Dr Lizanne Henderson
- Senior Lecturer in History (Interdisciplinary Studies)
Dr Lizanne Henderson is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Interdisciplinary Studies where she teaches History, Tourism, and Human-Animal Studies. Born in Toronto, Canada, she has a BA Double Honours in History and Fine Art from the University of Guelph, Ontario, an MA in Folklore from Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, and a PhD in History from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. Much of her research has focused on Early Modern Scottish and British social and cultural history, the Scottish witch-hunts and supernatural belief traditions, Scottish/British exploration, cultural attitudes towards non-human animals and engagements with the natural world, wildlife tourism, and Arctic studies.
She has been a lecturer and keynote speaker across Europe, North America, Japan, and the Arctic, and was Visiting International Scholar at the University of Melbourne, Australia, for five weeks. She also spent 3 weeks volunteering on a wildlife conservation project at the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest in Kenya. Lizanne has over twenty years experience as resource staff on expedition ships throughout the British Isles, Canadian Arctic, Greenland, Iceland, the Faroes, Norway and Svalbard. She has also made numerous appearances on radio, television, and podcasts.
When not engaged in academic pursuits, Lizanne is a keen artist and photographer and particularly enjoys landscapes and wildlife themes.
- 2013 to 2020, Editor of international peer-reviewed journal Review of Scottish Culture
- 2000-2012, Editorial Assistant, international peer-reviewed journal Folklore
- Early Modern Cultural History
- Folklore, Folk Belief, the Witch-Hunts (Scottish, wider British, European and African)
- 18th-19th c. Scottish Emigration
- 18th-19th c. Scottish/British Exploration (Arctic, North America, Africa)
- Arctic Studies and Polar Exploration
- Scottish connections to the Transatlantic Slave Trade and Abolition
- Tourism, Wildlife Tourism, and Heritage Management
- Human-Animal Studies
- Environmental Humanities
Current projects include:
- (Super)natural Animals in the Age of the Stewarts to the Age of Enlightenment, an investigation into Early Modern attitudes towards animals including the role of animals in the Scottish witch trials and folk belief.
- Picturing Polar Bears, a study into the cultural history, artistic depictions and semiotic uses of the polar bear in environmental education.
- 18th and 19th century Scottish/British Polar explorers and their relationship, perceptions and interactions with animals and the natural world.
- Study of witchcraft-themed museums and witch persecutions as commemoration and as tourist attractions (Europe and America).
- 2016 Katharine Briggs Book Award for Witchcraft and Folk Belief in the Age of Enlightenment
- 2014 Visiting International Scholar, School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne
- 2001 Michaelis-Jena Ratcliffe Folklore Prize for Scottish Fairy Belief: A History
Grants and Funding
- 2021 Academic Reviewer, Connecting History: SQA Higher: Migration and Empire, 1830-1939 and Connecting History: SQA National 4 & 5: Migration and Empire, 1830-1939 (Secondary School History textbooks) £500
- 2020 Toucan/Basher Books, consultant for book Legendary Creatures, £300
- 2020 Historic Environment Scotland, report on Caerlaverock Castle, £3500
- 2019 UIF (University Innovation Fund), to support Scotland and the Arctic conference speakers, £460
- 2018 Jill MacKenzie Memorial Lecture, University of Guelph, Canada, CAN $2000
- 2018 Scottish History Research Fund, Keynote, University of Lodz, Poland, £130
- 2018 Crichton Research Fund, ICEF, International Conference on Environmental Futures, Honolulu, Hawai'i, USA, £500
- 2014 Visiting International Scholar. Five weeks at School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne. AU $4,500
- 2011 Crichton Research Fund, SIEF conference, Lisbon, Portugal, £310
- 2009 British Academy Overseas Conference Grant, Robert Burns conference, University of Columbia, South Carolina, USA, £400
- 2009 Crichton Research Fund, Robert Burns conference, University of Columbia, South Carolina, USA £310
- 2008 Erasmus Teacher Mobility Grant, two-weeks at Johannes-Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany, Euros 1,300
