Grace Borland Sinclair


Research title: Feminist Fabulations

Research Summary

Feminist Fabulations: The Speculative Fiction of Scottish Women Writers 1860-1980

My PhD seeks to chart a history of Scottish feminist speculative fiction, including Science Fiction and Fantasy (SFF), through the work of numerous writers including: Isabella Fyvie Mayo (1843-1914), Lady Florence Dixie (1855-1905), Naomi Mitchison (1897-1999), Mea Allan (1909-1982) and Margot Bennett (1912-1980).

Each writer exemplifies a unique connection between a distinct feminist imaginary and a juncture in activist history. The speculative imagination is therefore investigated as an outgrowth of lived experience and an element of activist praxis. The urgency of the project lies in the critical restoration of literary and activist histories, with the aim of expanding feminist SFF discourse and highlighting its importance within the field of Scottish literary studies.


"Introduction", in Naomi Mitchison, Not By Bread Alone (Glasgow: Kennedy & Boyd, 2022)

"Fantastic Feminist Praxis: Consciousness-Raising in the Speculative Fiction of Lady Florence Dixie." Scottish Literary Review, vol. 14 no. 1, 2022, p. 65-84. Project MUSE

Fractal fictions and feminist futures: the speculative fiction of Lady Florence Dixie and Naomi Mitchison. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.


  • Research Training Support Grant (RTSG). Support for conference presentation in Helsinki, Finland. £634. April 2022. 
  • Centre for Scottish and Celtic Studies, Seedcorn Funding. Support for archival visit and conference attendance, Jan-April 2022. 
  • SGSAH AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership Scholarship. £20,109 per year (including Maintenance and Tuition Fees), October 2021.
  • The Colonel Walter Scott Prize Scholarship. £3,500, September 2020.
  • Recipient of the Ewing Prize in Scottish Literature, 2020.


  • Sustainability at Glasgow School of Art: Monday Sessions. Artist talk series hosted by Glasgow School of Art and sponsored by the Sustainability Depratment, 21st November 2022. Vartiation of 'The Distaff Dialogues' in collaboration with artist Christine Borland, originally performed at 'Flax Turns Foundation Cloth' event, Deveron Projects.
  • Autotheory: Thinking through Self, Body and Practice. Hosted by the University of Glasgow, October 2022. Experimental presentation titled, 'The Distaff Dialogues' in collaboration with artist Christine Borland. Continuation of previous collaboration at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, The Flax Sower's Guide.
  • Flax Turns Foundation Cloth. Hosted by Deveron Projects, Huntly, 24th September 2022. Collaboration with artist Christine Borland. The distaff is a piece of equipment used by spinners to secure their fibres; it also refers to the mother’s line of familial descent. In their dialogue, Christine describes her experiences of the ancient practise of growing, spinning and weaving flax to linen which was once commonplace in Huntly. Grace embodies an alienated voice from a far future seeking to rekindle a connection with growers and makers from a distant past. She is accompanied by a digital avatar who captures and transforms the movements of growing, spinning and weaving flax.
  • Finncon 2022 Academic Track. Hosted by Aalto University, Espoo, Finland. Convention theme: "Hope and Resilience", July 2022. Paper titled, 'Grafting Symbiosis: Alien Mothering and Feminist Science'.
  • Once and Future Fantasties. Hosted by the University of Glasgow and supported by the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic and the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts, July 2022. Paper titled, 'Motherhood as Radicalising Force: A Transgression of Social and Technological Boundaries'.
  • ScotLit50 Postgraduate Research Symposium. A symposium of research from the University of Glasgow's Scottish Literature Postgraduates, celebrating the department's 50th anniversary, April 2022. Paper titled, '"A mutual giving and assisting and respecting": Interconnectivity and Difference in Naomi Mitchison’s Not By Bread Alone'.
  • 'Unforgettable, Unforgotten?': Continuing the Recovery of Scottish Women Writers, c.1880-1940. Online Conference, hosted by the Scottish Network for Religion and Literature, June 2021. Paper titled, 'Writing Resistance: Lady Florence Dixie’s Gloriana or The Revolution of 1900'.

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