Valerie Wallace

Dr Valerie Wallace profile picture

Senior Lecturer School of History, Philosophy, Political Science & International Relations


Teaching in 2020

Research interests

Scottish and British history; British colonial history in eighteenth and nineteenth centuries


  • MA(Hons), M.Phil., PhD University of Glasgow

Office hours

By appointment


Before joining Victoria University of Wellington in 2012, Valerie taught at the University of Edinburgh (2009–2010) and worked on the award-winning Transcribe Bentham digital humanities project in the Faculty of Laws, University College London (2010–2012). In 2011–2012 she was the inaugural US–UK Fulbright Scottish Studies Scholar at the Centre for History and Economics at Harvard University. In 2016 she was a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Scottish Historical Research at the University of St Andrews.

Valerie sits on the HPPI Te Maruako Aronui committee, the WFHSS Te Maruako Aronui committee and the Library and Information Services Committee. She is the History Honours Coordinator in 2018–19.

Research interests

Valerie is a historian of Scotland, Britain and the settler colonies of Britain’s empire in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She is interested in the history of political, legal and constitutional thought and the intersection of religion and liberal politics. Her first book, Scottish Presbyterianism and Settler Colonial Politics: Empire of Dissent (Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series, Palgrave, 2018) aims to transform our understanding of colonial reform politics by documenting the revolutionary influence of Scottish Presbyterian political ideas. The book was shortlisted for the Saltire Society History Book of the Year Award 2018. Her current research project uncovers the hidden influence of Scots law—paying particular attention to criminal procedure and family law—on the settler societies of nineteenth-century Australia and New Zealand. It is the first project ever to examine the impact of Scots law on British settler colonialism. Valerie’s research has been supported by external grants from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK), the US–UK Fulbright Commission and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 2017 Valerie was honoured with the Victoria University of Wellington Early Career Research Excellence Award.

Research students


  • Christianna Kay, 'Prerogative and Patronage: Noble Marriages in the Reigns of Elizabeth I and James VI/I, 1558–1625' (in progress; co-supervised with Catherine Abou-Nemeh and Kate Hunter).


  • Rachel Boddy, 'The New Female Coterie: Scandal, Sociability and Status' (in progress).
  • Fiona Cliff, 'The Crimean War as a Textual Event' (in progress; co-supervised with Charlotte Macdonald).
  • Evgeniya Kryssova, '"Tales of Wonder and Horror": Coverage of Insanity in the Leeds Newspaper Press, 1808–1840' (2016).


  • Samara Wood, 'The Wollstonecrafts of the Nineteenth Century' (2018).
  • Rachel Boddy, 'The Political Involvement of Lady Melbourne' (2017).
  • Eleanor Rainford, 'Politics, Portrayal and Public Opinion: Thomas Rowlandson, James Gillray, and the 1784 Westminster Election' (2015).
  • Rob Barton-Howes, ‘Binds of Britannic Brotherhood: A Comparative Study of British Imperialism, the Indigenous Struggle for Sovereignty and Protestant Humanitarianism’s Trans-Regional Impact in the Cape Colony and Northland, 1834–1846’ (2014).
  • Evgeniya Kryssova, ‘The Art of Marginalisation: Attitudes towards Joseph Wright ‘of Derby’ from the 1760s to today’ (2014).
  • Thomas Coughlan, 'Enlightenment Epistemologies, Anglo-Scottish Jurisprudence and the 18th-century Battle of the Booksellers' (2013).



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Book chapters

  • Valerie Wallace and Colin Kidd, ‘Between Nationhood and Nonconformity: the Scottish Whig-Presbyterian Novel and the Denominational Press’ in Gerard Carruthers & Colin Kidd (eds.) Literature & Union: Scottish Texts, British Contexts (Oxford University Press, 2018). Shortlisted for Saltire Society Research Book of the Year 2018.
  • Valerie Wallace, ‘“The Slave Trade in the New Hebrides”: Covenanting Ideology, the New Hebrides Mission and the Campaign against the Pacific Island Labor Traffic’, in W.H. Taylor & P.C. Messer (eds.), Faith and Slavery in the Presbyterian Diaspora (Lehigh University Press, 2016), pp. 231–250.
  • Valerie Wallace, 'Fictions of History, Evangelical Whiggism, and the Debate over Old Mortalityin Scotland and Nova Scotia', in B. Dew and F. Price (eds.), Historical Writing in Britain, 1688–1830: Visions of History (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), pp. 182-199.
  • Colin Kidd and Valerie Wallace, ‘Biblical Criticism and Scots Presbyterian Dissent in the Age of Robertson Smith’, in S. Mandelbrote and M. Ledger-Lomas (eds.), Dissent and The Bible in Britain c.1650–1950 (Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 233-55.
  • Tim Causer, Justin Tonra and Valerie Wallace, ‘CASE STUDY Transcribe Bentham: crowdsourcing in practice’ in Claire Ross, ‘Social media for digital humanities and community engagement’ in J. Nyhan, M. Terras and C. Warwick (eds.), Digital Humanities in Practice(Facet Publishing, 2012), pp. 29-32.

Journal articles

  • Valerie Wallace, 'Radical Objects: Covenanter Gravestones as Political Protest', History Workshop Online, April 4 2017.
  • Valerie Wallace, '"Preaching Disaffection" in the Presbyterian Atlantic: Jotham Blanchard and the Reform Crisis in Scotland and Nova Scotia, c.1827–1837', Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 42:2 (2014), pp. 377-399.
  • Tim Causer and Valerie Wallace, ‘Building a Volunteer Community: Results and Findings from Transcribe Bentham’, Digital Humanities Quarterly 6:2 (2012).
  • Tim Causer, Justin Tonra and Valerie Wallace, ‘Transcription Maximised; Expense Minimized? Crowdsourcing and Editing The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham’, Literary and Linguistic Computing, 27:2 (2012), pp. 119-37.
  • Valerie Wallace, ‘Benthamite Radicalism and its Scots Presbyterian Contexts’, Utilitas, 24:1 (2012), pp. 1-25.
  • Martin Moyle, Justin Tonra and Valerie Wallace, ‘Manuscript Transcription by Crowdsourcing: Transcribe Bentham,’ Liber Quarterly 20:3 (2011), pp. 347-356.
  • Valerie Wallace, ‘Presbyterian Moral Economy: The Covenanting Tradition and Popular Protest in Lowland Scotland, 1707–c .1746’, Scottish Historical Review, 89 (2010), pp. 54-72.


Valerie reviews books for The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Scottish Historical Review, Northern Scotland, Victorian Studies, Australian Historical Review and Canadian Journal of African Studies.


Teaching in 2020