Professor Kirstie Blair


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. 


Excelsior! Inspirational verse, the Victorian working-class poet, and the case of Longfellow
Blair Kirstie
Victorian Poetry Vol 59 (2021)
Working Verse in Victorian Scotland : Poetry, Press, Community
Blair Kirstie
The Scottish nursery muse : Scottish poetry and the children's verse tradition in the Victorian period
Blair Kirstie
The Land of Storybooks Scottish Children's Literature in the Long Nineteenth Century (2019) (2019)
Dialect, region, class, work
Blair Kirstie
The Cambridge Companion to Victorian Women's Poetry (2019) (2019)
'Whose cry is Liberty, and Fatherland' : Kossuth, Garibaldi and European nationalism in Scottish political poetry
Blair Kirstie
Scottish Literary Review Vol 10, pp. 71-94 (2018)
The People's William and the People's Poets : William Gladstone and the Midlothian Campaign
Blair Kirstie

More publications


The People’s Friend? Recovering Scottish Popular Magazine Culture (CDP)
Blair, Kirstie (Principal Investigator) Goldie, David (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2022
Piston, Pen & Press: Literary Cultures in the Industrial Workplace
Blair, Kirstie (Principal Investigator) Betts, Oliver (Co-investigator)
Piston, Pen & Press: Literary Cultures in the Industrial Workplace from the Factory Acts to the First World War
01-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2022
Mutual Improvement Society Magazines and Victorian Periodical Culture
Blair, Kirstie (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 30-Jan-2018
Glasgow Historic Literary Societies Online: Materials, Minute Books and Manuscipts, 1800-1914
Blair, Kirstie (Principal Investigator)
Glasgow Historic Literary Societies Online: A Bibliographic Database of Materials, Minute Books and Manuscript Magazines from Glasgow, Scotland, 1800-1914
01-Jan-2017 - 28-Jan-2018
Literary Cultures, Social Networks and the Victorian Railway Worker (Elizabeth Adams)
Blair, Kirstie (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2016 - 31-Jan-2022
Poetry, Song and Community in the Industrial City: Victorian Dundee (Erin Farley)
Blair, Kirstie (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2016 - 30-Jan-2018

More projects