BiographyI studied at the University of Edinburgh in the 1980s, and was a postdoctoral fellow in the University in the early 1990s. I then went on to hold lectureships in the University of Wales, Lampeter, and in the University of Sheffield, and a Visiting Fellowship in the University of London. In 1998 I was appointed to a lectureship in the University of Edinburgh, where I have worked ever since. My most recent promotion was to a readership in 2006. I was Director of the Survey of Scottish Witchcraft, which went online in 2003.
I am working on various projects at the moment. In the history of Scotland, I am leading a funded project on agriculture in the early modern period, focusing on tithes (known as 'teinds' in Scotland). I am co-editing a legal text from 1566, and I am working on a large edition of witchcraft documents. In the history of Europe, I am working on various papers on popular belief in fairies, visionary experience, and ways in which the history of emotions can help us to understand witchcraft accusations. I am co-editing a book entitled Witchcraft and Demonology in Early Modern Europe. My next book is provisionally entitled The Witch-Hunt in Scotland.
My university web page (see below) has a link to a one-minute video of me talking about some of my research ideas in the field of witchcraft and visionary experience.