Professor Tanja Bueltmann
Professor in History, Northumbria University

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 14.00.19I studied at the universities of Bielefeld (Germany) and Edinburgh for my MA in British Cultural Studies, History and Sociology. With a strong background in Scottish History, I then moved to New Zealand in early 2006 to pursue my doctoral research on the country’s Scottish immigrant community. Funded by the New Zealand government, I completed my PhD at the end of 2008; it was published, in 2011, as Scottish Ethnicity and the Making of New Zealand Society, 1850 to 1930. I returned to Europe in early 2009, when I was appointed to join the History team at Northumbria University.

My research interests are in diaspora and British World history, especially the cultural and social history of Scottish, English and German immigrant communities. I am particularly interested in why immigrants ‘club together’ in associations once they settle in their new home. I explore that question in detail in my second monograph entitled Clubbing Together: Ethnicity, Civility and Formal Sociability in the Scottish Diaspora to 1930. The book is the 2015 Saltire Society Research Book of the Year.

Apart from looking at the history of the Scots abroad and Scottish immigrant communities,  I was also Co-Investigator of the AHRC funded project ‘Locating the Hidden Diaspora: The English in North America in Transatlantic Perspective, 1760-1950’. A monograph from that project, co-authored with Prof Don MacRaild, was recently published as The English Diaspora in North America: Migration, Ethnicity and Association, 1730s-1950s.

In my current project, which also involves the Scots, I examine the life and experiences of British and German expats in Asia.

To contact me directly, please send an email to You can also follow me on Twitter @cliodiaspora

5 thoughts on “About

  • 29 October 2013 at 8:01 pm

    Hi, Tanja! I was really happy to find you today through I am a descendant of a Scottish prisoner of war from the Battle of Dunbar on 3 Sep 1650. There are many descendants and researchers of the Scottish Prisoners that were exiled to the “New World” in 1650 and 1651 by Cromwell. The more we learn about them the more we see that they did tend to stick together whenever possible, creating communities and organizations and even naming some places “Scotland” in New England. Have you consider studying more about this group of Scots? They were the largest and earliest group of Scots to New England in the mid 17th century. David Dobson has written some books about the early Scots to America, but there has never been a thorough and complete study of these Scots as a group as far as I know. I have started a blog/website to try and bring the family descendants together to learn more about our Scots prisoners. My blog/web site is a work of love in progress. I am not a professional by any means. I just love history and especially my Scottish family history. 🙂

    • 29 October 2013 at 10:20 pm

      Hi Teresa,

      Thanks for getting in touch and delighted that you found the blog. Love your enthusiasm and the family story!

      Please keep in touch (and sorry again for the Twitter glitch).

      Best, Tanja

  • 22 August 2014 at 10:11 am

    Many thanks for sharing that story! I think you’re right about the importance such ‘niche experiences/impacts’. As yes, the story of the Scots in Asia is fascinating indeed — and underexplored. So I much appreciate your good wishes for my work. Thanks!

  • 9 March 2016 at 12:46 pm

    Dear Professor:

    As Chair of the Scottish Society of Ottawa, I have just recently learned of your digital museum initiative. Congratulations on a most innovative and meaningful undertaking.

    In much the same vein (attempt to safeguard Scottish diaspora history), I am the author of a novel focused on the Highland Scottish settlers of Cape Breton in the period 1894 to 1914. While it is “fiction”, it is very much based on historical fact from stories flowing my family and others who settled in this area in the 1820s and 1830s. It is almost a psychological / sociological portrayal of a small highland community in Cape Breton with most of the dialogue in Gaelic (with English translations provided). I simply wanted it to be as accurate a portrayal as possible.

    A few copies of the first printing are still available from the publisher (Glen Margaret Publishing) in Nova Scotia. We will shortly be going to a reprint and hope to begin focusing on or targeting a UK audience given that the first print run was primarily sold to a North American audience. The title of the book is A Stone on Their Cairn / Clach air an Càrn.

    All the very best.

    • 11 March 2016 at 5:50 pm

      Thanks very much – delighted that you think it’s innovative and meaningful: hopefully there’ll be a lot contributions. And thank you for sharing this too. All the best wishes to you too.


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