Professor Cairns Craig FBA, FRSE
Glucksman Professor of Irish and Scottish Studies
Office: HMF3 Humanity Manse
Tel: +44 (0)1224 273681
Office Hours: Tuesday 1pm - 2pm
Cairns Craig is Glucksman Professor of Irish and Scottish Studies, and is Director both of the second phase of the AHRC-funded Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies (2006-10) and of Aberdeen University’s Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies. He rejoined the University of Aberdeen in 2005, having been a lecturer here in the 1970s, after a long career in the University of Edinburgh, where he was Head of the English Literature Department (1997-2003; during the period when it achieved 5* rating in the Research Assessment Exercise), as well as Director for the Centre for the History of Ideas in Scotland.
He has published widely on Scottish and modernist literature, including Yeats, Eliot, Pound and the Politics of Poetry (1982), Out of History : Narrative Paradigms in Scottish and English Culture (1996) and The Modern Scottish Novel (1999). His most recent book is on Ian Banks’s Complicity (2002).
He was general editor of the four volume History of Scottish Literature (1987-89) and general editor of the determinations series published by Edinburgh University Press from 1987 – 1997, which included titles such as Craig Beveridge and Ronald Turnbull’s The Eclipse of Scottish Culture (1987), Alexander Broadie’s The Tradition of Scottish Philosophy, Christopher Harvie’s Cultural Weapons: Scotland and Survival in a New Europe, as well as Forward!: Labour Politics in Scotland 1888-1988, edited by Ian Donnachie, Christopher Harvie and Ian S. Wood; The Manufacture of Scottish History, edited by Ian Donnachie and Christopher Whatley; and Scotland’s Claim of Right, edited by Owen Dudley Edwards. He was also an editor of the Canongate Classics series, in which he published (with Randall Stevenson) An Anthology of Twentieth Century Scottish Drama.
He was on the editorial board of the influential arts magazine Cencrastus, from its founding in 1981 till 1987; he was an associate editor of Radical Scotland from 1988, and was the publisher of Edinburgh Review from 2001–05. Through Edinburgh Review he was responsible for publications such as Angela McSeveney’s Imprint, George Davie’s Ferrier and the Blackout of the Scottish Enlightenment, and Peter Manson’s Adjunct: An Undigest.
Current Research Interests:
Irish-Scottish cultural relations from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries (MacPherson to Yeats in poetry, Sterne to Joyce in the novel, Hutcheson to MacIntyre in philosophy)
The ‘lyrical epic’ in modern poetry (Yeats to Muldoon)
late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century Scottish thought (William Thomson, Peter Guthrie Tait, James Clerk Maxwell, John Ferguson McLennan, William Robertson Smith, J.G. Frazer, Patrick Geddes, Edward Caird, Andrew Seth, Norman Kemp Smith)
Contemporary Scottish writing (especially Iain Banks, A.L. Kennedy, Janice Galloway, Alan Warner)
Scottish women writers of the inter-war period (Nan Shepherd, Catherine Carswell, Naomi Mitchison, Willa Muir).
Graduate students interested in working in any of these areas, or in connected areas, should contact him by email at email@example.com.
Recent publications include:
‘The Fratricidal Twins: Scottish Literature, Scottish History and the Construction of Scottish Culture’, in Cowan and Gifford (eds), The Polar Twins (John Donald: Edinburgh, 2000)
‘La défaillance écossaise’, L’Autonomie écossaise: Essais critiques sur une nation britannique, ed. Keith Dixon (ELLUG: Grenoble, 2001), pp. 185-207
‘Scott’s Staging of the Nation’, Studies in Romanticism, vol 40, no. 1, Spring 2001, pp. 13-29
‘Constituting Scotland’, The Irish Review , no. 28, winter 2001, pp. 1-27
‘Where is the Nation You Promised?: American Voice in Modern Scottish and Irish Poetry’, Contemporary British Poetry (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2002), pp. 185-208.
‘Culture after Devolution’ in Longley, Hughes and O’Rawe (eds), Ireland (Ulster) Scotland: Concepts, Contexts, Comparisons (Belfast: Cló Ollscoil na Banríona, 2003), 39-44
‘Postcolonial Hybridity in Scotland and Ireland’, in Longley, Hughes and O’Rawe (eds), Ireland (Ulster) Scotland: Concepts, Contexts, Comparisons (Belfast: Cló Ollscoil na Banríona, 2003), 231-244.
‘Coleridge, Hume and the Chains of the Romantic Imagination’ in Davis, Duncan and Sorenson (eds), Scotland and the Borders of Romanticism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 20-37
‘Beyond Reason: Hume, Seth, Macmurray and Scotland’s Postmodernity’, in Eleanor Bell and Gavin Miller (eds), Scotland in Theory: Reflections on Culture and Literature (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2004), 249-283
‘A Scottish Perspective’, in John Morrill, The Promotion of Knowledge: Lectures to Mark the Centenary of the British Academy 1902-2002 (Oxford: The British Academy, 2004), 181-191
‘Introduction’, Robin Jenkins, The Cone-Gatherers (Edinburgh: Canongate, 2004), vii-xvi
‘Scotland and Hybridity’, in Carruthers, Goldie and Renfrew (eds), Beyond Scotland: New Contexts for Twentieth-Century Scottish Literature (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2004), 229-255.
'Devolving the Scottish Novel’, James F. English (ed.), A Concise Companion to Contemporary British Fiction, (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006), pp. 121–40
‘1979, Edinburgh and Glasgow: Devolution Deferred’, McHale and Stevenson, The Edinburgh Companion to Twentieth-century Literatures in English (Edinburgh: EUP, 2006), pp. 217–28
‘The Study of Scottish Literature’, Edinburgh History of Scottish Literature, Vol. 1 (Edinburgh: EUP, 2006), pp. 16–32
‘Nineteenth_Century Scottish Thought’, Edinburgh History of Scottish Literature, Vol. 2 (Edinburgh: EUP, 2006), pp. 267–76
‘Criticism of Scottish Literature’, Edinburgh History of Scottish Literature, Vol. 3 (Edinburgh: EUP, 2006), pp. 42–52
‘Recovering History?’, in McCracken-Flesher (ed.), Culture, Nation and the New Scottish Parliament (Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell UP, 2007), pp. 23–43
‘Centring on the Peripheries’, in Thomsen (ed.), Centring on the Peripheries (Norvik, 2007), pp. 3–22
‘No nationality without literature’, in Mioche and Bour (eds), Bonds of Union (Tours: La Révue de GRAAT, 2006), pp. 79–98
‘Benedict Anderson’s Fictional Communities’, in McCleery and Brabon (eds), The Influence of Benedict Anderson (Edinburgh: Merchiston, 2007), pp. 21–40
'Identifying Another Other’, Journal of Irish and Scottish Studies, Vol. 1 No. 1, 2007, pp. 283–307
'MacIver, Macmurray and the Scottish Idealists’, Journal of Scottish Thought, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2007, pp. 169–84.
Associationism and the Literary Imagination, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007, 120,000 words, 324pp, ISBN 978 0 7486 09123
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