Staff profile

Professor Keith McLay


Provost - Learning and Teaching

Keith McLay

Subject

History

Department

Office of the Vice-Chancellor

Research centre

Identity, Culture and Representation Research Centre

ORCiD ID

0000-0002-7929-8465

Campus

Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

Email

k.mclay@derby.ac.uk

About

I am the Provost, Learning and Teaching, and thus the member of the University’s Executive Board with responsibility for the strategic and executive leadership of learning and teaching and the academic portfolio across the whole University.

Teaching responsibilities

As Provost, Learning and Teaching, I am principally involved along with other University Executive Board colleagues in the executive and strategic leadership of the University with my particular responsibility being that of learning and teaching. I maintain teaching commitments through PhD supervision and the good grace of History colleagues in the School of Humanities and JournalismCollege of Arts, Humanities & Education who allow me to contribute to the teaching on their modules relevant to my subject expertise as a historian of early modern military and navy.

Research interests

I am an early modern military and naval historian. I completed a MA in History and Politics at the University of Glasgow before heading south in 1997 to undertake an MSc in International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London. Having found twentieth-century history unremittingly grim, for my doctorate I decided to return to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and, indeed, the University of Glasgow where, under the aegis of the Scottish Centre for War Studies, I wrote a thesis on combined military and naval operations between 1688 and 1714. I have subsequently published on early modern warfare and on army and naval organisation and command. Very recently, I gave twentieth-century history another chance by publishing on the Edwardian navy.

Qualifications

MA (Hons), MSc, EMBA, PhD, FHEA

Recent publications

Reassessing the British Way in Warfare: Strategy and Tactics during the Reigns of William and Anne (London: Bloomsbury, 2024).

‘Swimming in the ‘Fishpond’ or solidarity with the ‘Beresfordian Syndicate’: An analysis of the inquiry by the Subcommittee of Imperial Defence into Naval policy, 1909’, International Journal of Naval History, 12 (2015).

2009-2012, Author and editor of ‘Chapter 3: The Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century before the Revolution’ in American Foreign Relations Since 1600: A Guide to the Literature, ed. Tom Zeiler and published online by EBSCO. Known as the SHAFR (Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations) Guide, biannual updates are published in April and October.

‘The Restoration and the Glorious Revolution, 1660-1702’ in Edward Spiers, Jeremy Crang, Matthew Strickland (eds), A Military History of Scotland (Edinburgh: EUP, 2012).

Contributing editor and author of the entries, ‘Gunpowder’, ‘Queen Anne’s War, 1702-13’, ‘Wars of the Polish Succession, 1733-35’, ‘Commodore Oliver Perry (1785-1819)’, ‘War of the League of Augsburg, 1688-97’, ‘Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736)’ and ‘Charles XII (1682-1718)’ for The Encyclopaedia of War, ed. Gordon Martel (Oxford: Blackwell, 2011).

‘The Blessed Trinity: The Army, The Navy and Providence in the Conduct of Warfare, 1688-1713’, in David Onnekink (ed.), War and Religion After Westphalia (1648-1713) (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009).

‘“A Mediterranean Amphibian”: British Warfare, 1693-1713’, Journal of Mediterranean Studies, 16 (2007).

‘Sir Francis Wheler’s Caribbean and North American Expedition, 1693: A Case Study in Combined Operational Command during the Reign of William III’, War in History, 14 (2007).

‘Wellsprings of a “World War”: A Early English Attempt to Conquer Canada during King William’s War, 1688-1697’, The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 34 (2006), pp. 155-75.

‘Combined Operations and the European Theatre During the Nine Years’ War, 1688-1697’, Historical Research, 78 (2005), pp. 506-39.

A fishing boat on water in Falmouth. Credit: Jonathan Taylor via Unsplash

Professor Keith McLay, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Education at the University of Derby, finds historic parallels in the on-going Brexit discussions relating to the sovereignty of the seas and the battle for fishing rights.

The Covid Talks logo

Professor Keith McLay, PVC Dean of the University of Derby's College of Arts, Humanities and Education examines how historians are continually enabling us to see into the future.

A collage of political leaders

Professor Keith McLay, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Education at the University of Derby, examines the data-intensive approach of political leaders to communication during the coronavirus outbreak, and compares it with the language of their predecessors in similar times.

Big Ben in London amongst a grey sky.

As Brexit arrives, Professor Keith McLay at the University of Derby, invites you to examine how the state of our relationship with Europe has been encapsulated by the words of British prime ministers at key moments in our nation's history.

Rows of red cinema/theatre seats

As the Arts Council England’s new 10-year strategy is announced, Professor Keith McLay, Pro Vice-Chancellor Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Education, discusses the plan and how it seeks to foster further cultural engagement to local communities.

Queen giving a speech

Professor Keith McLay gives his historical perspective on the State Opening of Parliament and plans to review the UK constitution.

Professor Keith McLay of the University of Derby examines how the unusual prospect of MPs sitting on a Saturday has occurred throughout the history of Parliament.

EU Flag

Professor Keith McLay, Pro Vice-Chancellor Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Education at the University of Derby, discusses how participants in the Brexit debate are choosing historical examples to support their judgements.

Professor Keith McLay examines the historical precedent that can be found in the Court of Session's decision to declare the prorogation of Parliament unlawful.

Thames with buildings and big ben

Professor Keith McLay, Pro Vice-Chancellor Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Education at the University of Derby, discusses what prorogation in Parliament means in relation to Brexit.

Houses of Parliament in London

Professor Keith McLay, Pro Vice-Chancellor Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities & Education, writes about Speaker Bercow's ruling on the Meaningful Vote.

Chairs with students graduating walking down

Professor Keith McLay, Pro Vice-Chancellor Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities & Education, discusses his recent trip to Athens to attend the graduation ceremonies of our Greek partner colleges.

Professor Keith McLay and Professor Judith Lamie with colleagues from the University of Derby and members of the British Council in Hong Kong

The University of Derby's Professor Keith McLay discusses his recent trip to Hong Kong and the British Council's SPARK Festival of Creativity.

People sitting in chairs

Professor Keith McLay, Pro Vice-Chancellor Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities & Education, reflects on his recent trip to Hong Kong's SPARK Festival of Creativity.

House of commons big ben

Professor Keith McLay, Pro Vice-Chancellor Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities & Education, writes about Brexit and the power of language.

Union jack hat

Professor Keith McLay, Pro Vice-Chancellor Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities & Education, shares his thoughts on the historical context of the Meaningful Vote on Brexit.

Poppies in a field

The University of Derby's Professor Keith McLay writes about Remembrance Day, leadership and the lessons from history.  

Professor Keith McLay shares his thoughts on an overseas trip with Professor Judith Lamie visiting partners old, new and prospective in China and Hong Kong.

Following an overseas visit to partners - old, new and prospective - in China and Hong Kong, Professor Keith McLay writes about shared values and the importance of education as a universal language.

Red rows of cinema seats

Professor Keith McLay, Pro Vice-Chancellor Dean of the College Arts, Humanities & Education at the University of Derby, reviews Noel Coward's Private Lives. 

British flag on a pole

Professor Keith McLay discusses the criticism surrounding the British Army's new recruitment campaign, which promotes the emotional support given to troops.