My main research areas are the relationship of literature and art in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and utopian and anti-utopian writing. My monograph on the first of these topics, Visions of Britain, 1730–1830: Anglo-Scottish Writing and Representation (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) was short-listed for the Saltire Society award for Research Book of the Year 2013, and nominated for the James Russell Lowell Prize, MLA, 2014.
My trans-historical study of literary utopianism and anti-utopianism, Utopia and its Discontents: Plato to Atwood was published by Bloomsbury Press in February 2020. The book has been praised for being ‘penetrating’ and ‘lucid’, and for its original and revelatory exploration of the formal and generic aesthetics of literary utopias.
I’ve also written extensively on Ossian, the supposed ancient Gaelic epic poems translated by James Macpherson in the 1760s. I’ve variously discussed the poetry, and its reception through to the modern era (including its influence on visual culture). I guest edited a special edition of The Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, entitled Ossian in the Twenty First Century (2016).
I’m currently working on a study of Scottish literature and visual culture in the nineteenth century for Edinburgh University Press. The book’s provisional title is Scottish Literature and Art in the Romantic Age.