Professorial Inaugural Lecture: Kirstie Blair

13 Feb ‘14
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5.30PM - 6.30PM

Venue: Pathfoot Lecture Theatre, Pathfoot building, University of Stirling

The School of Arts and Humanities invites you to the professorial inaugural lecture of Professor Kirstie Blair:
"Poetry and the Press in Victorian Scotland".

This lecture will discuss the forgotten poets of Victorian Scotland, poets who primarily, and in many cases exclusively, published in their local newspapers. It will focus on this lively culture of ‘local’ poetry, a culture in which communities of poets and readers supported and responded to each other. The majority of newspaper poets were (or claimed to be) working-class, and studying their work sheds new light on the significance of poetry in working-class Scottish and British literary culture. I will argue that far from being apolitical, even the most seemingly conventional newspaper poems take on new resonance when they are replaced in their original reading context. With particular reference to the competing weekly newspapers of Aberdeen, Dundee and Glasgow, I will suggest that local newspapers were highly invested in highlighting the poetic strengths of their particular Scottish region, and that Scottish working-class poets received unique encouragement to publish from the radical editors of this new popular press.

The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception in the Crush Hall, Pathfoot Building.

RSVP: All welcome. To reserve a place at this event please contact Tom Kowalski, Administrator email:

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