Robert Burns

Visiting speaker, 21 Feb 2012: Gerard Carruthers on editing Robert Burns

Gerard Carruthers will be presenting his paper, ‘Academics, Enthusiasts & Fraudsters: Challenges in Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century’, at 5.15pm on Tuesday, 21 February 2012. The talk will take place in the Cardiff Humanities Building, Room 2.48.

The new Oxford University Press edition of the Collected Works of Robert Burns contributes to a recent academic maturity in Burns Studies. Over a long period, previously, there was mutual suspicion between academics and ‘amateurs’, but much of this hostility is now dissipating. However, Burns Studies remains prone to findings that cause heated debate and even ‘work’ that is remarkable for its fabrications. Using a number of specific textual examples, Gerry Carruthers (University of Glasgow) looks closely at this situation and also the curious context of Burnsian ‘cultural politics’ that seems to engender it.



AHRC Studentship: Editing Robert Burns

Centre for Robert Burns Studies

Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century

AHRC-Funded PhD Studentship

Duration: 3 years; Value: Fees + £13,590 per annum

Project Summary
This project is to produce the first volumes of the Oxford University Press edition of the works of Robert Burns. The successful applicant will benefit from scholarly association with the editorial team, but will be encouraged to pursue independent as well as directed research into the literature and culture of the age of Burns and the Scots Language. Applicants with proposals centred particularly in the areas of the literary use of register and/or dialect are welcomed. (PI: Dr Gerard Carruthers).

Possible/ Suggested Topics for Research
Possible areas for research are given below and further information about each of these suggested topics is available by request to: Applicants are welcome to suggest and develop their own researchproject in collaboration with the research team.

  1. Robert Burns and the language of sentiment: This project would investigate Burns’s engagement with the language of sentiment in eighteenth-century writings.
  2. The language of Burns’s letters: This project draws upon recent theoretical developments in historical sociolinguistics to offer a new study of Burns’s correspondence.
  3. Robert Burns and the invention of Scots: This project would investigate, in a more robust way than has been achieved hitherto, Burns’s handling of Scots, using both major dictionaries (DSL, OED) and a thesaurus-style classificatory system.

Further Information
The PhD candidate will be co-supervised by Professor Jeremy Smith and Professor Murray Pittock, and will be housed in the School of Critical Studies, having full access to the Centre for Burns Studies and regular contact with the team of senior scholars (Carruthers, Leask, McCue, Pittock, Smith) working on Burns.

Applicants should have a first-class or upper second-class Honours Degree in a related area of study (language or literature) and preferably have successfully completed a Postgraduate Research Masters degree from a recognised HEI.

* For full terms and conditions of AHRC studentships please consult: