Research Associate, CAMEo Research Institute for Cultural and Media Economies, University of Leicester

I completed a BA with Honours in English Studies and Film & Media, Masters in English Studies and PhD at the University of Stirling, Scotland. My PhD, ‘The Saltire Society Literary Awards, A Cultural History: 1936-2015’, was completed in October 2016 and is the first comprehensive analysis of the Saltire Society Literary Awards, Scotland’s oldest series of book awards.

I completed my PhD through an Arts and Humanities Collaborative Doctoral Award, so I was working alongside the Saltire Society in the administration and development of their awards throughout my research. I have taught on several undergraduate English modules at Stirling and have led seminars on Literary Award Culture for the MA in Publishing Studies at the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication.

My research interests are situated within the literary economy and contemporary publishing culture. The areas I focus on include literary award culture, judgment culture, gender (in relation to publishing and literary culture) and diversity and representation in the publishing industry. I am also interested in conducting research into the motivations and practices of writers, the business of writing and the emergence of online celebrity book clubs.

My PhD was the first study of the Saltire Society Literary Awards, Scotland’s oldest series of literary awards dedicated to awarding books from, and about, Scotland. My thesis presents a detailed analysis of the founding of the Society’s four major literary awards, since the founding of the Society in 1936 up to 2015. It also considers the Society’s awards in relation to gender, national identity and Bourdieu’s Forms of Capital. It concludes with a discourse analysis of judging panel meetings which is the first analysis of its kind to be conducted in the UK.

Recent and forthcoming publications:

Marsden, S. 2018. ‘Writing About Writers: Mapping the Field and Moving Forward’, Mémoires du Livre/Studies in Book Culture, 9(2), pp.1-39.

Marsden, S. 2018. '‘I didn’t know you could read': Questioning the legitimacy of Kim Kardashian’s status as a literary and cultural intermediary’', Logos, 29(2-3), pp. 64-79.

Marsden, S., 2019. ‘Why Women Don’t Win Literary Awards: The Saltire Society Literary Awards and Implicit Stereotyping’, Women: A Cultural Review, 30:1, pp. 43-65.

Branagh-Miscampbell, M., & Marsden, S., 2019. ‘‘Eating, sleeping, breathing, reading’: The Zoella Book Club and the Young Woman Reader in the 21st Century’, Participations, (forthcoming).

Marsden, S. & Noorda, R. 2019. ‘Twenty-First Century Book Studies: The State of the Discipline’, Book History, (forthcoming).


  • –present
    PhD student, University of Stirling