Michael Vance


Irish Catholic Halifax

B.A. (Simon Fraser) 
M.A. (York, UK), M.A. (McMaster)
Ph.D. (Guelph)


Dr Vance has taught at Saint Mary's since 1990. With an undergraduate and Master of Arts background in History and Archaeology, Dr Vance's doctoral research specialized in Migration History. His current research focuses on Scottish migration patterns to Canada, Australia and South Africa in the 19th century. Dr Vance helped develop the Graduate Program in History and also teaches for the Irish Studies program at Saint Mary's.

Selected Publications


Imperial Immigrants: Scottish Settlers in the Upper Ottawa Valley, 1815-1840 (Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2012). Additional Documents

William Wye Smith: Recollections of a Nineteenth Century Scottish Canadian (Toronto: Natural Heritage Books, 2008), edited and abridged with Dr. Scott McLean. [more]

Myth, Migration and the Making of Memory: Scotia and Nova Scotia c.1600 - 1990 (Halifax, Fernwood Books, 1999), a multi-author collection of essays on transatlantic history edited with Marjory Harper, University of Aberdeen. [more]

Journal Special Issues  

  • Co-edited with Mark G. McGowan, Irish Catholic Halifax from the Napoleonic Wars to the Great War, CCHA Historical Studies 81, Occassional Paper (2015)   - a collection of papers representing research undertaken through the SSHRC Partnership Development Grant “Irish-Catholic Discourse and  Social Mobility in Nineteenth Century Halifax.” 

  • Co-edited with S. Karly Kehoe, “Ireland and Empire,” Britain and the World, VI, II (September 2013) - a collection of papers drawn from the conference "Ireland and Empire: Seafaring, Slavery and Salvation in the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic World" (held June 7-9, 2012 at Saint Mary’s University)

Articles and Book Chapters

“Scots in early twentieth-century British Columbia: Class, Race and Gender” in Scotland, Empire and Decolonisation in the Twentieth Century, edited by B
Irish Catholic Halifaxryan Glass and  John M. MacKenzie, [Studies in Imperialism Series] (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2015)

"Burns in the Park: A Tale of Three Monuments" in Robert Burns in Transatlantic Context, Leith Davis, et. al., eds., (Farnham, England: Ashgate, 2012): 209-232.

“From Cape Breton to Vancouver Island: Studying the Scots in Canada,”Immigrants & Minorities, vol. 29, no.2 (July 2011), pp.175-194.

“‘Mon he’s a Gran Fish’: Scots in BC’s Inter-War Fishing Industry,” in BC Studies, No. 158, Summer 2008, pp. 33-61.

“A Brief History of Organized Scottishness in Canada” in C. Ray, ed. Transatlantic Scots, pp.96-119.

“Powerful Pathos: The Triumph of Scottishness in Nova Scotia,” in C. Ray, ed. Transatlantic Scots, pp.156-179 (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2005).

"Grits, Rebels and Radicals: Anti-Privilege Politics and the Pre-History of 1849 in Canada West," with Mark D. Stephen [Saint Mary's M.A.] in Derek Pollard and Ged Martin, eds., Canada 1849 (University of Edinburgh, Centre for Canadian Studies, 2001).

"Advancement, moral worth and freedom: the meaning of Independence for early nineteeth-century lowland emigrants to Upper Canada", in Ned Landsman, ed., Nation and Province in the First British Empire (Lewisburg, Bucknell University Press, 2001).

"Scottish chartism in Canada West?: an examination of the 'Clear Grit' Reformers" Scottish Tradition 22 (1997), pp. 56-102. [more]

"British Columbia's twentieth-century Crofter emigration schemes: A note on new sources" Scottish Tradition 18 (1993), pp.1-27. [more]

"The politics of emigration: Scotland and assisted emigration, 1815 -1826", in T.M. Devine, ed., Scottish Emigration and Scottish Society:Proceedings of the University of Strathclyde Scottish Historical Studies Seminar 1990-91 (Edinburgh, John Donald, 1992), pp. 37-60.

"'Breaking the power of a metaphor' - towards a social interpretation of Emigration History", in C. Kerrigan, ed., The Immigrant Experience: Proceedings of a Conference held at the University of Guelph, June 1989 (University of Guelph, 1992) pp.57-74.

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