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Student Profiles PhD

Catriona Cox, PhD in Publishing Studies

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Working Title: Publishing in Scotland 1968-2018

Topic:  In collaboration with Publishing Scotland my research will look at the history of the publishing industry in Scotland. I hope to gain valuable information from the Publishing Scotland archives and also conduct interviews with publishers based in Scotland to gain a complete picture of the businesses and their own histories.

Research interests: Scottish publishing, book history, book marketing, metadata, literary awards, arts funding, Irish publishing


ScholarshipsAHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award 


Catriona on Twitter: @CatrionaMCox
Catriona on LinkedIn
Catriona on

Helena Markou, PhD in Publishing Studies

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Working TitleThe Shelf-Life of Books: An Exploration of the Lifecycle and Longevity of Books in the UK in the 21st Century

Topic:  With 180,000 new titles now published each year, there is fierce competition for space on bookshop shelves.  This research aims to identify and investigate long selling titles within UK trade publishing (namely the books you find in high street bookshops).  It will first establish an overview of the typical lifecycle of books across genres, using quantitative data analysis.  Then seek to identify and explore the cultural significance of those titles that, against all odds, remain on bookshop shelves.

Through this research data analysis methods will be developed and the themes of longevity, obsolesce and the impact of online bookselling on the UK publishing industry explored.

Research interests: bookselling, publishing, product development, consumerism, book history, book culture, creative industries, digital publishing, digital book history, digital humanities.


ScholarshipsSGSAH AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship


Helena on Twitter: @helena_markou
Helena on LinkedIn
Helena on


Elizabeth Krajnik, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2015-16

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Welcome to the wonderful thing that is my student profile. I’m terrible at writing about myself, so I’ll attempt to make it as bearable as humanly possible. My name is Elizabeth Krajnik: youngest of three and the only girl. I was born and raised in rural Wisconsin, a land full of dairy cows, corn fields and pine trees (AKA a lack of neighbours), all of which allowed me to find my passion in reading.

At present I am thinking my future career will have something to do with young adult fiction; however, I have FOMO disease (fear of missing out) and would hate to cast off other areas in which I might excel. I’m the type of person who likes to try anything — within reason — at least once. Upon graduation, I’d be delighted to find a job that suits me in the UK or perhaps on mainland Europe.

My publishing background is not nearly as lengthy as some other students, but rather than bounce around from experience to experience I prefer to gain the trust of my colleagues and form strong relationships with them. I work well within tight time constraints, easily command the attention of a group, and do exceptionally well in situations under which most would falter. I love incorporating humour (which I’m sure you have gathered from reading this whole thing) into the workplace whenever appropriate and know when a flip of the proverbial switch is required.

I have an amazing family that means the world to me: two loving parents who have supported me through everything (even my first year of uni which was spent freaking out about being a pre-med student) and two brothers who know just how to brighten even the darkest of days with silly memes and inside jokes.

In my spare time (yes I do have some of that on occasion) I enjoy falling down the rabbit hole that is BuzzFeed, cooking, attempting to learn new languages, watching funny videos of dogs, and taking really crappy amateur photos.

Some of my favourite authors are: Jodi Picoult, the ever-wonderful Queen J.K. Rowling, Salman Rusdie, and Mary Higgins Clark. However, I must never forget the greats: Virgil, Dante, Boccaccio, and Chaucer. This list isn’t even close to complete, but I’m sure you understand how difficult it is to come up with the authors you love most on the spot. There are too many to list!

Well, I think this is a sufficient amount of writing about myself for the time being. Cheers!

Ellen Wiles, PhD in Publishing Studies

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Working Title: Live Literature and Cultural Value: An Ethnographic Exploration

Topic: I research contemporary live literature, using ethnography to understand and communicate the nature, effects and cultural value of live literary events.

Research interests: Live literature, literary studies, publishing studies, literary culture, ethnography, contemporary culture, interdisciplinarity, creative writing, censorship, freedom of expression.


  • Prof Claire Squires (Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication)
  • Dr Katie Halsey (Division of Literature and Languages)

ScholarshipsAHRC Block Grant Partnership funding.

