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.


  • 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.


  • 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'.

Additional Information

  • Conference Organising Committee Member for Scotlit50 Postgraduate Research Symposium, May 2021-February 2022.
  • Co-editor of From Glasgow to Saturn Literary Journal, 2020-21.
  • Secretary and Newsletter Editor of the Scottish Literature Society, 2019-2020.
  • Archive and Research Intern at the Centre for Robert Burns Studies, 2018-2020.