I hold a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, where I studied English as an undergraduate. I completed an MA in Medieval English Literatures at the University of York, and am a former postdoctoral fellow of the University of Edinburgh's Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities. I am an associate editor of the Journal of the Northern Renaissance, and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
My research focuses on late medieval and early modern literature, with particular interests in memory and the history of emotions and sexuality. My research and teaching also reflects an ongoing interest in Scottish literature.
I welcome inquiries from potential research students working on any of my areas of interest, or connected areas.
My current project, for which I was granted a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship, traces the emergence of conceptions of identity and a national tradition within Scottish literary culture through the sixteenth-century Bannatyne Manuscript and its reception history. The project considers how Bannatyne's own activities as a collector serve to define and transmit particular forms of community, and of cultural identity, and their impact upon later constructions of his work as a self-consciously nationalistic enterprise. It will examine the first publication of selections from the manuscript by the poet Allan Ramsay, who adapts and transforms its contents in the service of a vernacular revival within The Ever Green (Edinburgh, 1724). It will also analyse the manuscript's reception by Scott and his contemporaries, who identify George Bannatyne as a precursor to their own enterprise in the foundation of the antiquarian publishing society, the Bannatyne Club (1823-61). A third stage will address the work of the social evolutionist and urban planner, Patrick Geddes (1854-1932), whose engagement with the textual and material legacy of Allan Ramsay represents a further response to the cultural heritage of the Bannatyne Manuscript. Setting Ramsay's former home at the heart of a student housing complex, in a development intended to contribute to the rebirth of Edinburgh's Old Town as the cultural and intellectual centre of the city, Geddes's project also engendered The New Evergreen, and The Evergreen: A Northern Seasonal, a four-volume periodical articulating a vision of community at once civic and national. The project will fill a lacuna in current scholarship in illuminating the ideological background to the emergence of medieval studies and the interconnected disciplines of English and Scottish literature, developments in which antiquarian activity plays a central role.
Most recently, I have been working with Edinburgh Old Town Development Trust on The Evergreen: A New Season in the North. Inspired by the tradition of the Bannatyne Manuscript and its Evergreen legacy, this new four-volume anthology combines poetry, fiction, visual art and essays on cultural issues to explore the part literature and literary tradition have to play in shaping our communities, both local and national – art creates our sense of the city, and what it means to live in it. Three volumes have appeared to date, and the fourth volume will appear in 2019.
My first book, Remembering Boethius: Writing Aristocratic Identity in Late-Medieval French and English Literatures, explores the role of the Consolation of Philosophy in mediating personal experiences of exile and imprisonment for medieval subjects.
Translator for the 2009 Edinburgh International Festival production of Robert Henryson's Testament of Cresseid, directed by David Levin.
In 2011, I was awarded a two-year Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship to pursue my work on the Bannatyne Manuscript and its cultural afterlife.
Convenor: EL1536: Rethinking Reading
EL35DQ: Knights, Virgins and Viragos: Chaucer and Medieval Writing (Junior Honours)
EL40WH: All for One: The Politics of Love and Friendship in Medieval and Early Modern Literature
EL55C2: Writing the Self
I also teach on EL2011: Encounters with Shakespeare, EL2512: The Tragedy of Knowledge, EL30PC: Page and Stage, EL3008: Writing Revolt: Literature and Politics in the Seventeenth Century.
I have subsidiary research interests in children's literature and fairy tales, and would be happy to hear from students who would like to write dissertations in these areas.
- Further Info
The Evergreen: A New Season in the North, ed. Sean Bradley et al., vol 3. Edinburgh: Word Bank, 2017.
The Evergreen: A New Season in the North, ed. Sean Bradley et al., vol 2. Edinburgh:Word Bank, 2015.
The Evergreen: A New Season in the North, ed. Sean Bradley et al., vol 1. Edinburgh: Word Bank, 2014.
Remembering Boethius: Writing Aristocratic Identity in Late-Medieval French and English Literatures. Farnham: Ashgate, 2012. Reviewed in Parergon, Comitatus, Carmina Philosophiae, and The Medieval Review.
Articles and Chapters
'Walter Scott's Bannatyne Club, Elite Male Associational Culture, and the Making of Identities', The Review of English Studies (2016) 67 (281): 732-750, doi: 10.1093/res/hgw005
‘Old-World Verse and Scottish Renascence: Flourishing Evergreen’, The Evergreen: A New Season in the North, ed. Sean Bradley et al., Vol. 1. Edinburgh: The Word Bank, 2014, 149–56.
‘“This is myn awin ymagynacioun”: The Judgement of Paris and the Influence of Medieval Faculty Psychology on the Kingis Quair’, 'Fresche fontanis': Studies in the Culture of Medieval and Early Modern Scotland, Ed. J. Derrick McClure and Janet Hadley Willliams, Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars, 2012, 3–15.
‘Ransacking Old Banny: The Bannatyne Manuscript, the Bannatyne Club, and the Making of Edinburgh Communities’, Edinburgh Review 135: The Way Everyone Thinks We’re Supposed To Think (2012): 89-97.
'Eros and Self-Government: Petrarchism and Protestant Self-Abnegation in William Fowler's Tarantula of Love', Scottish Literary Review 4.1 (2012): 1-14.
‘“A Memorie Nouriched by Images”: Reforming the Art of Memory in William Fowler’s Tarantula of Love’, Journal of the Northern Renaissance 2 (2010): 36–53.
‘Scottish Writing’, The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Literature in English. Ed. Greg Walker and Elaine Treharne. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010, 558–93.
‘The Open Sentence: Memory, Identity and Translation in The Kingis Quair.’ ‘Joyous Sweit Imaginatioun’: Essays on Scottish Literature in Honour of R. D. S. Jack. SCROLL. Ed. Sarah Carpenter and Sarah M. Dunnigan. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2007, 23–39.
‘Fortune’, Encyclopedia of Medieval British Literature. Ed. Robert Rouse and Sian Echard. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming 2017.
"Tarantula of Love". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 March 2017
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=35695, accessed 31 March 2017.]
Entries on Gavin Douglas, William Dunbar, and David Lindsay, The Encyclopedia of English Renaissance Literature. Ed. Garrett Sullivan and Alan Stewart, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012
Entries on Robert Henryson’s ‘The Bludy Serk’ and The Kingis Quair in The Facts on File Companion to British Poetry before 1600. Ed. Michelle M. Sauer. New York: Facts on File, 2008.
‘Planting the Unsunned Hillside: A New Season for the Evergreen’, The Bottle Imp. 17 (2015).
‘A city is more than a place in space, it is a drama in time’, blog post for Palimpsest, July 18 2014.