Who we are
Dr Pauline Mackay, Director
Pauline Mackay is the Lecturer in Robert Burns Studies at the University of Glasgow. She is the Director of the Centre for Robert Burns Studies, having previously served as Associate Director. Pauline is the Chair of Burns Scotland: the national Robert Burns Collection, recognised by Museums Galleries Scotland (formerly the DNBC). She is CI and Co-Editor on the major AHRC-funded project, 'Editing Robert Burns's Poetry and Correspondence' (PI: Professor Gerard Carruthers). In addition to her ongoing work as part of the 'Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century' project team, Pauline is currently writing a monograph about the bawdy song and verse of Robert Burns (1759 - 1796). Her research interests extend to Burns’s legacy and cultural commemoration, particularly through material culture, location and digital resources. In 2021 Pauline's success in the Edify ‘Win a Lab’ competition led to the creation of the first ever Robert Burns Virtual Reality (VR) experience, and 'Burns Beyond Reality' launched online to a worldwide audience. This environment has primarily been designed as a virtual classroom for the ‘Memorialising Scottish Literature and Culture’ course; an innovative Honours course with culture and heritage placement, convened and developed by Pauline along with Rhona Brown. She is a member of the University of Glasgow’s Extended Reality (XR) Strategy Board.
Associated Director: Dr Ronnie Young
See Ronnie Young's full profile page
Ronnie Young is a Lecturer in Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow, specialising in the literature of the Enlightenment period. Publications include the co-edited volume The Scottish Enlightenment and Literary Culture with Bucknell University Press (2016). Ronnie is currently co-editor of the correspondence of Robert Burns for the forthcoming editions of the poet’s letters with Oxford University Press as part of the AHRC-funded project ‘Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century: Poetry and Correspondence’ (PI Gerard Carruthers). Other Burns-related activities include the Burns Paper Database, an online research resource for analysing manuscripts in Burns’s hand, and the development of online and blended learning resources aimed at bringing recent scholarly work on Burns to a popular audience, including the Massive Open Online course ‘Robert Burns: Poems, Songs and Legacy’ for Futurelearn and the longer 10-week course ‘Robert Burns Online’.
Professor Gerard Carruthers, Founding Director and Past Co-Director
Gerard Carruthers is Francis Hutcheson Chair of Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow. He was the first Director and then Co-Director of the CRBS, which he founded in 2007. Gerry is the General Editor of the Oxford University Press Edition of the Works of Robert Burns and Principal Investigator for two major Arts and Humanities Research Council awards, ‘Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century’ (2011-16 & 2017-22), amounting to over £2 million in grant income. He was Principal Investigator for the Carnegie Trust major-grant funded project editing the letters of James Currie (see online resource with Kenneth Simpson and Pauline Mackay), serves as Convenor to the ‘Burns Scotland’ recognised collections partnership and is Honorary Advisor to the National Trust for Scotland on Burns. He is also Secretary and Board Member of Ellisland Farm and Museum Trust, Burns's first marital home, 1788-91, and Co-editor of the Burns Chronicle(published twice a year by Edinburgh University Press). Currently, he is part of the editing team for the four volumes of ‘Correspondence’ for OUP and he is editing ‘Poetry’ (2 vols) for this edition. He is also at work editing the Oxford Handbook of Robert Burns and writing a monograph, Robert Burns, Patronage, Fraternity and the People.
Professor Kirsteen McCue, Past Co-Director
Kirsteen McCue is Professor of Scottish literature and Song Culture at the University of Glasgow. She was made Associate Director of CRBS on its foundation in 2007 and then became it's co-Director until she stepped down in 2022. In 2011 she managed a Chancellor's fund project on 'Burns Choral Settings' with the University Chapel Choir. She has been Co-Investigator on the AHRC 'Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century: Prose and Songs' project, and is editor of volume 4: Robert Burns's Songs for George Thomson for the Oxford Works of Robert Burns which was published in Feburary 2021. She led on several of the accompanying digital outputs for this project, including 'Performing Burns's songs in his own day', and 'Burns and the Fiddle'. She also directed the first modern performance of Burns's cantata 'The Jolly Beggars' (1818) in Glasgow and at the British Library in London. During her time with CRBS she has published widely on Scottish song culture, has produced a number of book chapters and articles on Burns's songs and musical settings and responses to Burns's work. She was Principal Investigator of the RSE-funded 'Romantic National Song Network' between 2017-2019, which explored British songs around the time of Burns. And she is now leading the RSE-funded network the 'Bibliography of Scottish Literature in Translation (BOSLIT): Creating digital futures and networks' 2021-2023, which includes many appearances of Burns's work in numerous different languages. She holds honorary memberships of the Burns Club of London, and of the Burns Clubs of Greenock, Irvine, Mauchline and Allanton and was the first woman ever to attend and deliver the Immortal Memory at the Bachelor's Club in Tarbolton in 2014.
Dr Rhona Brown, Past Co-Director
Rhona Brown is a Senior Lecturer in Eighteenth-Century Scottish Literature and the Periodical Press at the University of Glasgow. She has published widely on eighteenth-century Scottish poets’ relationships with contemporary newspaper and magazine culture, and is author of Robert Fergusson and the Scottish Periodical Press (2012) and co-editor of Before Blackwood’s: Scottish Journalism in the Age of Enlightenment (2015). Rhona is a former Co-Director of the Centre for Robert Burns Studies from 2022 -2023, having previously served as Associate Director. She is a former Convener of the Research Sub-Group of Burns Scotland (2015-20), a national consortium of repositories with Burns-related holdings. She is Co-Investigator on two major eighteenth-century editing projects which are funded by the AHRC: ‘The Collected Works of Allan Ramsay’ (PI Murray Pittock), in which she is editing Ramsay’s Poems and co-editing his Letters and Prose, and ‘Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century: Poetry and Correspondence’ (PI Gerard Carruthers), where she is co-editing Burns’s Letters. Rhona sits on the Advisory Board for the new Burns Chronicle, published by Edinburgh University Press, and is co-editor of the academic journal Scottish Literary Review.
