Advisory Board

Meet the experts behind Voices Over the Water.

The producers’ intent is to provide a responsibly balanced representation of viewpoints. The project has relied upon a broadly-based Advisory Board made up of academics who are prime experts in their fields, as well as actively involved members of the Scottish diaspora.

Sir Thomas Devine, OBE, Ph.D

Sir Thomas Devine, OBE, Ph.D is widely acknowledged as Scotland’s leading historian, having published over 100 academic articles and over 30 books on subjects such as Scottish transatlantic trade, urban elites and rural society. In 2001 HM The Queen presented him with Scotland’s supreme academic accolade, the Royal Gold Medal, and in 2005 was appointed OBE in the New Year Honours List for services to Scottish history. His published works include The Great Highland Famine: Hunger, Emigration and the Scottish Highlands in the Nineteenth Century (1988), Scottish Emigration & Scottish Society (ed, 1992), Clanship to Crofters’ War: The Social Transformation of the Scottish Highlands (1994), and Scotland’s Empire and the Shaping of the Americas (2004).

Elizabeth L. Ewan, Ph.D

Elizabeth L. Ewan, Ph.D was the University Research Chair and Professor, History and Scottish Studies, at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. Her research focused on medieval and early modern Scottish women, gender, crime and life in Scotland leading up to the Highland Clearances, and the emigration to Canada. Her published works include The New Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women.

James Hunter, CBE, FRSE, Ph.D

James Hunter, CBE, FRSE, Ph.D is Emeritus Professor of History, at University of the Highlands and Islands, Scotland. He is the author of many books about the Highlands and the region’s worldwide diaspora, including A Dance Called America, and Scottish Exodus: Travels Among a Worldwide Clan. He was the first director of the Scottish Crofters Union. In the course of a varied career, Hunter has also been a journalist and broadcaster, and a member of the BBC’s Broadcasting Council for Scotland. In recognition of his services to the Highlands and Islands, he was made a CBE in 2001. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2007.

Alexander C. McLeod

Alexander C. McLeod was a doctor in Nashville, and was former president of the Associated Clan MacLeod Societies. In 1802 McLeod’s people left the Glendale district of Skye for North Carolina’s Cape Fear River country. McLeod’s work with the Highland diaspora led him to assist James Hunter to write Scottish Exodus: Travel Among a Worldwide Clan, which covered the emigration throughout Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, Ireland, Iceland, England, France, Poland and South Africa. McLeod has published articles on medical subjects, American history and Highland Scots history and genealogy.

Celeste Ray, Ph.D

Celeste Ray, Ph.D, is assistant professor of anthropology at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, and has studied Cultural Resource Management at the University of Edinburgh. Ray has investiged the politics of Scottish national identity in the study and presentation of battlefields. She has also examined the growth of the Scottish heritage movement in the U.S. and studied how American ethnic identity is formed over time. Her published works include Highland Heritage:Scottish Americans in the American South and Transatlantic Scots.


Reading List

To explore the themes of Voices Over the Water more fully, there are many books that will give you a deeper understanding of our historian advisors’ commentary. We have compiled a list of their books, which gave us inspiration and insight.

Paul Basu, Ph.D

Paul Basu, Ph.D is a social anthropologist and museum/heritage consultant and serves as Professor of Anthropology and Cultural Heritage at University College London. His research specializes in landscape, memory and cultural heritage, in Scotland and West Africa, particularly Sierra Leone and Nigeria. He has also worked as a filmmaker, and his research looks at how various forms of media are used in ethnography and exhibitions. He is the author of Highland Homecomings.

Eric Richards

Eric Richards was Professor of History at Flinders University, Adelaide Universities, Australia. His specialist subject is the Highland Clearances and his acclaimed biography of Patrick Sellar was awarded the prize for Scottish History Book of the Year (1999). His most recent books are Britannia’s Children: Emigration from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland since 1600 (London and New York, Hambledon and London, 2004), Debating the Highland Clearances (Edinburgh University Press 2007) and Destination Australia: Migration since 1901 (Sydney: University of New South Wales Press 2008).

Michael Newton, Ph.D

Michael Newton was awarded a Ph.D in Celtic Studies from the University of Edinburgh and was an Assistant Professor in the Celtic Studies Department of St Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia. He has authored books and articles on many aspects of Highland culture and history in Scotland and North America. In 2014 he was given the inaugural Saltire Award by the St. Andrews University Scottish Heritage Center (of Laurinburg, North Carolina) for his “outstanding contributions to the preservation and interpretation of Scottish history and culture.” Published works include Seanchaidh na Coille/The Memory-Keeper of the Forest, Warriors of the Word: The World of the Scottish Highlanders, and Dùthchas nan Gaidheal: Selected Essays of John MacInnes (editor).

Paul Grant-Costa

Paul Grant-Costa was the executive editor of the Yale Indian Papers Project at Yale University. He was the Senior Researcher at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center; partner in Greymatter (a historical research consultancy); post-doctoral editorial associate for the Papers of Benjamin Franklin; legal intern at the Directorate of Human Rights, Council of Europe, Strasbourg, France as well as lead historical researcher on a number of federal recognition projects (with tribal councils, tribal historians, lawyers, and anthropologists).

Faith Damon Davison

Faith Damon Davison, was the Archivist for the Mohegan Tribe with oversight of the Mohegan Library and Archives, rare books, documents and map collections, and was responsible for the Tribe’s 3-Dimensional collections. She received her Masters in Library Sciences from University of Rhode Island, and a degree in Anthropology from Connecticut College. She has curated at the Mystic Seaport Museum and interned at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, Anthropological Collections. She served with Norwich Historical Society, Stanton Davis Homestead Museum, Yale Indian Papers Project, Slater Museum in Norwich CT and was also the Native American Collections Specialist for East Lyme Historical Society. The Mohegan Tribe honored her with the title of “Nonner” and served on the Mohegan Tribe’s Historic Preservation Review Board. She also received the title of Honored One for the Guardians of Culture, the Memory and Lifeways International Award Program from the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums.