Dr. Alex Benchimol
Dr Alex Benchimol is founding co-Convener of the Scottish Romanticism Research Group. His current research explores the development of the national public sphere in Scotland over the long eighteenth century, including the emergence of a distinctive Scottish print culture and national press. His next monograph project, Printing Enlightenment: The National Press and Public Sphere in Eighteenth-Century Scotland, seeks to apply theoretical insights from the Scottish legal philosopher Neil MacCormick and the German critical theorist Jurgen Habermas to highlight issues of national identity and the institutional expression of cultural solidarity in the eighteenth-century Scottish public sphere.
Dr. Gerard Lee McKeever
Gerard Lee McKeever is founding co-Convener of the Scottish Romanticism Research Group. He is currently a postdoctoral Research Assistant on the AHRC-funded 'Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century' project at the University of Glasgow, having completed an AHRC-funded PhD at Glasgow, supervised by Dr. Alex Benchimol and Prof. Nigel Leask. His research is in the loosely defined field of Scottish Romanticism, though with a broader interdisciplinary interest in Scottish cultural studies over the ‘long eighteenth century’. Recent and forthcoming articles by Gerard appear in Studies in Romanticism, Studies in Scottish Literature, Scottish Literary Review and Studies in Hogg and his World. A collection of essays entitled Cultures of Improvement in Scottish Romanticism, 1707-1840, co-edited with Alex Benchimol, is forthcoming for Pickering & Chatto. Gerard is currently preparing a scholarly monograph on Scottish Romanticism and improvement, the Enlighenment's dominant intellectual doctrine of progress.
Prof. Nigel Leask
Nigel Leask was appointed to Glasgow's Regius Chair of English Language and Literature in 2004, and is currently Head of the School of Critical Studies. He was previously Reader in Romantic Literature in the English Faculty at Cambridge University. He has published widely in the area of Romantic literature and culture, with a special emphasis on empire, orientalism, and travel writing, as well as Scottish literature and thought 1750-1850. His most recent book, Robert Burns and Pastoral: Poetry and Improvement in Late-18th Century Scotland (Oxford University Press, 2010) won the Saltire Prize for the best Scottish Research Book of 2010. He is currently editing the Collected Prose Writings of Robert Burns for the AHRC-funded Oxford edition of the Collected Works of Robert Burns (general editor, Prof Gerard Carruthers). In addition to Glasgow and Cambridge, he has held teaching appointments at the University of Bologna, Italy, and UNAM, Mexico City, and has lectured widely in Europe, the Americas, and India. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a Centenary Fellow of the English Association.
Dr. Rhona Brown
Rhona Brown is a graduate of Strathclyde and Glasgow Universities. She joined Scottish Literature as a lecturer in 2006, where her teaching focuses on Scottish literature from the medieval period to the late eighteenth century. In 2007, she was made General Editor on Rodopi’s SCROLL series, and in 2008 became Reviews Editor for Scottish Literary Review. Her monograph, entitled Robert Fergusson and the Scottish Periodical Press, will be published in July 2012. She has also published work on James Currie, James Hogg, Thomas Chatterton, Laurence Sterne, James Tytler, Allan Ramsay and Robert Burns. Rhona’s current research interests include eighteenth-century newspapers, the Edinburgh periodical press and the work of James Beattie. She continues to research the work of Robert Fergusson and eighteenth-century poetry, and is currently editing two newly-discovered works by eighteenth-century Scots.
