Professor Kirsteen McCue
- Professor of Scottish Literature and Song Culture (Scottish Literature)
- 18th & Early 19th Century Scottish Literature
- Scottish Literature and its connections with Scottish music
- Scottish song of all periods
- Robert Burns
- James Hogg
- Women writers in 18th and 19th centuries and beyond
- Lyrical poetry in the 20th Century Scottish Renaissance
- Scottish Children’s writers and illustrator
- Textual editing
- British Romantic Song Culture
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 the Snell Exhibition to Balliol College, Oxford in 1989. Her D.Phil thesis focussed on the song editor George Thomson (1757-1851) and his collections of National Airs, a project which involved his collaborating with some of the most famous writers and musicians of the day, notably Robert Burns and Joseph Haydn. In 1993 she spent a post-doctoral year working closely with the great Burns scholar the late Professor Donald A. Low at the Centre for Scottish Literature and Culture at the University of Stirling.
In 1994 she was appointed General Manager of the Scottish Music Information Centre, a unique archive of music by Scottish composers of all periods, and an organisation at the forefront of international promotion of Scottish music (now Scottish Music Centre. She worked for several years as a freelance writer and broadcaster for the BBC in Scotland, presenting and producing a wide variety of music programmes for both BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio Scotland. During this time she worked regularly for the Edinburgh International Festival, writing and presenting a number of lecture series for their continuing education programme.
Kirsteen joined Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow in 2002. She teaches across the subject from the 16th century to the present day. Her research work continues to focus closely on Romantic song culture (see ‘Grants’).
With Professor Gerard Carruthers, Kirsteen is co-director of the University’s Centre for Robert Burns Studies. She is a member of the key editorial team for the new Oxford University Press edition of the Works of Robert Burns. She has completed the first major edition of Burns’s songs for Thomson, due to appear in early 2021. In 2014 she was the first woman ever to attend and speak at the Tarbolton Bachelor’s Club Burns Supper.
Prior to her close involvement with the AHRC-funded ‘Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century’ project, Kirsteen was a Co-Investigator on the AHRC funded James Hogg Songs project with the late Professor Emeritus Douglas Mack of the University of Stirling. She edited Hogg’s Songs by the Ettrick Shepherd and an accompanying 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 published by Edinburgh University Press in 2014.
In 2016 Kirsteen co-edited Anne Grant’s Letters from the Mountains (1807) and Elizabeth Isabella Spence’s Letters from the North Highlands (1816) with her colleague Dr Pam Perkins of the University of Manitoba as the four-volume Women’s Travel Writings in Scotland for Taylor and Francis. She is currently working on a new edition, for Birlinn, of George Mackay Brown’s An Orkney Tapestry (1969) with her colleague Dr Linden Bicket at the University of Edinburgh, which will appear as part of Brown’s centenary in Spring 2021.
From 2017-19 she led a two-year Royal Society of Edinburgh funded network, the Romantic National Song Network, which brought together historians, musicologists, literary scholars and collections specialists to examine National song production in the British Isles from 1750-1850. And from March 2021 she will lead a new RSE-funded network to explore the digital futures of the Bibliography of Scottish Literature in Translation (BOSLIT).
Outside the University of Glasgow Kirsteen serves on the advisory board of the BOSLIT and on the advisory board for the new Edinburgh Edition of the Poetry of Walter Scott. She serves on the Board of Directors of the award-winning Dunedin Consort and in 2019 she was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the National Piping Centre. Since 2017 she has been Chair of the Universities Committee for Scottish Literature.
- Collaborator on Folksong settings of Joseph Haydn for George Thomson directed by Professor Emeritus Marjorie Rycroft. Professor Rycroft edited all of the folksong settings of Joseph Haydn for George Thomson’s collections (published as part of the Haydn Gesamtausgabe in 2001 and 2004) and these were recorded for general release on the Brilliant label see: http://www.brilliantclassics.com).
- Co-Investigator on The James Hogg Songs project, with P-I the late Professor Emeritus Douglas Mack at the University of Stirling on a major research grant of just over £150,000 from the AHRC (2005-2008): see (https://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/critical/research/fundedresearchprojects/hogg/ and also on https://www.jameshogg.stir.ac.uk/projects/the-songs-of-james-hogg/ ).
