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History Department

Matthew P. Dziennik


Associate Professor
British and British Imperial History


  • Ph.D., University of Edinburgh
  • M.Sc., University of Edinburgh

Courses taught

  • HH216 The West in the Modern World
  • HH306 Race and Warfare in the British Empire
  • HH330 The British Empire and its Peoples
  • HH332 War & Society in Eighteenth-Century Britain
  • HH386 The War of 1812 / Schoolhouse at Sea
  • HH377 Soccer & Society in World History


Matthew Dziennik is an historian of the British Empire with a special interest in military recruitment in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. His work typically explores the dynamics of British recruitment among Indigenous peoples and the role of Indigenous peoples in shaping the military priorities of the empire. Educated at the University of Edinburgh, he came to the United States Naval Academy in 2016 after postdoctoral fellowships at the New School University and the University of Saskatchewan. 

Current Project

Colonial Soldiers and the British Empire in the Age of Revolutions


The Fatal Land: War, Empire, and the Highland Soldier in British America (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015) [awarded Highly Commended First Book by Centre for Scottish Studies at the University of Guelph].


"Armailt laidir de mhilisidh: Hanoverian Gaels and the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745," Scottish Historical Review 100 (2021): 171-98.

"Under ye Lash of ye Law: The State and the Law in the Post-Culloden Scottish Highlands," Journal of British Studies 60 (2021): 511-39.

"New York's Refugees and Political Authority in Revolutionary America," The William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Ser., 77 (2020): 65-96.

(with Lissa Bollettino and Simon Newman) "'All Spirited Likely Young Lads': Free Men of Colour, the Defence of Jamaica, and Subjecthood during the American War for Independence," Slavery & Abolition 41 (2020): 187-211.

(with Michael Newton) "Egypt, Empire, and the Gaelic Literary Imagination," International Review of Scottish Studies 43 (2018): 1-40.

"The Miskitu, Military Labour, and the San Juan Expedition of 1780," The Historical Journal 61 (2018): 155-79.

“These Experiments be Made: Senegambia and British Imperial Policy in the Eighteenth Century,” English Historical Review 130 (Oct. 2015): 1132-61.

“Whig Tartan: Material Culture and its use in the Scottish Highlands, 1746-1815,” Past & Present 217 (2012): 117-47.

“Hierarchy, Authority, and Jurisdiction in the mid Eighteenth-Century Recruitment of the Highland Regiments,” Historical Research 85 (2012), 89-104.

“Through an Imperial Prism: Land, Liberty, and Highland Loyalism in the War of American Independence,” Journal of British Studies 50 (2011), 332-58.

Chapters and Encyclopedic Entries

"Manpower" in The Oxford Handbook of the Seven Years War, eds. Trevor Burnard, Emma Hart, and Marie Houllemare (Oxford: Oxford University Press), forthcoming.

"The Scottish Highlands and Warfare in the Atlantic World" in The Scottish Highlands and the Atlantic World, eds. S. Karly Kehoe, Chris Dalglish, and Annie Tindley (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2023), 110-135.

"Peasants, Soldiers, and Revolutionaries: Interpreting Irish Manpower in the Age of Revolutions" in Ireland and America: Empire, Revolution, and Sovereignty, eds. Frank Cogliano and Patrick Griffin (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2021), 105-25. 

"Soldiers, Politics, and the American Revolution in Scotland and Ireland" in Beyond 1776: Globalizing the Cultures of the American Revolution, eds. Maria O'Malley and Denys van Renen (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2019).

"The Fiscal-Military State and Labour in the British Atlantic World" in Fiscal Military States, eds. Aaron Graham and Patrick Walsh (London: Routledge, 2016), 159-78.

"Soldiers," Oxford Bibliographies Online (Atlantic History), ed. Trevor Burnard (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015).

"Liberty, Property, and the Post-Culloden Act of Parliament in the Gaidhealtachd" in Liberty, Property and Popular Politics: England and Scotland, 1688-1815, eds. Gordon Pentland and Michael T. Davis (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015), 58-72.

"Imperial Conflict and the Contractual Basis of Military Society in the Highland Regiments" in Soldiering in Britain and Ireland, 1750-1850: Men at Arms, eds. Catriona Kennedy and Matthew McCormack (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 17-36.

"The British Army," Oxford Bibliographies Online (Atlantic History), ed. Trevor Burnard (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012).

"The Declaration of Independence and the Celebrations in New York City" in Reporting the American Revolution, ed. Todd Andrlik (Chicago: Sourcebooks, 2012), 194-201.

"Cutting Heads from Shoulders: The Conquest of Canada in Gaelic Thought, 1759-1791" in 1759 Revisited: The Conquest of Canada, eds. Phillip K. Buckner and John Reid (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011), 241-66.

Fellowships, Grants and Awards

Centre for Slavery & Dependency Studies, University of Bonn, June-July 2023.

Fort Ticonderoga Fellowship, March 2022.

Jack Miller Center Fellowship, Newberry Library, August 2016.

Mayers Fellowship, Huntington Library, June-July 2016.

Kent Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Saskatchewan, August 2014-December 2015.

Early Career Fellowship, University of Edinburgh, January 2013-August 2014.

Earhart Fellowship, William Clements Library, University of Michigan, August-December 2012.

Robert M. & Annetta J. Coffelt Jr. Fellowship, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, June-July 2012.

Schwartz Postdoctoral Fellowship, New-York Historical Society and the New School University, August 2011-August 2012.

David Library of the American Revolution Fellowship, August 2011.

Summer Seminar Teaching Fellowship, United States Military Academy, West Point, June 2010.

Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies Short-term Fellowship, Monticello, May 2010.

John W. Kluge Center Fellowship, Library of Congress, April-August 2009.

Jeremiah Dalzell Prize for British History, January 2009.

Canadian High Commission Travel Award, June to August 2008.

Jim Compton Prize for American History, October 2007.

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