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John McCallum

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Staff Group(s)
History, Heritage and Global Cultures


Dr McCallum is a senior lecturer in History, and a specialist in early modern British religious history. They teach on a range of modules in this area including Medieval and Early Modern Worlds, Age of Reformations, and Living and Dying in Reformation Britain, and they are also the module leader for the History Dissertation at BA and MA level. John co-supervises several PhD students working on early modern Britain, and would be keen to hear from any prospective students interested in working on topics in this area.

Career overview

Prior to joining NTU in 2012, Dr McCallum completed their PhD at the University of St Andrews, and has also worked at the Universities of Lancaster, St Andrews and Dundee.

Research areas

Areas of research interest include:

  • The Scottish Reformation, particularly its social context and impact
  • Poverty, charity and poor relief in early modern Scotland
  • The local and regional impact of the British Reformations
  • Weather and climate in early modern Scotland
  • Emotions in Early Modern Scotland

Dr McCallum's current research focuses on emotions in early modern Scotland. John's previous research projects focused on themes such as poverty and welfare in early modern Scotland (especially via the monograph Poor Relief and the Church in Scotland, 1560-1650 (2018), following previous articles on this theme). This research grew out of their previous work on the Scottish Reformation and in particular its local dynamics, most notably in Reforming the Scottish Parish (2010) and the edited volume Scotland's Long Reformation (2016). John has also published on the clergy, weather, and pious writing in early modern Scotland, and served as General Editor and Publications Secretary for the Scottish History Society from 2012-21.

Opportunities to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil / PhD exist in the School of Arts and Humanities and further information may be obtained from the NTU Graduate School.

External activity


Selected Publications (for full list see Publications link below)


Exploring Emotion in Reformation Scotland: The Emotional Worlds of James Melville, 1556–1614 (Palgrave MacMillan, 2022)

Poor Relief and the Church in Scotland, 1560-1650 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018)

(editor) Scotland’s Long Reformation: New Perspectives on Scottish Religion, c. 1500-c.1660 (Brill: Leiden, 2016)

Reforming the Scottish Parish: The Reformation in Fife, 1560-1640 (Ashgate: Farnham, 2010)

Articles and Chapters

‘Local and Regional Experiences of Reformation’, in I. Hazlett (ed.), A Companion to the Reformation in Scotland, c.1525–1638: Frameworks of Change and Development (Brill: Leiden, 2022)

(With Helen Gair), ‘The Protestant Clergy and Poor Relief’, in C.R. Langley, C. McMillan and R. Newton (eds), The Clergy in Early Modern Scotland (Boydell and Brewer: Woodbridge, 2021).

‘Charity and Conflict: Poor Relief in Mid-Seventeenth Century Dundee’, Scottish Historical Review, 95:1 (2016), pp. 30-56

‘“Nurseries of the Poore”: Hospitals and Almshouses in Early Modern Scotland’, Journal of Social History, 48:2 (2014), pp. 427-449

(With Alan MacDonald) ‘The evidence for early seventeenth-century climate from Scottish ecclesiastical records’, Environment and History, 19 (4) (2013), pp. 487-509

‘Charity doesn’t begin at home: Ecclesiastical poor relief beyond the parish, 1560- 1650’, Journal of Scottish Historical Studies, 32:2 (November 2012), pp. 107-26

‘The Reformation of the Ministry in Fife, 1560-1640’, History, 94:3 (2009), pp. 310-327.

See all of John McCallum's publications...

Press expertise

Dr McCallum can offer comment on:

  • the Scottish Reformation, particularly its social context and impact
  • poverty, charity and poor relief in early modern Scotland
  • the local and regional impact of the British Reformations