James Hogg project secures major AHRC grant
Dr Suzanne Gilbert and Dr Adrian Hunter Literature and Languages) have been awarded over £400,000 by the Arts and Humanities Research Council for their project "James Hogg and International Periodicals".
The Scottish writer James Hogg (1770-1835) is best, and justly, known for his haunting novel The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner. In recent years, his prolific and diverse writing - including other novels, tales, poems, songs, plays, and essays - has become more widely known, in large part due to the Stirling/South Carolina Research Edition of his collected works (S/SC), published by Edinburgh University Press. The most common thread running through his career, however, was his engagement with periodicals: he was a prolific contributor. He began in the 1790s by sending poems and songs to the Scots Magazine and wrote for periodicals ranging from literary magazines to agricultural journals until the very end of his life. His collected work for Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine was recently published in the S/SC, and editions of Hogg's contributions to other Scottish periodicals and to Fraser's Magazine are in preparation. Hogg's periodical writing ranged far more widely than this, however, and this uncollected work is spread across many dozens of titles and several continents. While Hogg's relationships with the Scottish publishing world have become well documented, other than some intriguing hints, little research has been done on Hogg's writing published in periodicals beyond Scotland.
Filling this significant gap requires a critical edition of Hogg's writing for magazines and newspapers in England, Ireland, North America, Australia, and New Zealand. The first aim is to identify and locate original and reprinted items that appeared in a wide array of outlets, and to collate them for the first time into a single volume, Contributions to International Periodicals. Edited by Adrian Hunter and contracted for publication by Edinburgh University Press, this critical edition will complete the available record of Hogg's writing, and will include many items that have never before been reprinted. Secondly, this project aims to provide a reliable, scholarly text. It will account for the composition, publication, and reception of each piece, and provide full explanatory notes, glossary, and an index. It will present a scholarly introduction that explains these materials in relation to Hogg's career, and that contextualises them within early-nineteenth-century print culture. Thirdly, the research will clarify how readers outside of Scotland received Hogg's writing and how these audiences participated in the literary culture of Romantic-era Scotland. As part of the critically-acclaimed Stirling/South Carolina edition of Hogg's collected works, Adrian Hunter and Suzanne Gilbert will author an article that takes up the question of whether the reception and reproduction of Hogg's work contributed to the creation of a Romanticism that is distinctively Scottish. A public exhibition, 'James Hogg in the World' will be staged at Stirling in 2017, to coincide with the Scottish Government's 'Year of History, Heritage, and Archaeology', and will illustrate how Hogg's work connects - from his lifetime to the present - with cultural history and heritage in the wider world.