Kirstie Blair


  • United Kingdom

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Personal profile

Personal Statement

I moved to Strathclyde in August 2016 after seven years at the University of Glasgow as lecturer and Senior Lecturer, followed by three years as a Chair at the University of Stirling. From 2017-20 I have been Head of the School of Humanities at Strathclyde. My main research expertise is in Victorian literature and culture, particularly poetry and poetics, Scottish Victorian popular culture and literature, working-class writing, literature and religion, and literature and medicine. I also have growing research and teaching interests in children's literature from the nineteenth century to the present day, and in contemporary fanfiction studies. I supervise PhD students across these varied fields and am always interested in discussing new PhD projects. 

I have published three monographs with Oxford University Press. The most recent, Working Verse in Victorian Scotland: Poetry, Press Community, won the 2019 Saltire Society Scottish Research Book of the Year and Scottish Book of the Year awards. I also recently completed an anthology of Scottish Victorian newspaper verse, The Poets of the People's Journal: Newspaper Poetry in Victorian Scotland (Glasgow: ASLS, 2016). My work on these publications was funded by the Leverhulme Trust and Carnegie Trust. I was also recently CI on a Carnegie Collaborative Research Grant with the University of Glasgow, 'The People's Voice: Political Poetry, Song and the Franchise, 1832-1918' (2016-2018) and worked with Dr Lauren Weiss on the 'Literary Bonds' project on mutual improvement societies and their periodicals, funded by the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals. 

From 2018-21 my main activity is centred on the 'Piston, Pen & Press' research project, funded by the AHRC, which investigates literary cultures in the industrial workplace. Through this, I work with collaborators Dr Mike Sanders and Dr Oliver Betts, and with multiple industrial heritage museums and local libraries. Our various activities are detailed at and on Twitter @PistonPen. 

Academic / Professional qualifications

DPhil, St Anne's College, University of Oxford, 2003

Diploma in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, University of Oxford, 2004

MPhil, St Anne's College, University of Oxford, 2000

Kennedy Scholarship, Harvard University, 1997-8

MA, Pembroke College, University of Cambridge, 1997

Education/Academic qualification

Bachelor of Arts, University of Cambridge

30 Sept 199430 Jun 1997

Award Date: 30 Jun 1997


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