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University of Stirling


Dr Colin Nicolson


History University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA

Dr Colin Nicolson

Contact details

About me

Colin Nicolson is a leading expert on the history of the American Revolution. His work focuses on the origins of the Revolution in colonial Boston and the Imperial Crisis of 1765-1776. He is an elected fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society and an elected member of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts. He is currently editing the Papers of Francis Bernard and writing a book and articles on the pre-Revolutionary life and politics of John Adams. He presently supervises five full-time PhD researchers working on New York Loyalism, slave literacy, friendship in colonial America, Massachusetts privateers, and British responses to militarization in Scotland and America during the mid- to late-eighteenth century. He encourages PhD applications from those aiming to investigate the American Revolution, Friendship, John Adams, Governor Francis Bernard, Revolutionary biography and prosopography. He loves family, fine books, and music, and is a dedicated writer and enthusiastic teacher.

Community Contribution

Scottish Qualifications Authority
Scottish Education Department and Scottish Qualifications Authority: Question setter (1995-2001) and Principal Examiner (1998-2001) for (a) the CSYS in History and (b) the Advanced Higher in History, both in field of study (g): the American Civil War. Scottish Consultative Council on the Curriculum and Higher Still Development Unit. Consultant on the preparation of study packs for the new Advanced Higher in American History, 2000-2001.

Divisional / Faculty Contribution

Director of Undergraduate Programmes in History. School of Arts and Humanities: History and Politics Division

Postgraduate Director. School of History and Politics

Research Committee. School of History and Politics

Student Recruitment Officer. Department of History

Website Administrator. School of History and Politics

Faculty of Arts

staff appointment committees

Faculty of Arts

Board member and subject representative

Deputy Director for Postgraduate Training (School of Arts and Humanities)
Since 2012, have recently taken a lead role in developing doctoral training in the School of Arts and Humanities.Doctoral training provided by the School of Arts and Humanities (SAH) complements the Skills Development Programme run by the university's Stirling Graduate School (SGS). While the SGS programme focuses largely on researcher development and generic skills, the SAH activities concentrate on enhancing and applying subject skills within and beyond the academic environment. The SAH Postgraduate Skills Week in December, run jointly with the School of Applied Social Science, offers cross-disciplinary sessions on employability skills (writing, teaching, presenting research papers, publishing research, and understanding the impact agenda) and two days of intensive subject-focused sessions covering qualitative and quantitative research methods and topical research issues and approaches. I also co-ordinate Arts Training Modules for Masters programmes.



M.A. Hons. in History, summa cum laude

Event / Presentation

Friendship in Tough Times: John Adams and the Terrors of War, 1775. School of Arts and Humanities (Stirling) Postgraduate Conference, 2014. Inter-Disciplinary Reflections in Adversity
University of Stirling

Speaker. Negotiating British Imperialism: Gov. Francis Bernard and the Imperial Crisis, 1764-1769
Colonial Society of Massachusetts

Presenter. Book Launch for Bernard Papers Vol. 2
Colonial Society of Massachusetts


MPhil in History
University of Glasgow

Ph.D by Dr. Finn Pollard “In Search of “the American, this new man”: The Literary Quest for an American National Character, 1760-1826

MPhil in American Studies

American History 2

History Degree Programme
University of Dundee

MSc. in Historical Research
University of Edinburgh

Coffee, Chocolate and Tobacco: Overseas Trade and European Consumption
University of Glasgow

Professional membership

Scottish Association for the Study of America
Scottish Association for the Study of America
Founding member and office-bearer: secretary (1999-2001), treasurer, 2001; chair (2003-05).

British Association for American Studies
Royal Historical Society, Organization of American Historians and European Association of American Studies

Royal Historical Society
Royal Historical Society

Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
Royal Historical Society

European Association of American Studies
European Association of American Studies

Elected Member Colonial Society of Massachusetts
Colonial Society of Massachusetts

Elected Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society
Massachusetts Historical Review

Organization of American Historians
Organization of American Historians

University Contribution

School of Arts and Humanities

 Co-ordinator of postgraduate training in ARTP01 and ARTP02.

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