Dr Alison Wiggins
- Reader (English Language & Linguistics)
telephone: 0141 330 3918
- Editing and textual scholarship
- Digital humanities
- History of the English language
- Handwriting, scribal cultures and the interpretation of manuscript sources
- Middle English literature, Chaucer, medieval romance
- Gender history
- Tudor financial accounts
- Book history, copy-specific features, marginalia
- Historical pragmatics
I study writing in English produced in the period c.1300-1600. My research asks why were particular texts produced in this period, who read them, when, where and why, and how can we unlock their meanings today. My research draws on linguistic, literary and historical approaches (for example, from the fields of material culture, historical pragmatics and textual scholarship). I am also interested in the opportunities and implications of digital technologies for how we access, analyse, edit and interpret historical texts.
I currently hold an AHRC Leadership Fellowship for the project Archives and Writing Lives (2017-19, PI 100%), which examines the impact of digital scholarship on archival research. In particular, this project foucses upon 16th-century handwritten letters and household financial accounts and considers the cultural implications and gendering of digital encoding.
I completed a monograph in 2016, Bess of Hardwick's Letters: Language, Materiality and Early Modern Epistolary Culture for the series Material Readings in Early Modern Culture (Routledge). The monograph was one of the outputs of the AHRC Letters of Bess of Hardwick Project, which I directed (2008-12, PI 100%). Other outputs from this project included an interactive online resource with images and annotated transcripts of c.250 letters www.bessofhardwick.org (243k page views during 2013-17; data shared with and a landing page created within Women's Early Modern Letters Online; assignment to the OED Historical Reading Programme) and an exhibition at National Trust property Hardwick Hall and The National Archives.
Another strand of my research focuses upon Middle English literature, its meanings and appropriations over time. I have published on Middle English romance, medieval literary manuscripts and the afterlives of Chaucer's works. In 2005 I held a Folger Shakespeare Library Fellowship for the project 'What did Renaissance Readers write in their printed copies of Chaucer?' In 2012 I co-authored a book on medieval romance and its cultural, material and manuscript contexts (with Dr Nicholas Perkins) to accompany the Bodleian Library Romance of the Middle Ages exhibition.
I convene the University of Glasgow's Medieval and Early Modern Network (MEMNET) and I am a member of the University's Digital Humanities Network and Centre for Gender History. I co-convene (with Dr Bryony Randall) Cultural Encounters with The Chamber Project. I am an advisory board member for Studies in Variation Contacts and Change in English (University of Helsinki) and the AHRC Manuscript Pamphleteering in Early Student England Project (Universities of Birmingham and Bristol). Since 2015 I have reviewed for journals that include The Library, Archives, New Medieval Literatures, The Journal of the Early Book Society and The Yearbook of Langland Studies. Since 2017, I have served as a member of the AHRC Peer Review College.
I joined the English Language & Linguistics Subject Area at the University of Glasgow in 2006. I was previously (2002-6) Research Officer and web manager at the AHRC Centre for Editing Lives and Letters (CELL) at Queen Mary, University of London (now located at UCL), where I contributed to a range of digital archival projects that included the The Letters of William Herle (with Dr Robyn Adams). Prior to my appointment at CELL, I was employed at the University of Sheffield as Research Associate for The Auchinleck Manuscript, one the National Library of Scotland's Digital Resources (2003; data shared with JISC/HRI for Manuscripts Online, 2013). I am a graduate of the University of Kent (BA English Literature, 1st Class; MA Medieval and Tudor Studies, distinction) and the University of Sheffield (PhD, funded by a three-year full University Scholarship).
2017-19: AHRC Archives and Writing Lives Principal Investigator: Alison Wiggins (100%). Institution: University of Glasgow, College of Arts, English Language & Linguistics. Funder: AHRC, Leadership Fellowship. Project Reference: AH/P009735/1. Funded value: £125,923 (£155,719 total). Plus contributions in kind from The Folger Shakespeare Library and The Bodleian Library.
2008-12: AHRC Letters of Bess of Hardwick Project. Full title: A Corpus of Renaissance Correspondence: The Letters of Elizabeth Talbot, c.1527-1608, known as 'Bess of Hardwick'. Principal Investigator: Alison Wiggins (100%). Institution: University of Glasgow, College of Arts, Department of English Language. Funder: AHRC, Research Grant. Project Reference: AH/F017308/1. Funded value: £260,472 (£331,825 total). Plus funding awards and contributions in kind from The National Trust, The National Archives, The Folger Shakespeare Library and The Bodleian Library.
2009: Folger Shakespeare Library Grant-In-Aid, Teaching Palaeography Workshop, $1k
2005: Folger Shakespeare Library Short-Term Research Fellowship, $2k
I would be pleased to discuss supervising research degrees within my research areas, which are listed above under 'Research Interests'.
Current PhD students:
James Kearney, 'Towards and Edition of the Letters of James VI' (first supervisor; second supervisor: Dr Steven Reid)
Emma Osborne, University of Glasgow scholarship, 'Women and the Auchinleck Manuscript' (second supervisor; first supervisor: Prof. Beth Robertson)
Karolina Oliikainan, 'Authority in Early Modern Medical Writing, A Corpus-based Analysis' (second supervisor; first supervisor: Prof. Marc Alexander), ongoing
Gilliam Weir, 'The Letters of Lady Katherine Paston, d. 1627' (second supervisor; first supervisor: Prof. Jeremy Smith)
Former PhD students (primary supervisor):
Jade Scott, AHRC, 'The Letters of Lady Anne Percy, 1538-96' (first supervisor; second supervisor: Prof. Alex Shepard). Completed: 2017.
Felicity Maxwell, SSHRC, 'Household Words: Textualising Social Relations in the Correspondence of Bess of Hardwick's Servants, c.1550-1590' (first supervisor; second supervisor: Dr Rob Maslen). Completed: 2014.
Imogen Marcus, AHRC, 'An Investigation into the Language and Letters of Bess of Hardwick (c.1527-1608)' (first supervisor; second supervisor: Prof. Jeremy Smith). Completed: 2012.
Graham Williams, University of Glasgow Scholarship, 'Pragmatic Readings of the Letters of Joan and Maria Thynne, 1575-1611' (first supervisor; second supervisor: Prof. Jeremy Smith). Completed: 2009.
At Honours level (third/fourth year undergraduate), I convene the courses Editing Historical English Texts (ENGLANG4036), Reading the Past: From Script to Print (with Dr Katie Lowe, ENGLANG4051) and Middle English Literature 1 (with Prof. Beth Robertson, ENGLANG4041). I teach on these courses and I have also previously contributed to teaching on History of English (ENGLANG4037), Middle English Literature 2 (ENGLANG4042) and Digital Humanities for Language and Literature (School-wide, ENGLANG4007).
At pre-Honours level (first/second year undergraduate), I have previously convened Level 1 and Level 2 English Language (ENGLANG1001, ENGLANG1002, ENGLANG1003, ENGLANG2004, ENGLANG2005). I also teach on these courses and have delivered the lecture blocks on Middle English and Early Modern English.
At post-graduate level I convene the course Early Modern Manuscripts for Research (College-wide, ENGLANG5040) and I have previously delivered modules on Palaeography 1300-1500 and Renaissance Reading.
I provide dissertation supervisor for Honours and Level 5. I welcome applications for research degrees to supervise within my research areas, which are listed above under 'Research Interests'.