Dr. Kirsteen McCue
Kirsteen McCue is a graduate of the Universities of Glasgow and Oxford, having won the prestigious Herkless Prize for top woman graduate in the then Faculty of Arts at Glasgow and also the Snell Exhibition to Balliol College, Oxford. Her D.Phil thesis focussed on the song editor George Thomson (1757-1851) and his collections of National Airs. Kirsteen has been part of Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow since 2002, teaching across the subject from the Renaissance to the present day. Her research work continues to focus closely on Romantic song culture. She has been actively involved in the Glasgow University project, directed by Professor Emeritus Marjory Rycroft, to edit all of the folksong settings of Joseph Haydn for George Thomson’s collections. She is currently completing editions of James Hogg’s Songs by the Ettrick Shepherd (1831), and a companion volume of Hogg’s Contributions to Musical Collections and Miscellaneous Songs for the acclaimed Stirling/South Carolina Research Edition of The Collected Works of James Hogg for Edinburgh University Press. With Gerard Carruthers, she is now co-director of the University’s Centre for Robert Burns Studies, where she is on the key editorial team for the new Oxford University Press edition of the Collected Works of Robert Burns. She will edit Burns’s songs for Thomson.
Prof. Jeremy J. Smith
Professor Jeremy Smith has an interest in the 'textual afterlives' of medieval English, Scottish and Irish texts in the early modern, eighteenth-century and nineteenth-century periods, with a special focus on Scotland. Recent publications in this area include articles on the printing of Dunbar in the eighteenth century, and in press is an article on the printing-history of Barbour's Bruce and Hary's Wallace. Professor Smith was awarded an RSE grant to run a series of workshops on this topic, and with colleagues at Queen's Belfast and St Andrews, he is about to submit a funding-bid on the topic to AHRC.
Kang-yen Chiu is a PhD candidate, working under the supervision of Professor Murray Pittock and Dr. Alex Benchimol, in the School of Critical Studies at the University of Glasgow. He obtained his MA in Romantic and Sentimental Literature 1770-1830 at the University of York in 2004. He has previously published a review article on Scott’s shorter fiction in BARS Bulletin and Review (2009), a paper on Orientalism in Walter Scott’s crusade novel The Talisman (Founder to Shore: Cross-currents in Irish and Scottish Studies, 2010), and an article on the representations of ‘the subaltern’ in Scott’s novels (Bonds and Borders: Identity, Imagination and Transformation in Literature, 2011). There is a review article on Scott’s The Talisma and The Betrothed to be published by BARS Bulletin and Review in 2012. His doctoral research is a study of the Waverley Novels, from mainly postcolonial (Frantz Fanon) and post-structuralist (Jacques Derrida) perspectives, with particular focuses on issues concerning nation, empire, the subaltern and the discourses of hospitality.
Michael's thesis investigates the implications of relations between the Caribbean and Scotland on Scottish national narratives and Caribbean creolité via a ‘transnational’ perspective. He develops the suggestion that the Caribbean represents a forgotten lieu de mémoire where Scotland might fruitfully ‘displace’ itself. His thesis thus engages with the Caribbean in a ‘transnational’ Atlantic Studies context, intersecting with Creolisation, Memory Studies, and New British ‘Four Nations’ History. He tests the limits of national paradigms with particular focus on class relations between and within the two Atlantic sites. Writers examined include the ‘Scoto-British’ imperial vision of James Thomson, Tobias Smollet, James Grainger and Hector MacNeill. He examines the figures of Robert Burns, and lesser known writers in the context of the abolition movement. He considers the way that nineteenth-century ‘Mulatto-Scots’ Robert Wedderburn, William Davidson and Mary Seacole strategically employ their Scottish heritage. Finally, James Robertson’s historical novel Joseph Knight is considered as a lieu de mémoire through which layers of meaning concerning slave and free labour unfold.
Vivien Estelle Williams
Vivien is a PhD candidate working under the supervision of Prof. Murrary Pittock and Dr. David McGuiness. Her research focuses on the topic of the bagpipe as a cultural representation in relation to Scotland, in the period between the late seventeenth century and late Romanticism. The bagpipe is without doubt the instrument which characterises Scotland today; it has been so for centuries. She is interested in the instrument’s value as a cultural identifier. Her main starting points are the primary sources: she is analysing the role and symbolism of the bagpipe in British literature, satirical prints and works of art of various sorts. By so doing she contextualises the authors’ words, discourse, and artistic intentions, connecting them with historical and social events. The bagpipe is so culturally embedded in the Scottish national framework that it is impossible to extricate a given author’s point of view from the political and cultural climate of the time.