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Professor of English and Scottish Literature, University of Aberdeen

Alison Lumsden is a graduate of the Universities of Aberdeen (MA Hons) and Edinburgh (PhD). She worked for Aberdeen University as AHRB research fellow for the Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels before taking up her appointment as lecturer. She was appointed to senior lecturer in 2006 and to a chair in 2012. She is now a General Editor of the Edinburgh Edition and the lead editor for an edition of Walter Scott's poetry. She is also co-director of the University of Aberdeen's Walter Scott Research Centre, whcih exists to promote all aspects of research on Walter Scott. She has published extensively on Walter Scott. and on other aspects of Scottish literature and is currently the chair of the Universities Committee for Scottish Literature. In 2010 she was awarded grants from the British Academy and from the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland to begin work on a scholarly edition of Walter Scott's Poetry. The preliminary stages of this project are now complete and the main stage of this project underway.

Alison Lumsden's main research interests are Walter Scott, nineteenth-century Scottish fiction, Scottish women's writing and textual editing. She has published on Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, Alasdair Gray, Nan Shepherd, Robert Burns and Lewis Grassic Gibbon and is co-editor of Contemporary Scottish Women Writers (2000). She is also co-editor of Scott's The Pirate (2001), The Heart of Mid-Lothian (2004), Reliquiae Trotcosienses (2004), Woodstock (2009) and editor of Peveril of the Peak (2007) for the Edinburgh Edition. In 2010 she published a monograph entitled Walter Scott and the Limits of Language, which draws on her experiences of editing Scott to explore the creative potential generated by a concern with language that runs throughout his work. She is currently the principal investigator for a scholarly edition of Scott's poetry. Alison Lumsden is happy to supervise PhD theses on all aspects of nineteenth century Scottish writing, Scottish women's writing and textual editing. She particularly welcomes proposals on Walter Scott, James Hogg and Robert Louis Stevenson and is eager to supervise theses that draw on Aberdeen's outstanding collections of rare material in the Bernard C. Lloyd Walter Scott Collection. As Principal Invesitgator for the themed funding bid Memory, Commemoration and Community she is also happy to supervise students who wish to approach Scottish literature in this way.

Alison Lumsden's main research project is a scholarly edition of Walter Scott's poetry, to be published in ten volumes over the next twelve years. A preliminary stage of this project was funded by the British Academy and the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland and the main editing work is now underway. The project will draw on the rich resources of the Bernard C.Lloyd Collection of Scott material at the University of Aberdeen and will bring together an international team of scholars.

The Walter Scott Research Centre has recently collaborated with the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh to run a series of workshops on textual editing. It is also in partnership with the University of Edinburgh's SWINC group (Scottish Writing in the Nineteenth Century) and has participated in a number of seminars in collaboration with it. Most recently seminars have been held on Civic and Secret Scotland and talks on textual editing have been given at the National Library of Scotland in the series 'What are you Reading?'

Alison Lumsden has recently received grants from the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland and the British Academy for work on a preliminary investigation into editing Walter Scott's poetry.

Alison Lumsden teaches at all levels in the areas of Scottish and Romantic literature and is Director of Teaching and Learning for the College of Arts and Social Sciences.

In the past Alison Lumsden has been a member of the judging panel for the Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year Award and has also served on the council of the Association for Scottish Literary Studies. She is currently the chair of the Universities Committee for Scottish Literature and is on the Advisory Boards of the Abbotsford Library Trust, the Oxford Edition of the Works of Robert Burns and of the New Edinburgh Edition of the Works of Robert Louis Stevenson. She is on the Steering Group of the Walter Scott Minstrelsy Project, which is run jointly between the School of Scottish Studies in Edinburgh and the University of Mainz and on that for the first World Congress of Scottish Literatures to be held in Glasgow in 2014 to coincide with the Commonwealth Games. She is also on the Editorial Board of Studies in Scottish Literature.


  • –present
    Professor of English, University of Aberdeen