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Prof Tanja Bueltmann

Professor in History & Faculty Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor Strategic Planning and Engagement (Acting)

Department: Humanities

Tanja is an expert in diaspora and migration history, especially the history of ethnic associational culture.

ADSS Tanja Bueltmann Staffprofile 255

Tanja studied at the universities of Bielefeld and Edinburgh for her MA in British Cultural Studies, History and Sociology. With a strong background in Scottish history, she then moved to New Zealand to pursue her doctoral research on the country's Scottish immigrant community. Funded by the New Zealand government, Tanja completed her PhD at Victoria University of Wellington at the end of 2008. Returning to Europe thereafter, Tanja was appointed to join the History team at Northumbria in early 2009 and became Professor in History in 2017.

+44 (0)191 227 4761


PhD, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, 2009; MA, Bielefeld University, Germany, 2005; FRHistS, FHEA

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Tanja is a historian of migration and diaspora. Her main research interests are in wider British World history, especially the cultural and social history of Scottish, English and German immigrant communities. She is particularly interested in the communities' associational life in North America, the Antipodes and parts of Asia. Tanja has long since been keen to engage the wider public with her research, and works with community groups and museums to do so, particularly through a long-standing collaboration with the National Museum of Scotland. Tanja is also a prolific commentator on wider social and political issues, having written for the Guardian and the Conversation among others. 

Tanja was Principal Investigator of the project 'European, Ethnic and Expatriate: A Longitudinal Comparison of British and German Social Networking and Associational Formations in Modern-day Asia'. The project was funded by the ESRC and concluded in September 2016. Tanja is currently writing a monograph informed by the project research. 

Prior to that Tanja was Co-Investigator of the AHRC funded project 'Locating the Hidden Diaspora: The English in North America in Transatlantic Perspective, 1760-1950', 2011-13. Her research as part of the project concentrated on exploring the diverse forms of associationalism among the English. A co-authored monograph entitled The English Diaspora in North America: Migration, Ethnicity and Association, 1730s-1950s was recently published. 

Tanja's interest in the English diaspora stems from her work on the Scots abroad and Scottish associations in particular. In 2010, Tanja was awarded a Small Research Grant from the British Academy for her project 'Ethnicity, Associationalism and Civility: The Scots in Singapore and Hong Kong in Comparative Perspective'. Since then Tanja has continued to explore different aspects of the Scots' ethnic associational life, identity and culture overseas, also working with museums and communities in Scotland and abroad for knowledge exchange and outreach. Please visit Tanja's Scottish Diaspora Blog for more.

Current/Recent Projects

2016: Royal Society of Edinburgh Grant, Co-Investigator for ‘Trading Places: Comparing and Collecting the Scottish Commercial Diaspora’, a project with the National Museum of Scotland

2013: ESRC Future Research Leaders Grant

2013: Research Grant from the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland

2012: Visiting Fellowship for 2013 with grant at the Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University

2012: Grant from the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation

2011: AHRC Research Grant (Standard Route) as Co-I with Don MacRaild (PI) and David Gleeson (Co-I)

2010: British Academy Small Research Grant

Key Publications

[with D.M. MacRaild] The English Diaspora in North America: Migration, Ethnicity and Association, 1730s-1950s (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2017).

Clubbing Together: Ethnicity, Civility and Formal Sociability in the Scottish Diaspora to 1930 (Liverpool, 2014). Winner of the Saltire Society Scottish Research Book of the Year Award (2015) 

[with Andrew Hinson and Graeme Morton], The Scottish Diaspora (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2013).

[as editor with David Gleeson and Don MacRaild], Locating the English Diaspora, 1500-2010 (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2012).

'Ethnizität und organisierte Geselligkeit: Das Assoziationswesen deutscher Migranten in Neuseeland im mittleren und späten 19. Jahrhundert', Historische Zeitschrift, 295:3 (2012), pp. 660-89.

[with Don MacRaild], 'Globalising St George: English Associations in the Anglo-World to the 1930s', Journal of Global History, 7 (2012), pp. 79-105.

Scottish Ethnicity and the Making of New Zealand Society, 1850 to 1930 (Scottish Historical Review Monograph Series, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2011). * shortlisted for the Saltire Society Scottish History Book of the Year and Scottish Research Book of the Year Awards

'Manly Games, Athletic Sports and the Commodification of Scottish Identity: Caledonian Gatherings in New Zealand to 1915', Scottish Historical Review 89, no 2 (2010), pp. 224-47.

'"No Colonists are more Imbued with their National Sympathies than Scotchmen": The Nation as an Analytical Tool in the Study of Migrant Communities', New Zealand Journal of History 43, 2 (2009), pp. 169-181.

To visit my NRL page click here


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