Professor Gerard Carruthers

  • Francis Hutcheson Chair of Scottish Literature (Scottish Literature)

telephone: 01413304286

Research interests

Research interests

  • Scottish Literature from the 1690s to the 2oth century
  • History of Scottish Studies/Scottish Criticism
  • 18thC Scottish Literature
  • Literature, Politics & the Periodical Press in the 1790s
  • Links between American, Irish and Scottish Literatures
  • Scotland & Romanticism
  • Robert Burns
  • Alexander Geddes
  • Walter Scott
  • James Bridie
  • Muriel Spark
  • Textual Editing
  • Co-Director of the Centre for Robert Burns Studies
  • Convener of the Burns Scotland Partnership (the National Burns Collection)  
  • University of Glasgow representative on the Abbotsford Library Joint Advisory Committee
  • Treasurer, Universities Committee for Scottish Literature
  • Principal Investigator, ‘Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century’ [major AHRC-funded project]
  • General Editor of the new multi-volume edition of the Works of Robert Burns (Oxford University Press)
  • Editor, Scottish Literary Review (peer reviewed periodical of the Association for Scottish Literary Studies)
  • Member of the editorial board, The Drouth
  • Member of the editorial board, Studies in Scottish Literature
  • Member of the editorial board, Eighteenth-Century Poetry
  • Member of the editorial board, The John Clare Journal
  • Member of the editorial advisory board, of The Newman
  • Member of the editorial board, Romantic Textualities
  • International editorial board member, International Review of Scottish Studies
  • European Committee member, 18Connect (18th century literature digitization project)
  • Member advisory board, Edinburgh Edition of Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Member advisory board, Edinburgh Edition of the Poetry of Walter Scott

Current Research Projects

General Editor, The Oxford Edition of the Works of Robert Burns.

Robert Burns, Patronage and the People. Monograph in progress.

'Literature & Union' [with Professor Colin Kidd, University of St Andrews] Carnegie-funded project featuring workshops, 2013-15, other events and a collection of essays to be published by Oxford University Press in 2017.

'The People's Voice: Scottish Political Poetry, Song and the Franchise, 1832-1918'. [Co-I] with Dr Catriona Macdonald, History [PI] and Prof Kirstie Blair, Stirling [Co-I]: a series of workshops, forthcoming web resources, other publications & symposia from 2014, part-funded by the Chancellor's Fund & a major Carnegie Trust grant.

I am also working on an assortment of essays on Allan Ramsay, editing Robert Burns, Alexander Wilson, Nineteenth-century Scottish fiction, Muriel Spark & Robin Jenkins.



Gerard Carruthers was lecturer in the Department of English Studies, University of Strathclyde (1995- 2000), where he taught American, English and Scottish literatures. Previously he was Research Fellow at the Centre for Walter Scott Studies, University of Aberdeen (1993-5). Gerard Carruthers is a graduate of the universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde and of St Andrew's College of Education, Glasgow. His PhD thesis was on 'The Invention of Scottish Literature During the Long Eighteenth Century'.



Gerard Carruthers is currently supervising PhD dissertations on Walter Scott, Thomas Carlyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Muriel Spark.

He has successfully supervised PhD dissertations on: Scottish Enlightenment Rhetoric, Robert Fergusson, Robert Burns (2), James Orr, Samuel Thomson, Robert Tannahill, Seamus Heaney, Alasdair Gray and on the Modern Scottish Republic of Letters; MLitt dissertations on the language of sentiment and on Scottish Literature and Medicine; MPhil theses on Robert Burns, Blackwood's Magazine & Gothic Fiction, Muriel Spark, 'Bunkermen & Lasses o' Pairts: Contemporary Scottish Fiction' and 'Utopian and Dystopian Landscapes in Twentieth-Century Scottish Literature'.

Additional information

Gerard Carruthers was external examiner for the Postgraduate taught courses in English Literature (2011-12) and the MA course in English Studies, University of Aberdeen (2007-11) and the BA course in Cultural Studies at the University of the Highlands and Islands (2001-6). During the summer of 2002 he was W. Ormiston Roy Memorial Visiting Research Fellow at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, USA. During 2011 he was Visiting Professor in English Studies at the University of Wyoming and in 2012 Visiting Honorary Fellow at All Souls College, University of Oxford. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

He is currently Principal Investigator on the AHRC-funded five year research project, 'Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century', which underpins the first phase of the new Oxford University Press edition of the Works of Robert Burns, for which he is General Editor. Previously, he was Principal Investigator of a Carnegie Trust major grant-funded project which produced an online edition of the letters of James Currie, Robert Burns’s first editor. He is Convenor of the 'Burns Scotland' partnership (the National Burns Collection), a member of the Abbotsford Library Joint Advisory Committee and he played a major part in re-establishing the Universities’ Committee for the Teaching of Scottish Literature in 2008 (for which he is currently Treasurer). He also currently serves on the council of the Scottish Catholic Historical Association.

He is a frequent contributor to the media, serves on the editorial boards of six journals and frequently peer reviews work for learned journals, publishers and grant awarding bodies.

University roles

  • Member of College of Arts Appeals Panel
  • Member of Senate Student Conduct Panel
  • GU representative, Scottish Graduate School for the Arts & Humanities (Panel D)