Publications and Papers: My first book Saffron Shadows and Salvaged Scripts: Literary Life in Myanmar under Censorship and in Transitionan ethnographic monograph including interviews with three generations of Burmese writers and new translations of their work, will be published by Columbia University Press in July 2015. An extract from the book, ‘The Tiger’ (including an interview with the author Win Tin), is reproduced here. For other publications and more information, please see the linked pages below.

LinksWebsite – Twitter – – LinkedIn – Live short stories


Mariclaire White, PhD in Publishing Studies

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Working Title: Promoting Scottish Books in the 21st Century: An Investigation into the Sustainability of Scotland’s Literary Culture

Topic: Examining the issues which face book culture in  Scotland in the 21st Century, including decreasing printed  book sales, the rise of digital media and competing consumer  demands. My research looks at alternatives to traditional  book production, such as digital innovation, and the growth  of literary tourism to continue the important role of literature  culturally and economically in Scotland. Ultimately, I hope  my research offers insight into this important time of change for the Scottish publishing industry and provides recommendations to publishers and organisations to achieve sustainability.

This research degree is supported by the AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership run by the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities

Research interests: Scottish Publishing, Book History, Cultural Policy, Literary Tourism, Scottish Identity, Digital Innovation, Gamification of Literature



  • AHRC Studentship (2014-2017)


Paul Docherty, PhD in Publishing Studies

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Working Title: Read Write City: Towards a city-wide strategy in support of reading, writing and publishing.

Topic: In collaboration with Glasgow Life my research aims to inform the development of a literary strategy for the city of Glasgow. The study examines current involvement with literature across the city and is looking at ways in which Glasgow can become a city of people who actively engage in reading and writing.

This research seeks to explore connectivity between different aspects of the literary infrastructure, whilst examining the reach and scope of existing projects in the city, as well as successful approaches used in communities elsewhere in the UK and across the world which might usefully be applied to Glasgow’s particular set of challenges and possibilities.

Research interests: book culture, creative writing, publishing, communities, cities, endogenous growth, creative industries, community engagement, cultural production, identity.


  • Professor Claire Squires (Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication),
  • Professor Richard Haynes (University of Stirling, Department of Communications, Media and Culture),
  • Jean Cameron, Senior Arts Officer (Glasgow Life)

ScholarshipsAHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award


Paul on Twitter: @readwritecity
Paul on LinkedIn
Paul on

Stevie Marsden, PhD in Publishing Studies

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Working Title: The History of the Saltire Society’s Book Awards: 1982-present.

Topic: I am a final year PhD Researcher working on an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award in collaboration with The Saltire Society, Edinburgh. The purpose of this research is to construct a critically assessed history of The Saltire Society’s book awards (which includes History, Research, First, Poetry and Literary Book of the Year Awards). The thesis will consider The Saltire Society’s literary awards within the context of prize and literary award culture in general, as well as consider its position within contemporary Scottish literary culture and its influence upon the modern Scottish literary canon.

I am also interested in book and literary award culture more generally, keeping a close eye on developments throughout the UK and internationally.  I’m particularly interested in award culture in relation to gender, nationality, publishing history and book promotion and sales.

Research interests: saltire society, literary awards, book history, publishing, book sales and marketing, gender studies

Supervisors: Professor Claire SquiresDr. Suzanne Gilbert

Scholarships: AHRC CDA Scholarship
British Federation for Women Graduates Elen Wynne Vanstone Scholarship, 2014
Society of the History of Authorship, Readership and Publishing Travel Grant, 2014

Publications and Papers:
‘Women of the Saltire Society’ at Smashing the Patriarchy in 100,000 words? The use of Feminism in Academic Theses at University of Dundee, 13th January 2014.

‘Reinventing the Book’: The Aesthetics of Digital Literature in Contemporary Literary Award Culture at By the Book: the Book and the Study of its Digital Transformation, hosted by Oxford Brookes University, Florence, 24th May 2014

‘21st Century Philanthropy? The Cultural and Economic Capital of Contemporary Book Award Culture
at Creative and Commerce in the Age of Print, University of Edinburgh, 26th July 2014.

‘fit tay be in schools, huvn no bad language, sex subversion or antireligion’: The Saltire Society’s Book Awards, Judgment Culture and the Scottish Literary Canon at Religions of the Book, SHARP (Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing), University of Antwerp, 20th September 2014.