- Principal Investigator on George Mackay Brown: A Literary Executor’s Archive funded by a British Academy small grant (£7500) in 2011-12 for a project on the materials belonging to the Literary Executor of the major 20th century Scottish writer George Mackay Brown. This project RA was Dr Linden Bicket: https://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/critical/research/fundedresearchprojects/georgemackaybrownproject/
- Prinicipal Investigator on Choral settings of Robert Burns: Schumann to MacMillan, with the Glasgow University Chapel Choir funded by the Chancellor’s Fund in 2013: see https://www.burnschoral.glasgow.ac.uk/
- Co-Investigator on AHRC funded Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century. This project, directed by Prof Carruthers, was awarded a major research grant of £1 million from 2011-2016. Responsible for working on the new edition of Burns’s songs for Thomson’s national song collections. Closely involved in the production of several key online resources on the project website, related to performances of music and song linked to Burns, including directing a period performance project with young performers, and directing the first ever recorded performance of the 1818 musical setting of Burns’s cantata The Jolly Beggars by the London theatre composer Henry Bishop: see https://burnsc21.glasgow.ac.uk/
- Principal Investigator on The Romantic National Song Network, bringing together historians, musicologists, literary scholars and collections specialists to examine National song production in the British Isles from 1750-1850. This network is supported by the Royal Society of Edinburgh and is running from spring 2017 to spring 2019: see https://rnsn.glasgow.ac.uk/
- Principal Investigator on 200 years of The Jolly Beggars funded by the Chancellor’s Fund 2018to host a public lecture and performance of Burns’s cantata at the British Library in collaboration with the Burns Club of London’s 150th anniversary celebrations in October 2018: https://www.bl.uk/events/robert-burns-the-jolly-beggars
Kirsteen currently supervises (or co-supervises) MPhil and PhD theses on Robert Burns and John Steinbeck (Shaw Masters Scholar John Mackenzie), on James Hogg and his Victorian Reception (College of Arts PhD scholar and Hunterian Associate Hannah Pyle) and on the writings of Willa Muir (Emily Pickard). She is also co-supervisor on one of the recent AHRC-funded Creative Industries PhDs, focussing on artists residences (Morag Iles).
She has previously supervised a wide range of postgraduate projects on Twentieth Century Scottish Poetry in Translation, on Robert Burns and American Romanticism, on the archive of Scottish children’s writer Jane Duncan, on the early journalism of George Mackay Brown, on the poetry of Edwin Muir, on Robert Burns and Modernism, on James Hogg and the Brontës, on Scottish Victorian Literature for Children, on George Mackay Brown as Catholic writer, on James Hogg and Robert McNish and physician writers in Romantic period Scotland and on Creative Writing.
Kirsteen teaches on Levels 1 and 2 Scottish Literature, covering topics including Poetry and Place, Twentieth Century Drama, James Hogg, 19th century Short stories, Song and Ballad and the 16th century play Ane Satyre of the Thrie Estaites
In Honours she teaches on the following courses:
Modern Scottish Poetry
- Co-Director of the Centre for Robert Burns Studies
- Senate Assessor on the University of Glasgow Court (from 2017): as Senate Assessor she serves on the University’s Court and also on its HR committee, Student Finance Committee and on the Organisational Change Governance Group.
- College of Arts International Lead (2014)
- Head of Scottish Literature, School of Critical Studies (2011-14)
- PG Convener, School of Critical Studies (2010-11)
- Chair of the Universities Committee for Scottish Literature (UCSL) (from 2017)
- Member of the Advisory Board for the Bibliography of Scottish Literature in Translation (BOSLIT: https://www.nls.uk/catalogues/boslit)
- Director of the Dunedin Concerts Trust - supporting Scotland's premiere Baroque ensemble (https://www.dunedin-consort.org.uk/)
- External Examiner in English and Scottish Literature: University of Edinburgh (2012-2015)
- External Examiner for the MLitt in Modern Scottish Literature: University of Stirling (2013-2016)
- Ormiston Roy Visiting Fellow to the University of South Carolina in 2006.