Principal Investigator: Professor Murray Pittock
Murray Pittock is Pro Vice-Principal and Bradley Professor at the University of Glasgow and a member of the Centre for Robert Burns Studies. He is Principal Investigator and General Editor of the Collected Works of Allan Ramsay (AHRC, 2018-23 (LINK)) and was PI on Robert Burns and the Scottish Economy (Economic Development Directorate, Scottish Government, 2018-20 and on Robert Burns Beyond Text (AHRC, 2010-11)) and the Global Burns Network (AHRC, 2007-09). He was also Co-Investigator on Phase 1 of Editing Robert Burns for the 21st century and edited Volumes II and III, The Scots Musical Museum. In 2002, he gave the Chatterton Lecture to the British Academy on Burns, and his other main publications on the poet include Robert Burns in Global Culture (2011) and The Reception of Robert Burns in Europe (2014). He has held visiting appointments at Yale, New York University, Notre Dame, Trinity College, Dublin, Charles University, Prague, South Carolina and other institutions, and has made around 2000 media appearances in 55 countries on culture, politics, history and society.
Research Associate (AHRC Project: 'Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century'): Dr Carol Baraniuk
Carol Baraniuk was Research Associate in Robert Burns Studies at the University of Glasgow, working on the project ‘Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century’ which was funded by the AHRC. She has published and presented widely on Scottish poetic traditions, with a particular focus on Burns’s influence on eighteenth and nineteenth-century poets in the north of Ireland who wrote in Scots. She completed her PhD at the University of Glasgow in 2009, and her thesis on Burns’s contemporary James Orr was published as James Orr, Poet and Irish Radical (2014). In this monograph and in many published essays Carol discusses Burns’s dynamic influence on the development of Scots vernacular poetry both within and outwith Scotland. Currently she is researching Burns’s correspondence for forthcoming volumes of the Oxford University Press edition, locating and transcribing many of the manuscripts of his letters and those of individuals who wrote to him. Carol is preparing a close study of Burns’s employment of Biblical quotations in his letters. She has published an essay on the poet’s biographers in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries for the Oxford Handbook to Robert Burns (edited by Gerard Carruthers).
Research Associate (AHRC Project: 'Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century'): Dr James J. Caudle
James J. Caudle was a Research Associate working on the Correspondence and the Poetry of Robert Burns. He joined the CRBS team in 2018. His prior two decades of specialist experience in textual editing for research editions has included five years training as a Junior Warnock Fellow at the Yale Editions of the Private Papers of James Boswell at Yale University. His work for the Burns project included new transcriptions from the original manuscripts, identification of recondite textual allusions made by the correspondents, and biographical research into vaguely-known persons and events mentioned in the letters of Burns and his friends. His initial editorial work for the Burns Correspondence has found some new sources for the texts, located hidden references and allusions, solved textual cruces, and puzzled out some nominal linkage (i.e. “Which John Smith is this?”) problems. He is currently researching Burns’s personal library, as well as books given to Burns, and books given away by Burns, in order to create a broad pattern of how Burns used books.
Research Associate (AHRC Project: 'Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century'): Dr Craig Lamont
Craig Lamont was a Research Associate working on the Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century project, specifically on the Correspondence and Poetry of Robert Burns. Craig has published on Burns’s print culture and bibliography, as well as the eighteenth century more generally. One of the Craig’s chief outputs, under the aegis of the project, was the free online Bibliography of Robert Burns for the 21st Century (2016; 2018). Craig’s day-to-day on the Burns project involved sourcing and transcribing manuscripts, tracking variants (or ‘collating’) in print editions of Burns, and organising other outputs such as video documentaries and social media. Craig was also part of another major eighteenth-century editing project funded by the AHRC: ‘The Collected Works of Allan Ramsay’ (PI Murray Pittock), where he worked with fellow Burns colleagues Rhona Brown and Jim Caudle. His monograph, The Cultural Memory of Georgian Glasgow was published by Edinburgh University Press in 2021. He is now Lecturer in Scottish Studies at the University of Glasgow.
Project Assistant (AHRC Project: 'Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century')/Admin Support: Dr Moira Hansen
Moira provided project and admin support within CRBS for staff and research associates, as well as co-ordinating the organisation of many events . Beyond these duties, she facilitated learning in our three-week MOOC 'Robert Burns: Poems, Songs and Legacy' (hosted on FutureLearn twice-yearly), convened the 'Robert Burns Online' course for distance learners, and taught at various undergraduate levels in Scottish and English Literature. Through the support of a Shaw Summer Scholarship, she catalogued the Jean Redpath Archive, held in CRBS. She has published on her work exploring Burns's health and its impact on his life and work (the work supported by a Lord Kelvin Adam Smith doctoral scholarship), as well as a range of other Burns-related outputs. She continues her interest in Burns's health, and in the wider field of medical practice in 18th century Scotland. She is also Reviews Editor of the Burns Chronicle (published by Edinburgh University Press).
Professor Patrick Scott
Professor Liam McIlvanney
Professor Martin Prochazka
Professor Fiona Stafford
Professor Sandro Jung
The late Professor G. Ross Roy, University of South Carolina
The late Professor Kenneth Simpson
The late Professor R.D.S. Jack