging interest in the history - and prehistory - of British anthropology. I am at my happiest riding these particular hobbyhorses, but I also have a stable of other subjects which fascinate me. These include constitutional theory, British as well as American, and the church history of my native county of Ayrshire in the age of Enlightenment. However, I am alert to the possibility that the parishes of eighteenth-century Fife might yield up treasures of their own to delight the connoisseur of theological controversy.


  • Professor of Intellectual History and the History of Political Thought, Queen's University, Belfast (from 2010 to 2012)
  • Professor of Modern History, University of Glasgow (from 1994 to 2010)
  • Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, All Souls College (from 1992 to 1994)
  • Prize Fellow, All Souls College (from 1987 to 1992)
  • Visiting Choate Fellow, Harvard University (from 1985 to 1986)
  • Undergraduate, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge (from 1982 to 1985)

Research interests

  • Ethnicity in the Atlantic world, 1600-2000
  • Constitutional law and theory, British and American
  • Scottish Church history and political thought, 1600-2000
  • Early modern and modern British intellectual history


  • Union and Unionisms: Political Thought in Scotland, 1500-2000 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999).
  • The Forging of Races: Race and Scripture in the Protestant Atlantic World 1600-2000 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006).
  • British Identities before Nationalism: Ethnicity and Nationhood in the Atlantic World, 1600-1800 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999).
  • Subverting Scotland’s Past: Scottish Whig Historians and the Creation of an Anglo-British Identity, 1689-c. 1830 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993).
  • Link to publications

Other professional memberships and roles

  • Carlyle Lectures in History of Political Thought, University of Oxford (2006)
  • British Petroleum-Royal Society of Edinburgh Prize Lectureship in the Humanities (2002)
  • Editor of the Scottish Historical Review (from 1999 to 2004)

Teaching and Supervision

  • Undergraduate teaching at Glasgow University: intellect and culture in nineteenth-century Scotland
  • North Britons: patriotism and identity in eighteenth-century Scotland
  • Scottish Enlightenment and Scottish society
  • Politics, religion, and British state formation 1707-1843
  • The American constitution: past and present
  • Postgraduate teaching: issues, ideologies and institutions of Modern Scotland
  • Culture and identity in the age of Ossian, Burns, and Scott
  • Race, nationhood, and ethnicity