Research Areas

Research Centres

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities contains a number of active Centres which act as hubs for inter-disciplinary research and teaching. More details about these Centres, who often also have a strong Facebook presence, can be found immediately below:

Subject-specific research

While our Centres naturally act as inter-disciplinary research hubs there are many other research projects being undertaken within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at any one time. Such research projects can often be targeted and subject-specific. Please click on any of the red tabs below to find out more details of these projects:

Communications & Media and Cultures

Stirling Media Research Institute (SMRI)

The Stirling Media Research Institute (SMRI) is an internationally recognised centre for media research and is the research arm of the Division of Communications, Media and Culture.

Journal of Media and Cultural Politics

Professor Neil Blain is editor of The International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics (MCP) that is co-hosted by the SMRI (with Dr Katharine Sarikakis, University of Leeds). The journal is committed to analyzing the politics of communications and cultural processes. It addresses cultural politics in their local, international and global dimensions, recognizing equally the importance of issues defined by their specific cultural geography and those which run across cultures and nations.

English

Research in English Studies

Research in English Studies in the Division of Literature and Languages spans the medieval period to the present day. Members of staff publish on Medieval translation, Early Modern manuscript and print culture (including Shakespeare, Bacon, Milton, Republican writing), Romantic-era writing, Victorian literature, Modernist literature, and Contemporary writing, as well as on interdisciplinary cross-period areas, particularly on book history (including scholarly editing and publishing studies), the Gothic, Scottish literature, postcolonial cultures of India, Australia and the Caribbean, religion, gender and sexualities, cultural studies and linguistics. We have a renowned group of award-winning creative writers working here, and a committed, intellectually searching postgraduate student community.

Our research interests are organised according to the following cross-cutting thematic research groups that are shared with colleagues across the Division:

Stirling is home to Routledge’s The New Critical Idiom Series (Series Editor: John Drakakis), as well as the 39-volume Stirling/South Carolina edition of James Hogg (General Editors: Suzanne Gilbert and Ian Duncan (University of California, Berkeley)), and the new five volume edition of Richard Baxter (General Editor: Neil Keeble). The following journals are edited by Divisional staff: Literature and Theology (ed. Andrew Hass), Journal of Romance Studies (ed. William Marshall), Journal of Stevenson Studies (ed. Rory Watson), International Journal of Scottish Literature (ed. Scott Hames and Ian Duncan), Journal of Journal of European Popular Culture (ed. Cristina Johnston).

In conducting research we are guided by our policy on impact: to preserve and make public global literary and cultural heritage; to develop new vocabularies to enhance understanding of cultural values and practices; to inspire and educate readers and audiences outside academia. Recent collaborations with external partners include the British Library, Aye Write!, the Edinburgh Festival of Spirituality and Peace, the Scottish Poetry Library, the National Trust for Scotland, NHS Scotland, and many others.

In the past five years we have significantly strengthened our research culture through shared divisional expertise, recruiting early career researchers and senior academics, and by hosting fellowships for creative writers through our external partnerships with the Charles Wallace Trust and the Royal Literary Fund.

Each year an Indian creative writer is based at Stirling thanks to the Charles Wallace Fellowship. Since 2006 the Africa in Motion film festival in Edinburgh (founded by Stirling PhD students) has offered our student interns the opportunity to gain experience in the creative arts industries.

Click here to see a list of the current Research Projects

For More Information please visit the Literature and Languages Divisional Page 

History

Historical research

Historical research at Stirling ranges from the Viking era to the present day. We focus on themes of colonial and early American history within a broad transatlantic context; British and Imperial post-1707 history; modern European history; and the medieval to modern history of Scotland within the British Isles and Europe. We have also pioneered African history c.1600-c.2000 and inter-disciplinary Environmental History. Most of these strands cross-pollinate each other. Indeed, we have shared interests in: questions of political power, including kingship, office and governmental institutions; the causes and courses of revolutions and counter revolutions; aspects of British and Imperial socio-economic history including financial systems, state welfare, housing, medicine and record-linkage; the cultures, movements, ideologies and environments of identity, ethnicity, religion and gender; the interplay of reputations, biography, memory and historiography; and evidence of human/agency interaction over time with natural landscape, resources and waste, as well as the built environment and cultural heritage. These interests channel into our participation in Stirling University’s cross-disciplinary Centres for Scottish Studies and for Environmental History & Policy, and reflect collaboration with an international range of academic partners, government agencies, NGOs, museums, galleries and schools.