‘The measure of a work of art is how much art it has in it, not how much “relevance”’: The ‘relevance’ of Contemporary Book Awards and the Purpose of Judgment in Literary Culture at The Prestige of Literature
Carleton University, Ottawa, 10th October 2014.

“It’s all unclear”: The ‘Reality’ of Bret Easton Ellis’s ‘American Psycho’ and its Position Within the Literary Convention of Contemporary Gothic Fiction in Bray, Suzanne and Preher, Gerald, eds., Fatal Fascinations: Cultural Manifestations of Crime and Violence (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013), pp. 113-121

Related work:
Bloody Scotland Crime Festival Short Story Competition Coordinator, 2013-2015
9th Art Award for Graphic Literature Administrator, 2013-2014
University of Stirling Arts and Humanities Postgraduate Conference Committee Member, 2014
MacRobert Arts Centre Book Group Coordinator, 2014-2015

Twitter: @StevieLMarsden


Lucy Ry-Kottoh, PhD in Publishing Studies

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Working Title: Digital Publishing in Ghana: A Focus on Children’s Publications

Topic: This research assess the state of digital book publishing in Ghana in terms of the level of skill/expertise, infrastructure and access to children’s eBooks published in Ghana. It also investigates current practices among eBook publishers against the backdrop of what pertains in developed economies.

Research Interests: Electronic Publishing, Online Technologies, and Publishing Management


Scholarship: Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, funded by UK Government

Publications and Papers:

  • Opoku-Amankwa, K., Mahama, A.K., and Ry-Kottoh, L., (2012), Itinerant Booksellers: Necessary Evils to the Book Trade in Ghana. Publishing Research Quarterly, Springer Science + Business Media Media, LLC. DOI 10.1007/s12109-012-9281-4
  • Esseh, S. S. and Ry-Kottoh, L., (2013), The Open Journal Systems: Reviving African Publishing Culture. Presented at the Fourth International PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference in Mexico, August 19 – 21.

Contact /

Louisa Preston, PhD in Publishing Studies

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Working Title: An Analysis of Established and Emergent Practices of Working in Interdisciplinary Working Partnerships in relation to Digital Technologies, Audience Engagement and Production of Culture.

Topic: Exploring the possibilities digital technologies lend to cultural producers and audiences, for the activities of producing, disseminating and engaging with visual culture and literature is the focus of this research.

By investigating established and emerging practices of producing and engaging with cultural artefacts and experiences, as people explore creative possibilities with digital technologies, I aim to contribute to an understanding of the implications of this activity for arts and cultural organisations.

Three case studies are the focus for the research, which have involved collaborations and partnerships between arts and cultural organisations and technology companies.

This PhD is being carried out jointly at the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication, University of Stirling and the School of Management, University of St Andrews.

The research degree is associated with the Consortium for Research in Arts and Technology in Scotland (CReATeS)and is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)Creative Scotland and the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA).

Research interests (keywords): Publishing, Visual Culture, Creative Industries, Audience Engagement, Digital Technologies, Cultural Production, Practice Theories, Identity Work



  • The University of Stirling Impact Studentship Fund, 2013
  • University of St Andrews 600th Anniversary  PhD Studentship, 2013
  • AHRC/Creative Scotland/NESTA Research and Development Consortium Project Funding, 2013
  • Arts Trust of Scotland Award, funding for a month long research trip to Tokyo, 2006
  • Networking Artists’ Network, ‘Go See’ Bursary for Research trip to Bucharest Romania, 2006
  • Scottish Arts Council, individual funding to support creative development, 2006
  • Dundee Visual Artists Award, 2005, 2006, 2008
  • The Royal Scottish Academy’s John Kinross Scholarship, 2004

Publications and Papers:

Forthcoming paper:
Preston, L., 2015. Producing publics: The bookspotting app and the “social life of the book” – regenerating publishing practices and reader relationships. In: SHARP (Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing) 23rd annual conference on the generation and regeneration of books. Longueil/Montreal, Canada, 7-10 July 2015.

Article in peer-reviewed journal:
Preston, L. 2013., ‘Publishing and visual culture: symbiotic relationships and the impact of technology on publishing strategies and activity‘ Book 2.0 3:1, pp.25-43.