- 2006-08 CREDD (Centre for Research into Regional Development) Joint award £500,000
- 2007 The Strathmartine Trust £1000
- 2007 Crichton Research Fund, Folklore Society conference, University of Sheffield, £190
- 2001 SCRAN – Associate Project Coordinator - Joint award £25,000 for production of multimedia CD-ROM Scottish Ballads and contributing to SCRAN online database
• Thesis awarded: Theological Consciousness and Cultural Identity within the Funerary Art of Skelmorlie Aisle
• Level 1 Scotland’s Millennium (Main Campus)
• Level 1 Discovering Scotland's Past
• Level 2 Scotland and the World: Emigration, Slavery and Emancipation, Exploration
• Sustainable Heritage Management
• A Cultural History of Animals
Professional activities & recognition
Prizes, awards & distinctions
- 2016: Katharine Briggs Book Award (The Folklore Society)
- 2014: Visiting International Scholar (University of Melbourne)
- 2001: Michaelis-Jena Ratcliffe Book Prize (Michaelis-Jena Ratcliffe)
- 2013: Review of Scottish Culture
- 2000 - 2012: Folklore
Professional & learned societies
- 2017: Council Member, Scottish Historical Society
- 2015: Board Member, Dumfries Archival Mapping Project
- 2004: Board Member, The Bruce Trust
- 2012 - 2016: Board Member, EDINA Statistical Accounts Online
- 2000 - 2013: Board Member, The Folklore Society
- 2002 - 2015: Member, Scottish Medievalists
Selected international presentations
- 2018: Arctic Circle Assembly (Reykjavik, Iceland)
- 2018: Jill MacKenzie Memorial Lecture (University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada)
- 2018: Keynote Address, Medieval and Renaissance Symposium (University of Łódź, Poland)
- 2018: 7th International Conference on Environmental Future conference (Honolulu, Hawaii, USA)
- 2017: Reorienting the Fairy Tale: Contemporary Fairy Tale Adaptations across Cultures (Kanagawa University, Yokohama, Japan)
- 2017: Island Dynamics International Conference on Folk Belief and Traditions of the Supernatural conference (Longyearbyen, Svalbard)
- 2014: Public Lecture (University of Melbourne, Australia)
- 2014: Keynote Address, For Auld Lang Syne conference (Art Gallery of Ballarat, Australia)
Participation in University Research Centres
- Centre for Scottish and Celtic Studies
- Glasgow Centre for International Development
- Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic
Internationally rated conference papers
2021 Nov Canadian Coastal Histories Workshop (online), McMaster University, Canada. Paper presented, “‘Some valuable notices of the habits of the animals’: Perceptions and Observations of Animals by Nineteenth Century Scottish Arctic Explorers”.
2019 Sept 25-28 Tiere und Hexen: Animal Turn in der Hexenforschung (The Animal Turn in Witchcraft Studies), Akademie der Diozese Rottenburg-Stuttgart, Weingarten, Germany. Paper presented, “‘I sall goe intill ane haire’: Shapeshifters and Magical Hares in Scottish Witchcraft and Folk Belief”.
2018 Oct 19-21 Arctic Circle Assembly, Harpa Conference Centre, Reykjavik, Iceland. Panel participant on ‘Scotland and the Arctic’. Paper presented, “Nineteenth Century Scottish Polar Explorers and their Observations of the Natural World”.
Oct 13-14 Scottish Studies Fall Colloquium, University of Guelph, Canada. Delivered the Jill MacKenzie Memorial Lecture, “Witchcraft and Shamanism in Northern Communities: A View from Scotland”.
May 15 Medieval and Renaissance Symposium (MARS), University of Łódź, Poland. Keynote address, “Witchcraft and Shamanism in Northern Communities: A View from Scotland”.
16-20 April 7th International Conference on Environmental Future (ICEF): Humans and Island Environments, Honolulu, Hawai’i, USA. Paper presented, “Past and Present Semiotic and Iconic Perceptions of Ursus maritimus: The Polar Bear, Environmental Communication and Island Conservation in the Arctic”.
2017 March 28-31 Reorienting the Fairy Tale: Contemporary Fairy Tale Adaptations across Cultures. Kanagawa University, Yokohama, Japan. Paper presented, “Bear Tales: Ways of Seeing Polar Bears”.
2017 Jan 20-23 Island Dynamics International Conference on Folk Belief and Traditions of the Supernatural and the Supernatural in Literature and Film. Longyearbyen, Svalbard. Paper presented, “Witchcraft and Shamanism in Northern Communities: A View from Scotland”.