History’s current projects include: the Corpus of Scottish Medieval Parish Churches database; British relations with early Republican America; medical provision, apothecaries and migrant welfare in modern Scotland; Global Evangelical networks; Lest Scotland Forgets - Recording Scotland’s Great War Memorials; Mining and Health & Safety history in modern Britain; Forth Valley Health Board and allied archives; the Atlantic Silk Trade; the History of the Book and Privy Council records in Scotland (pre-1707); a multi-volume edition of the Papers of Francis Bernard, governor of colonial Massachusetts on the eve of the American Revolution; the political friendships of John Adams; the Scottish Political Archive and the 1979/1997 Devolution referendums; food history, oil exploitation and environmentalism in modern Africa; Domino Revolutions in the European World from 1789 to post-Communism and the Arab Spring; political and cultural biographies of the reigns of Kings Alexander II, Robert I and James VII/II; and the Ochils Landscape Partnership in built heritage community access. Our research feeds directly into our diverse undergraduate teaching and postgraduate supervision, with current PhD topics ranging from ‘Social and Physical analysis of Scottish Medieval Castles’ through ‘Loyalists from New York before, during and after the Revolutionary War (1775-83)’ to ‘Contaminated landscapes in Canada in the twentieth century’.

To find out much more about these History research projects please click here

Law

The School has a strong reputation for excellence in research: Law staff are committed to producing high quality publications, which impact on legal scholarship and outside academia. Students benefit directly from that expertise in teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and in PhD supervision.In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, 5% of our research was judged to be world leading, 35% of international excellence, 30% of international quality, with the remaining 30% of at least national quality.

For further information, please click here

Languages

Research in Modern Languages at Stirling is characterised temporally by its emphasis on the modern, post-1800 era and spatially by its ability to range across the whole of the French and Spanish-speaking worlds.  Our understanding of French Studies is as a decentred space, with an emphasis on broad and deep specialisms in Francophone Studies, especially Africa and Canada/Quebec, as well as metropolitan France. These interests come together in our strengths in global Film Studies, where we bring together more specialists on more francophone areas than in any other French Studies grouping in the world. Hispanic Studies is similarly strong in film and visual cultures, with colleagues working on various aspects of peninsular Spanish and also Argentinian and Mexican cinema. Literary - including travel - writing and theory also play an important role in our interdisciplinary understanding of cultural texts and their production and adaptation across different popular genres, such as horror.

For more information please click here

Previous Research Projects Include - 

Women Poets Wandering in Time

 

Politics

Research in Politics at Stirling focuses on the internal and external challenges to European liberal democracy.  Our work explores the impact of and interplay between internal pressures upon liberal democracies, such as devolution or the accommodation of minorities, and external challenges associated with the development of the European Union and the relationship with neighbouring countries outside of the EU.  Within this context our research addresses questions of European Integration and Security Governance; Regionalism and Devolution, with a particular focus on Scottish politics and the impact of devolution on the UK party system, and contemporary debates regarding Citizenship in Liberal Democracies, including questions of national identity, the regulation of migration, and cultural rights for linguistic and ethnic minorities. Under the auspices of the Centre for Human Security and European Neighbourhood Studies we are developing a growing strand of research centred on discourses of human security and the manner in which perceptions of threats to human security shape the political agendas at both national and EU level and structure the relationship between Europe and its neighbours.

Current Research Projects in Politics include: The Scottish Political Achieve (SPA), which chronicles the political history of Scotland in the 20th and 21st century, with a particular focus on the 1979 and 1997 devolution referendums; The Nordic Prostitution Policy Reform Project, which investigates how ideas including gender equality, victimhood and trafficking in human beings have shaped prostitution policy debates across the Nordic region;   The Politics of Managing Migration, which explores how mainstream Nordic political parties develop their immigration entry and integration policy preferences;  The Strange Death of Labour Scotland, which analyses the last thirty years of Scottish Labour, from the arrival of Thatcherism in 1979 to the aftermath of the party's defeat in the 2011 Scottish Parliament elections; New Labour’s Faustian Pact?,  which examines  New Labour’s regulatory policy towards the city; and  The Role of Religion in the Liberal Public Realm, which explores the rights and duties of religious and secular citizens in the light of recent controversies regarding the role of religion in a liberal polity.

To find out much more about these Politics research projects please click here

Religion

In Religion, a distinctive methodology - ‘Critical Religion’- is deployed to interrogate the historical construction and limitations of the term itself, and to ask positive but searching questions about the place of religious discourse - and discourse on religion - in contemporary societies. This approach yields valuable insights for the various research specialisms in the grouping, with stimulating interdisciplinary connections made with adjacent fields. 

For more information click here

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