Dr James Mackay

Teaching and Research Fellow in American History


I am a historian of the United States in the American Revolutionary era.

I completed my PhD at the University of Edinburgh in 2023. My doctoral research explored how Black refugees experienced refuge with the British military during the American Revolutionary War, 1775-1783. I am currently working on turning my thesis into a monograph. 

I teach United States history, ranging from Revolutionary America to the Civil War. 


PhD History, University of Edinburgh (2023)

MSc American History, University of Edinburgh (2017)

BA (Hons) History and Spanish, University of Oxford (2012)

Responsibilities & affiliations

Edinburgh Centre for Global History

Member, British Association for American Studies (BAAS)

Member, Scottish Association for the Study of America (SASA)

Undergraduate teaching


Historical Skills and Methods I

Historical Skills and Methods II

History of the United States

Introduction to Historiography

Modern United States History

Revolutionary America, 1763-1815

The American Civil War: History and Memory

Postgraduate teaching


Historical Methodology 

Themes in the Historiography of the Americas


Research summary

My research focuses on histories of slavery and emancipation in revolutionary America.  


Affiliated research centres

Past project grants

Scholarly Fellowship, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, 2020.
Jacob M. Price Fellowship, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan, 2020-2021.
Research Travel Grant, Special Collections Research Center, College of William and Mary, 2020-2021.
International Center for Jefferson Studies Fellowship, Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies, 2021.
Robert M. & Annetta J. Coffelt and Robert M. Coffelt Jr. Fellowship, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 2020.
Research Grant, Royal Historical Society, 2020-2021.
Lewis P. Jones Research Fellowship in South Carolina History, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, 2019.
Archie K. Davis Fellowship, North Caroliniana Society, 2019-2020.
Transatlantic Grant, European Association for American Studies, 2019-2020.

Papers delivered

American History Research Seminar, Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford.

‘‘Underrepresented Voices of the American Revolution’’: Conrad E. Wright Research Conference, Massachusetts Historical Society, July 2022.

Space and Place, Doing Refugee History Seminar, Institute of Historical Research, October 2021.

British Group of Early American Historians, Annual Conference, September 2021.

British Association for American Studies, Annual Conference, April 2021.

Washington Early American Seminar Mini-Conference, University of Maryland, College Park, October 2020.

Mobility and Movement in Atlantic History Conference, New York University, April 2020 (Cancelled).

Scottish Association for the Study of America, Twenty-First Annual Conference, University of Dundee, February 2020.

Oxford Early American Republic Seminar, Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford, November 2019.

McMillan Award, University of Edinburgh, 2020-2021.

Jeremiah Dalziel Prize, Runner-up, University of Edinburgh, 2020-2021.