- 2014 May 8-10 Keynote speaker at For Auld Lang Syne: Images of Scottish Australia from First Fleet to Federation held at Federation University Australia Ballarat Campus and at Art Gallery of Ballarat, Australia, and repeated as a Public Lecture at University of Melbourne. Paper presented, “‘A country of enchantments’: Scottish Observations of Colonial Australia”.
- 2012 May 17-21 Invited speaker Body, Soul, Spirits and Supernatural Communication, international conference of ISFNR Belief Narrative Network and Dept of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, held at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Pécs, Hungary. Paper presented, “Fairies and the Land of the Dead: Robert Kirk’s Lychnobious People”.
- 2011 April 17-21 SIEF (Societe Internationale d’Ethnologie et de Folklore) People Make Places – Ways of Feeling the World. 10th International SIEF conference, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal. Paper presented, “Cultural Constructs and Folklore of Bears”.
- 2009 May 28-30 Sixteenth Century Studies Conference (SCSC) Geneva, Switzerland. Paper presented, “Rise of the Demonic: Changing Ideas about Witchcraft in Sixteenth-Century Scotland”.
- 2009 April 2-4 Robert Burns: Contemporaries, Contexts & Cultural Forms University of South Carolina, USA. Paper presented, “Robert Burns and Slavery: The Dumfries and Galloway Context”.
- 2001 August 25 ‘Celtic Scotland’ St. Andrews Society of California, Pasadena, California, USA. Invited Speaker. Papers presented, “Darkness Visible: Witch Belief and Second Sight” and “Fairy Belief”.
- 2000 Aug 26 Scots-Australian Studies Association (Victoria) Trinity College, University of Melbourne, Australia. Paper presented, “Scottish Fairy Belief”.
- 2000 Aug 8 Scottish-Australian Heritage Council Scottish Week Sydney, Australia. Invited Speaker. Paper presented, “Scotland’s Fairy Belief and Ballad Traditions”.
- 1998 Nov 11 Beggars Descriptions: Destitution and Literary Genres International Literary Conference University of Groningen, The Netherlands. Paper presented, “‘A stout carline who begged for a drink’: The Queen of Elfland as Beggar”.
International guest lectures
2018 Oct 18 Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute of Foreign Languages, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland. Lecture presented, “Bear Tales: Ways of Seeing Polar Bears in Traditional Folktales and Modern Day Children’s Literature”.
- 2014 9 May Elizabeth Murdoch Lecture Theatre, University of Melbourne, Australia. Paper presented, “‘A country of enchantments’: Scottish Observations of Colonial Australia”.
- June 3 School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne, Australia. Paper presented, “ Incidents of Great Importance’: Animal Observation on Nineteenth Century North Polar Explorations”.
- June 4 Early Modern Circle Seminar Series, University of Melbourne, Australia. Paper presented, “Fairies, Angels and the Land of the Dead: Robert Kirk’s Lychnobious People”.
- 2009 8 April ‘Table of Nations: Scotland’ McCormick Freedom Museum, in partnership with the Illinois St Andrew Society, Chicago, USA. Featured speaker in panel discussion on Scottish historical and political topics.
- 2008 June 25 History House Seminar Series, Scottish-Australian Heritage Council Sydney, Australia. Paper presented, “The Great Scottish Witch-Hunt”.
- 2005 April Participant in various events for Tartan Day in New York city. Followed by a Lecture tour, paper presented ‘Scottish Folklore in America”:
- April 5 Dept of History, University of Wisconsin Madison
- April 6 Celtic Studies, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
- April 7 Illinois St Andrews Society of Chicago, Chicago.
- 2003 Sept. University of Simon Fraser, Burnaby, British Columbia. Centre for Scottish Studies Seminar Series. Paper presented, “Witches, Fairies and Kelpies: The Supernatural in Scottish History”.
- 1995-2018 Invited Lecturer in Cultural History, Folklore and Animal Studies aboard Expedition ships (Adventure Canada; Oceanwide; Quark, National Trust for Scotland) to Britain and Ireland, Spitsbergen, Norway, the Faroes, Iceland, Greenland and Canadian Arctic.