Dr Scott Hames

Senior Lecturer

English Studies University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA

Dr Scott Hames

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About me

About me

I write mainly about Scottish literature and cultural politics, with a focus on the era of devolution (1967-present). I did my PhD at the University of Aberdeen, on the literary politics of James Kelman. My wider teaching and research interests lie in modern periodical studies, Anglophone vernacular writing, critical theory, and contemporary literature and politics. I'm currently Associate Dean for Research in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and Chair of the Universities Commitee for Scottish Literature.

My monograph on The Literary Politics of Scottish Devolution: Voice, Class, Nation was published in 2020. It's a cultural history and critique of devolution, focused on the role of writers, critics, magazines and intellectuals, and was described by reviewers as 'an outstanding critical tour-de-force' (Review of English Studies) and 'one of the most original and arresting studies of our political culture written for 10 years’ (Herald). I also edited the Edinburgh Companion to James Kelman, Unstated: Writers on Scottish Independence and (with Marie-Odile Pittin-Hedon and Camille Manfredi) Scottish Writing After Devolution: Edges of the New. With Maria Daniella-Dick and Alex Thomson, I edit the book series Engagements with Modern Scottish Culture for Edinburgh University Press.

I lead the Scottish Magazines Network, an AHRC research network partnered with the National Library of Scotland (CI: Malcolm Petrie, St Andrews). The network brings together scholars of Scottish literature, history, politics and publishing to explore — and ‘re-circulate’ — independent magazine culture of the post-1960s period. Our events and publications aim to stimulate new public interest in these cultural and political magazines, and their role in shaping the Scotland of today. Ultimately, we hope to digitise a range of these magazines and restore them to public circulation. For news and details, see the project website or @ScotMagsNet. An edited volume based on the project (co-edited with Eleanor Bell and Malcolm Petrie) is currently in preparation.

I set up the Stirling Magazines and Periodicals Research Group and am active with the Stirling Scottish Studies Network. My ongoing interests in Scottish cultural and political magazines follow on from a research project on 'Narrating Scottish Devolution: Literature, Politics and the Culturalist Paradigm', which led to this Guardian podcast.

With Professor Maria Fusco (Northumbria; PI), I ran an AHRC Research Network on 'De-Localising Dialect', exploring new creative and critical practices for and about vernacular language art. Over three workshops held in 2019, we established an original research agenda to place ‘dialect’ and its debates at the centre of critical attention in the nexus of art, literature and sociolinguistics.

I've published articles and chapters on James Kelman (and masculinity, existentialism, canonicity, inner-speech, vernacular aesthetics), Alistair MacLeod, William McIlvanney, Alice Munro, Andrew O'Hagan, Don Paterson, Robert Louis Stevenson, Alan Warner, Irvine Welsh, Scottish novels of education, vernacular fetishism, the Indyref novel, Scotland's political print-culture, ‘theory’ and cultural nationalism. I have work in progress on James Kelman, and am developing a project on Tom Nairn and literary style. With Eleanor Bell and Ian Duncan I co-founded and co-edited the International Journal of Scottish Literature, and I also maintain an online bibliography of James Kelman criticism.

Occasionally I write for the New Statesman on topics related to my research, and other pieces of cultural and political commentary can be found here.

PhD Supervisees


Irina Nakonechna - Scottish identity and diasporic literature, 1960-present

Neil Conway - The Melancholic Solitary in Modern Scottish Poetry [second supervisor]


Maike Dinger - A myth of popular participation? Discourse and the politics of representation in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum (AHRC-funded; co-supervised with Michael Higgins at Strathclyde, completed 2024)

Alice Doyle - Archive and Narrative in the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum (AHRC-funded; CDP with the National Library of Scotland, completed 2021)

Felix Flores Varona - Remapping Scotland's Literary Influence: José Martí and the (In)Visible Transatlantic Connection (completed 2021)

Mairi A. MacLeod - The Metaphysical Landscapes of Neil M. Gunn (completed 2020)

Harry Josephine Giles (co-supervised with Kathleen Jamie) - Scrievan Orkney's Future: Marginal Language and Speculative Poetries (AHRC-funded; completed 2020)

Arianna Introna - Crip Antagonisms: Autonomist Narratives of Disability in Scottish Writing (AHRC-funded; completed 2018)

Meghan McAvoy - A Critique of Scottish Literary Nationalism (completed 2015)

Neil Syme - The Modern Uncanny: Textuality and Tradition in Post-1970s Scottish Fiction (completed 2014)

Thomas Christie - Ideology, Genre and National Identity in Popular Scottish Fiction, 1975-2006 (completed 2012)

I welcome PhD proposals relating to any of the research areas above.

Research (3)

Main research interests in modern Scottish literature and cultural politics (especially James Kelman, Scottish devolution, politics of language and identity); contemporary fiction and criticism; Anglophone vernacular writing; modernism and critical theory.  


