Kevin Gallagher

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Research Summary

My doctoral research focuses on the nineteenth-century editing of Robert Burns.  My work involves tracing the evolution of a selection of Burns’s songs and poems throughout the nineteenth century, analysing the editorial work which is carried out on them and discussing the impact this has on his textual legacy and popular reputation.  This research covers aspects of book history, textual editing and bibliographical studies, as well as surveying Scottish literary and cultural history.

Beginning with the James Currie edition of 1800, I also consider the editorial work of Alan Cunningham (1834), James Hogg and William Motherwell (1834), Robert Chambers (1851), Hately Waddell (1867), William Scott Douglas (1877), William Wallace (1896), and William Henley and Thomas Henderson (1896).  The poems and songs chosen allow me to specifically engage with each editor’s approach to an integral theme, these being: ‘Religion’, ‘Politics’ and ‘Sex’.  How an editor deals with Burns’s works which speak directly to these themes, and how they attempt to present these works to their readership, is what is of central interest for this work.


Grants & Awards

  • College of Arts Excellence Postgraduate Scholarship (University of Glasgow); 2017-2020; £14,500 (plus fees); Scholarship awarded to undertake my doctoral research full-time.
  • Shaw Scholarship (Centre for Robert Burns Studies); 2016-17; £5,000; Scholarship awarded to assist me with my fees and maintenance to undertake my MPhil degree.
  • The Cross Trust Vacation Scholarship; 2016; £1000; This grant was awarded to allow me to produce an online edition of James Watson’s Choice Collection of Comic and Serious Scots Poems, (three volumes).  This was made available at
  • Carnegie Undergraduate Vacation Scholarship; 2015; £1050; I was awarded this grant to transcribe the complete sixteen editions of Mercurius Caledonius, Scotland’s first ever newspaper (1660-1661).  This was then made publicly available at
  • MPhil in Scottish Literature
  • First-Class Honours Degree in Scottish Literature


  • Scottish Literature Level 2

Additional Information


  • Editorial Assistant – The Oxford Handbook of Robert Burns
  • Secretary – Burns Scotland (Research Sub-group)
  • Lead Editor – The Kelvingrove Review (2017)
  • Editorial Board – eSharp (2017)