University Professor of English Literature

Research Area

My major area is the nineteenth and twentieth century novel, with a special interest in the first two decades of the nineteenth century, and particularly the figures of Walter Scott and his Scottish contemporaries: Christian Johnstone, Susan Ferrier and Mary Brunton. My other area of research is the literature of war, especially in two aspects: the transitional period between war and peace, and the problems the narration of horror presents to its witness. I also have a particular interest in the relationship between food and culture, and literature and opera.

Doctoral Supervision

I would be willing to supervise theses of any of these fields.

Research Activities

Along with several of my departmental colleagues, we work on a funded research project entitled Rewriting War that investigates modern approaches to narrating war. We had planned a major international conference for April 2020, but for obvious reasons this has been postponed till 2021. For further information on our activities, please consult

Representative Publications

  • 2019– “Locating and Vindicating Josephine Tey’s Detective Fiction.” Scottish Literary Review. 11-1.
  • 2019 – “Ann Cook versus Hannah Glasse: Gender, Professionalism and Readership in Eighteenth-Century Cookbooks.” Journal of Eighteenth-Century Studies. 42 – 2.
  • 2016 – “The Nature of aesthetics in the Works of Mary Brunton, Hugh MacDiarmid and Alasdair Gray.” Taking Liberties: Scottish Literature and Expressions of Freedom.
  • 2016 – “The Trope of War in Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s Sunset Song”. Writings of Persuasion and Dissonance in the Great War: That Better Whiles May Follow Worse.
  • 2013 – The Novels of Walter Scott and his Literary Relations, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • 2011 – “The Scottish National Tale”, in (ed. Murray Pittock), The Edinburgh Companion to Scottish Romanticism. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  • 2011­­ – “‘If ever there was a man who felt, it was Burns’: Burns and Desire” in (ed) Murray Pittock, Burns in Global Culture, Lewisburg PA: Bucknell University Press.
  • 2007 – (Eds.) Aránzazu Usandizaga and Andrew Monnickendam, Back to Peace: Reconciliation and Retribution in the Postwar Period. Notre Dame Ind.: Notre Dame University Press. Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2008.
  • 2003 – (Edition and notes) Christian Isobel Johnstone, Clan-Albin: A National Tale (1815), Glasgow: Association for Scottish Literary Studies.