Exhibition Catalogues:
Brownrigg, J. 2006. AWOL in Romania. In: O, Tanase ed. 2006. Absent without leave (AWOL) Young Artists’ Biennial, 2nd Edition, Bucharest 2006. Bucharest: META Publishing House. pp.8-49.

Catto, A. and McGowan, K. eds., 2006. Dundee Visual Artists Awards Scheme. Dundee: Scottish Arts Council and Dundee City Council. p.30.


University of St Andrews, School of Management


Twitter: @louisa_preston

Maxine Branagh, PhD in Book History 2014-2017

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Working Title: The Scottish Child Reader in the Long Eighteenth Century: A Comparison of the Expectations and Experience of Young Readers in the Wake of the Scottish Enlightenment

Topic: The eighteenth century saw the invention of marketable, commercialised literature specifically aimed at children. I will be investigating this development in a specifically Scottish context, and will explore the following questions: What were the perceived educational, spiritual and developmental needs of Scottish child readers? How did writers of both imaginative and didactic literature attempt to address those needs? Which texts did Scottish children actually read during the long eighteenth century? How did they perceive those texts? Did the new children’s literature promote literacy? Did(and do) the expectations of (adult) writers and child readers ever really match up? Through a discussion of the legacy of Scottish Enlightenment thinking (particularly on the nature of ’useful knowledge’) on ideas about reading and education, I will explore the differences in reading and education between Scotland and the rest of Britain.

Research Interests: The Long Eighteenth Century, Book History, History of Reading, Children’s Literature, History of Childhood, Scottish Enlightenment, Romanticism



Conference Papers:

  • “The iron grasp of adversity”: Suffering and didacticism in the novels of Mary Brunton, presented at University of Stirling Arts and Humanities Postgraduate Conference, May 2014

Twitter: @maxinebranagh

Rachel Noorda, PhD in Publishing Studies

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Title: Transnational Scottish Book Marketing to a Diasporic Audience, 1995-2015 (Thesis available via STORRE)
Topic: My thesis analyses the transnational marketing strategies of Scottish publishing companies. The book industry in Scotland is primarily composed of small, independent publishing houses, many of which sell books that are Scottish interest. These books may be set in Scotland, contain elements of Scottish themes such as Scottish history or mythology, or be written by Scottish authors. This thesis investigates what makes a book “Scottish”, if and why Scottish books appeal to certain transnational markets and how small Scottish publishers can focus marketing strategies to reach these audiences.
Research interests: International marketing, small business marketing, Scottish diaspora history, Scottish book history, niche publishing, marketing, rights and export
  • Society of the History of Authorship, Readership and Publishing Travel Grant, September 2014
  • Catherine Mackichan Bursary Trust Award, 2014, 2015
  • Charles O. Gordon Scholarship (for the study of Scottish Gaelic), March 2014
  • Santander Travel Grant (for travel to the USA for interviews), February 2014
  • A Creative Enlightenment grant, February 2014
  • Tiree Tech Wave travel bursary, October 2013
Publications and Papers:
  • ‘The Power of the Small Press: Entrepreneurial Marketing and Disruption of the Industry’, in TXT. (Forthcoming.)
  • ‘Book Review: The History of Oxford University Press’, Quaerendo. (Forthcoming.)
  • ‘Entrepreneurship and Marketing in the Publishing Industry’, in Handbook on Marketing and Entrepreneurship eds. Ian Fillis and Nicholas Telford, (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar). (Forthcoming.)
  • ‘The Intersection of Business and Books: A Small Business Marketing Approach to Scottish Publishing’, Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing, Montreal, July 2015
  • ‘Put a Kilt on It: The Role of Nationality in Twenty-First Century Book Marketing’, By the Book Conference, Florence, May 2015
  • “A Global God: Transnational Presbyterian Publishing and the Case of Saint Andrew Press”, Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing Conference, University of Antwerp, September 2014.
  • “Romanticizing the Homeland: Views of Scotland for Scottish-Americans in Las Vegas” Home/less Postgraduate Interdisciplinary Conference, University of Kent, June 2014.
  • “Books as Souvenirs: The Tourism and Heritage Book Market”, By the Book Conference, Florence, May 2014.
  • “International Success: Selling Niche Titles Beyond the Prime Home Market” in Publishing
    Research Quarterly, Volume 28, Issue 4, December 2012.
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