Dr Pauline Mackay
- Senior Lecturer (Scottish Literature)
Pauline Mackay is the Lecturer in Robert Burns Studies, and Associate Director of the Centre for Robert Burns Studies. She is based in the Scottish Literature subject area. Pauline is the Chair of Burns Scotland: the national Robert Burns Collection, recognised by Museums Galleries Scotland (formerly the DNBC). She was a member of the steering group that organised the first World Congress of Scottish Literatures (held at the University of Glasgow in 2014), and helped to establish the International Association for the Study of Scottish Literatures (IASSL) for which she is Treasurer.
Pauline is CI and Co-Editor on the major AHRC-funded project, 'Editing Robert Burns's Poetry and Correspondence' (PI: 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). Beyond this, she has led two research projects which consider Scottish bawdry more generally: 'Eighteenth-Century Scottish Bawdry and Erotica' (funded by the Carnegie trust for the Universities of Scotland), and 'Bawdry in Scottish Chapbooks' (funded by the University of Glasgow Chancellor's Fund). Pauline has published widely in Burns studies - her most recent book publication is Burns for Every Day of the Year (Edinburgh: Black & White Publishing, 2021). She has carried out research at several major Burns collections in the UK and abroad, and in 2010 she was the recipient of the W. Ormiston Roy Memorial Fellowship for Research in the area of Robert Burns and Scottish Poetry at the University of South Carolina.
Following her first academic post as Research Assistant on the AHRC-funded project, ‘Robert Burns: Inventing Tradition and Securing Memory, 1796-1909’ (PI: Murray Pittock, 2010), Pauline’s 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 VR experience, and 'Burns Beyond Reality' launched online on the 30th of January to a worldwide audience of over 300 people. Edify’s immersive learning technology enabled a host of relevant VR objects from disparate locations to be brought together and examined in the context of Burns’s most iconic poem, ‘Tam o’ Shanter’, in a VR environment inspired by Alloway Auld Kirk. 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 Dr Rhona Brown. Pauline is interested in the use of VR/XR for the composition of, and access to, virtual literary ‘sites of memory’, particularly in the context of ‘the land of Burns’. She is a member of the University of Glasgow’s XR Strategy Board.
Regularly invited to deliver public talks about her research in the UK and abroad, Pauline has an established relationship with the UK Media, appearing on Radio 4’s ‘PM’ with Eddie Mair, BBC1's 'Countryfile' with John Craven, 'Reporting Scotland', and on several TV and radio documentaries for STV and the BBC. Pauline also undertakes outreach activities as part of the Royal Society of Edinburgh @ Schools programme.
In recent years Pauline has acted as a consultant for the Scottish government's ‘Scottish Winter Festivals’ programme. Activities include hosting the ‘Tae The Bard’ podcast series (2019), a ‘Facebook takeover’ (22000 subscribers worldwide), guest curator for the government's @Scotland Twitter feed, 'The Burning Questions' video for 'Year of the Young People 2018' (accessible to over 500k social media users worldwide), and the production of a new interactive timeline for the government’s Robert Burns App, launched in January 2015 and downloaded by over 15000 people internationally.
In 2017, Pauline along with colleagues from the Centre for Robert Burns Studies, Scottish History and LEADS, was a recipient of the College of Arts and University-Wide Teaching Excellence Award for her part in developing and teaching 'Robert Burns Online' MOOC, BOLD and distance-taught courses.
- Scottish Literature from the 15th Century to the 21st Century
- Robert Burns
- Literature and Bawdry
- Literature and Censorship
- Literature, Culture and Heritage
- Literary Tourism
- Material Culture and the Commemoration of Literary Figures
- Publishing and Book History
- Scotland & Romanticism
- Textual Editing
- Digital Humanities
- 2017 - Present: Co - Investigator (CI)
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Project: 'Editing Robert Burns's Poetry and Correpondence'
- 2015 - Principal Investigator (PI)
Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland: Research Incentives
Project: 'Eighteenth-Century Scottish Bawdry and Erotica'
- 2014 - Principal Investigator (PI)
University of Glasgow Chancellor's Fund
Project: 'Bawdry in Scottish Chapbooks'
Memorialising Scottish Culture & Literature - Scottish Literature (Hons)
Popular Literary Enlightenment, 1710-1790 - Scottish Literature (Hons)
Level 1 Scottish Literature
Level 2 Scottish Literature
Robert Burns Online (BOLD) - Scottish Literature (Hons)
Robert Burns Online (Online/Distance Taught)
Robert Burns: Poems, Songs and Legacy (MOOC) - Online via Futurelearn
The Scottish Highland Clans: Origins, Decline and Transformation (MOOC) - Online via Futurelearn
Scottish Journeys - Scottish Literature (Hons)
Textual Editing - Scottish Literature (Hons)
*Pauline has previously taught on Level 3/Honours 'Irish & Scottish Literature', and the Honours English Literature Course, 'Romantic Literature from 1780-1840'.
- Board Member, XR strategy Group (2021 - Present)
- Postgraduate Convenor, School of Critical Studies (2017-2019)
- Academic Co-Lead, External Collaboration Workstream, Project Development Board, College of Arts (2017 - 2019)
- Placements Officer, College of Arts (2014 - 2017)
- Chair: Burns Scotland (the National Burns Collection)
- Treasurer: International Association for the Study of Scottish Literatures (IASSL)
- Lecturer: Royal Society of Edinburgh @Schools Programme
- Consultant: Scottish Winter Festivals (Scottish Government)