Dr Elspeth Jajdelska

Senior Lecturer


Personal statement

I studied English language and literature at Glasgow University and completed a PhD on seventeenth-century diaries at Leeds University in 1996. Then I worked as a fund manager for an Edinburgh firm for three years, before spending a year and a half at the Jagiellonian and Pedagogical Universities in Krakow, Poland. I came to Strathclyde in 2001. 


Picture this : a review of research relating to narrative processing by moving image versus language
Jajdelska Elspeth, Anderson Miranda, Butler Christopher, Fabb Nigel, Finnigan Elizabeth, Garwood Ian, Kelly Stephen, Kirk Wendy, Kukkonen Karen, Mullally Sinead, Schwan Stephan
Frontiers in Psychology Vol 10 (2019)
The flow of narrative in the mind unmoored : an account of narrative processing
Jajdelska Elspeth
Philosophical Psychology Vol 32, pp. 560-583 (2019)
'Obnoxious preoccupation with sex organs' : the ethics and aesthetics of representing sex
Jajdelska Elspeth
Nabokov and the Question of Morality Aesthetics, Metaphysics, and the Ethics of Fiction (2016) (2016)
Being there yet not there : why don't embodied responses to literary texts jar with one another?
Jajdelska Elspeth
Journal of Literary Semantics Vol 45, pp. 1-20 (2016)
Speech, Print and Decorum in Britain, 1600-1750 : Studies in Social Rank and Communication
Jajdelska Elspeth
"Singing of psalms of which I could never get enough" : labouring class religion and poetry in the Cambuslang revival of 1741
Jajdelska Elspeth
Studies in Scottish literature Vol 41, pp. 88-107 (2016)

More publications


I teach on the undergraduate BA degree in English literature. As well as core class teaching in first and second year, my upcoming and current options are 'Oral narratives and fairy tales', 'Theories of literature and wellbeing' and 'Literature, mind and brain'. 

Research interests

I have completed two books on the history of reading in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In both I aim to reconnect the history of reading with the history of speech. I also research how cognitive science can help us to understand literary experience. To support this work I have completed an MSc in  Mind, Language and Embodied Cognition (2016, distinction).

Professional activities

'Who was Johnson's common reader?'
Invited speaker
St Andrews High School, Kirkcaldy
Visiting lecturer
Dumfries High School
Visiting lecturer
Linguistics and Anthropology for members of the Voices and Books Network
Walter Scott and the New Science of Reading
AHRC network, Voices and Books 1500-1800 (External organisation)

More professional activities


A study of Jane Austen and 'play' in narrative technique
Jajdelska, Elspeth (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 30-Jan-2023
Stories in Scotland
Jajdelska, Elspeth (Principal Investigator)
02-Jan-2017 - 31-Jan-2019
Stories in Scotland by Word and Screen the neuroscience of narrative
Jajdelska, Elspeth (Principal Investigator)
14-Jan-2015 - 13-Jan-2016
Trainee Teachers’ Perceptions of Poetry and their attitudes to Poetry Teaching
Soltysek, Raymond Ronald (Academic) Smith, Vivienne (Academic) Jajdelska, Elspeth (Academic)
The aim of this investigation is to explore student teachers’ attitudes bring to their studies towards poetry at an early stage of their career, before they have had any pedagogical input from course tutors on the topic. The investigation will seek to identify these attitudes and the formative influences on these attitudes.
31-Jan-2014 - 30-Jan-2015
Group for Renaissance Research Reading
Argondizza, Peter (Academic) Fudge, Erica (Academic) Hope, Jonathan (Academic) Jajdelska, Elspeth (Academic) Thorne, Alison (Academic) Hogarth, Alan (Post Grad Student) Clark, Douglas Iain (Post Grad Student) Veerapen, Steven (Post Grad Student) Froehlich, Heather Gayle (Post Grad Student)
Research in Renaissance studies has traditionally been a particular strength of English at the University of Strathclyde, and this is reflected in the meetings of the Group for Renaissance Research Reading. The group is made up of both staff and postgraduate students and meets frequently during term time to engage with issues current in the field. Our meetings take the form of seminar talks, and group-discussions of recent work which engages with broad cultural aspects of the Renaissance.

The expertise of group members covers a variety of areas. These include Renaissance literature; the history of ideas; the history of language; social and political history; cultural history – with interests in visual, musical, linguistic, and intellectual history, as well as digital approaches to the analysis of texts. The group also has links to the Scottish Institute of Northern Renaissance Studies (SINRS) and the Journal of the Northern Renaissance. (http://www.northernrenaissance.org/)
10-Jan-2011 - 10-Jan-2014
CW and SLA - Creative writing as a tool in second language acquisition (FP7 MC IRSES)
Jajdelska, Elspeth (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2009 - 31-Jan-2011

More projects