Scottish Magazines Network: New Research Directions and Partnerships
PI: Dr Scott Hames
Funded by: Arts and Humanities Research Council

De-localising Dialect
PI: Dr Scott Hames
Funded by: Arts and Humanities Research Council

Narrating Scottish Devolution: Literature, Politics and the Culturalist Paradigm
PI: Dr Scott Hames
Funded by: The British Academy

Outputs (33)


Book Chapter

Pittin-Hédon M, Manfredi C & Hames S (2022) Introduction. In: Pittin-Hedon M, Manfredi C & Hames S (eds.) Scottish Writing After Devolution: Edges of the New. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 1-16. https://edinburghuniversitypress.com/book-scottish-writing-after-devolution.html

Book Chapter

Hames S (2022) Democracy and the Indyref Novel. In: Pittin-Hédon M, Manfredi C & Hames S (eds.) Scottish Writing After Devolution: Edges of the New. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. https://edinburghuniversitypress.com/book-scottish-writing-after-devolution.html

Edited Book

Pittin-Hédon M, Manfredi C & Hames S (eds.) (2022) Scottish Writing After Devolution: Edges of the New. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. https://edinburghuniversitypress.com/book-scottish-writing-after-devolution.html

Book Chapter

Hames S (2020) Twin Tracks: Cultural and Political Nationalism after 1967. In: Keating M & McAngus C (eds.) Oxford Handbook of Scottish Politics. Oxford Handbooks. Oxford: Oxford University Press. https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-oxford-handbook-of-scottish-politics-9780198825098?q=Handbook%20of%20Scottish%20Politics&lang=en&cc=gb

Conference Proceeding

Hames S & Hunter A (eds.) (2016) If Scotland.... Conjecturing 2014. Journal of Scottish Thought, Volume 8. If Scotland: Posting 2014, 23.08.2014-24.08.2014. University of Stirling: AHRC Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies, University of Aberdeen. https://www.store.abdn.ac.uk/product-catalogue/publications/research-institute-of-irish-and-scottish-studies/journal-of-scottish-thought-volume-8


Hames S (2016) Nobody's Dream: Stories of Scottish Devolution. [Audio podcast] 02.2016. https://stirlingcentrescottishstudies.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/nobodys-dream-stories-of-scottish-devolution/

Book Chapter

Hames S (2016) The New Scottish Renaissance?. In: Boxall P & Cheyette B (eds.) The Oxford History of the Novel in English: Volume 7, British and Irish Fiction Since 1940. Oxford History of the Novel in English, 7. Oxford: Oxford University Press. https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-oxford-history-of-the-novel-in-english-9780198749394?cc=gb〈=en&

Book Chapter

Hames S (2014) The 'Settlers and Colonists' Affair. In: Manfredi C (ed.) Alasdair Gray: Ink for Worlds. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 73-104. http://www.palgrave.com/us/book/9781137401779

Conference Paper

Hames S (2014) Scottish Literature, Devolution, and the Fetish of Representation. MLA 2014, Chicago, 09.01.2014-12.01.2014. The Bottle Imp, (Supplement 1). https://www.thebottleimp.org.uk/2014/03/scottish-literature-devolution-and-the-fetish-of-representation/

Book Chapter

Hames S (2013) Realism and Romance. In: McCracken-Flesher C (ed.) Approaches to Teaching the Works of Robert Louis Stevenson. MLA Approaches to Teaching World Literature, 124. New York: Modern Language Association, pp. 61-68. http://www.mla.org/store/PID449

Book Chapter

Hames S (2012) Introduction: Don't Feel Bought, You're Buying. In: Hames S (ed.) Unstated: Writers on Scottish Independence. Edinburgh: Word Power Books, pp. 1-18. http://www.word-power.co.uk/books/unstated-I9780956628398/

Edited Book

Hames S (ed.) (2010) The Edinburgh Companion to James Kelman. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. http://www.euppublishing.com/book/9780748639649

Book Chapter

Hames S (2010) Alan Warner. In: Shaffer B (ed.) The Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Fiction. Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Literature. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, pp. 374-376. http://eu.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1405192445.html

Book Chapter

Hames S (2010) Kelman's Art-Speech. In: Hames S (ed.) The Edinburgh Companion to James Kelman. Edinburgh Companions to Scottish Literature. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 86-98. http://www.euppublishing.com/book/9780748639649

Book Review

Hames S (2008) Culture, nation and the new Scottish parliament. Review of: Culture, Nation, and the New Scottish Parliament, Caroline McCracken-Flesher ed. Lewisburg, PA, Bucknell University Press, 2007, 279pp. 083875547X. Victorian Studies, 50 (3), pp. 519-521. https://doi.org/10.2979/VIC.2008.50.3.519

Book Chapter

Hames S (2007) Don Paterson and Poetic Autonomy. In: Schoene B (ed.) The Edinburgh Companion to Contemporary Scottish Literature. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 245-254. http://www.eupjournals.com/book/9780748623969

Book Chapter

Hames S (2004) Fightin' Dominies and Form: Politics and Narrative in Some Modern Scottish Novels of Education. In: Alexander N, Murphy S & Oakman A (eds.) To the Other Shore: Cross-currents in Irish and Scottish Studies. Belfast Studies in Language, Culture and Politics. Belfast: Cló Ollscoil na Banríona (Queen's University Belfast Press), pp. 56-68. http://www.qub.ac.uk/sites/COB/Publications/BelfastStudiesinLanguageCultureandPolitics/



At undergraduate level, my teaching tends to focus on our second-year modules 'Writing and Theory' and 'Writing and History: Scotland and Empire'. I also co-teach option modules on 'Rotten English: Voicing Difference' (on literature in non-standard language), 'Talking on Paper: The Essay as Literature' and 'Scottish Literature'. I contribute to various other modules, including 'Introduction to Literary Studies', 'Literary Revolutions', and a few sessions on the MLitt in Creative Writing.

Research programmes

Research themes