Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Professor Liam McIlvanney

Stuart Chair in Scottish Studies

Liam McIlvanney image

Contact details

Tel +64 3 479 4936
Email liam.mcilvanney@otago.ac.nz
Office 101, First Floor
99 Albany Street
Dunedin

Mail
Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies
University of Otago
PO Box 56
Dunedin 9054
New Zealand

Liam McIlvanney is the inaugural Stuart Professor of Scottish Studies and Co-Director of the Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies. He holds degrees from the universities of Glasgow and Oxford. His research interests focus on modern Scottish literature, particularly the work of Robert Burns and the literature of the Scottish diaspora. His monograph, Burns the Radical, won the Saltire First Book Award in 2002. He is co-editor, with Gerard Carruthers, of the Cambridge Companion to Scottish Literature (2012), and has published on various aspects of eighteenth-century Scottish literature, Ulster-Scots poetry and contemporary Scottish fiction.

Professor McIlvanney is also a crime novelist. His first novel, All the Colours of the Town, was shortlisted for the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Fiction Award in 2010. His second novel, Where the Dead Men Go, won the 2014 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best New Zealand Crime Novel. His most recent novel, The Quaker, was a Times bestseller in the UK, won the 2018 McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year and was shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Historical Dagger Award. 

A patron of the Imprint Book Festival in his native East Ayrshire, Professor McIlvanney is an honorary member of Irvine Burns Club, and holds a Visiting Fellowship at the Centre for Robert Burns Studies at the University of Glasgow and a Waitangi Day Literary Honour from the New Zealand Society of Authors. He serves on the advisory board of Studies in Scottish Literature and as an international advisor to the Scottish Historical Review Trust. His essays and reviews have appeared in the London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, the Guardian and the Irish Times.

Research Supervision

Professor McIlvanney welcomes research proposals in the field of modern Scottish literature and culture. He particularly welcomes proposals in the following areas: the poetry and international reception of Robert Burns; Scottish diaspora writing; the Scottish novel; Scottish crime fiction. Professor McIlvanney also offers supervision, at both Masters and PhD level, in creative writing, with particular reference to crime fiction.

Postgraduate students

Current

Sara Brown (enrolled 2018, PhD), ‘The impact of Scottish education policy on students attending National Centres of Excellence’

Sue Wootton (enrolled 2016, PhD in Creative Practice), ‘Life sentences: states of paralysis and articulating recovery in literary prose’

Majella Cullinane (enrolled 2016, PhD in Creative Practice), ‘The Colours of that Place: the fundamentals of setting in Colum McCann’s short fiction’

Completed

Leila Crawford, ‘Cultivating space and place: Seamus Heaney’s landscape poetics’

Ailbhe McDaid, 'Neither here nor there, and therefore home': A Poetics of Migration in Contemporary Irish Poetry

Daniel Milosavljevic, Piobaireachd in New Zealand: Culture, Authenticity and Localisation

Sarah Paterson, "Dirt, And Spit, And Poetry": The Changing Shape Of Kathleen Jamie's Writing

Sharon Matthews, Recasting the Feminine: Archetypes and Archetypal Figures of the Female in Two Plays by James K. Baxter

Jared Lesser, Esprit de corps[e]: Joyce, Ulysses, and the Body

Lisa McGonigle, Post-Catholic Ireland in literature and popular culture

Selected publications

Liam McIlvanney, The Quaker (London: HarperCollins, 2018) 387pp

Liam McIlvanney, ‘Cancer of Empire: The Glasgow Novel Between the Wars’, in British Literature in Transition, 1920-1940: Futility and Anarchy, ed. by Charles Ferrall and Dougal McNeill (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018), pp. 242-58

Liam McIlvanney, ‘Scottish Poetry in the South Seas: John Barr at the Edge of the Map’, Journal of Irish and Scottish Studies, 8.1 (2017), 5-31

Liam McIlvanney, ‘The Visionary Voyages of Robert Burns’, in Jacobitism, Enlightenment and Empire, 1680-1820, ed. by Allan I. Macinnes and Douglas J. Hamilton (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2014), pp. 173-91

Liam McIlvanney and Graham Tulloch, ‘Sciascia and Rankin: Detective Fiction in Sicilian and Scottish Modes’, in Scotland and Sicily: Where Extremes Meet, ed. by Graham Tulloch, Karen Agutter and Lucian D’Arcangeli (Leicester: Troubador, 2014), pp. 20-31

Liam McIlvanney, ‘“They Gang in Stirks and Come Out Asses”: Creative Writing and Scottish Studies’, Studies in Scottish Literature, 40.1 (2014), 7-14

Liam McIlvanney, Where the Dead Men Go (London: Faber, 2013) 344pp

Liam McIlvanney, ‘The Glasgow Novel’, in The Cambridge Companion to Scottish Literature, ed. by Gerard Carruthers and Liam McIlvanney (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), pp. 217-32

Liam McIlvanney, ‘Poems Like Hand Grenades: Baxter, Burns and Bawdry’, Journal of New Zealand Literature, 30 (2012), 29-51

Liam McIlvanney and Ray Ryan, eds, The Good of the Novel (London: Faber, 2011) 225pp

^ Top of page

Publications

MacDonald, C., Wilkie, B., Wallace, V., McIlvanney, L., Stenhouse, J., & Goldie, D. (2019, December). Scotland’s colony? To what extent was Otago a Scottish colony? How does Otago complicate our understanding of Scotland’s involvement in empire? Panel discussion at the Scotland's Colony? Rethinking Otago's Caledonian Connections Symposium, Dunedin, New Zealand.

McDermid, V., McIlvanney, L., Tiernan, S. (October, 2019) Brexit and beyond: Boarders, backstops and Boris> MindJam. Yonder, Queenstown, New Zealand. [Public Discussion].

McIlvanney, L. (2018). Cancer of empire: The Glasgow novel between the wars. In C. Ferrall & D. McNeill (Eds.), British literature in transition, 1920-1940: Futility and anarchy. (pp. 242-258). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/9781316535929.018

McIlvanney, L. (2017). Troubles fiction too urgent and topical to be historical. Irish Times, (20 October). [Book Review].

McIlvanney, L. (2017). Special antipodean part issue. Scottish Literary Review, 9(2), vi-viii. Retrieved from http://muse.jhu.edu/article/678037

McDermid, V., McIlvanney, L., Tiernan, S. (October, 2019) Brexit and beyond: Boarders, backstops and Boris> MindJam. Yonder, Queenstown, New Zealand. [Public Discussion].

Other Research Output

McIlvanney, L. (2010, October). Imagining Scotland and the Scottish diaspora. University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Inaugural Professorial Lecture].

Other Research Output

McIlvanney, L. (2009, July). ″Dead man's ember″: James K. Baxter's Robert Burns. University of Otago Centre for Research on National Identity Seminar Series. Dunedin, New Zealand. [Public Lecture].

Other Research Output

McIlvanney, L. (2013). Where the dead men go. London, OK: Faber & Faber, 344p.

Authored Book - Research

McIlvanney, L. (2009). All the colours of the town. London: Faber and Faber, 329p.

Authored Book - Research

Carruthers, G., & McIlvanney, L. (Eds.). (2012). The Cambridge companion to Scottish literature. New York, NY: Cambridge University of Press, 301p.

Edited Book - Research

McIlvanney, L., & Ryan, R. (Eds.). (2011). The good of the novel. NY: Continuum International, 225p.

Edited Book - Research

McIlvanney, L. (2018). Cancer of empire: The Glasgow novel between the wars. In C. Ferrall & D. McNeill (Eds.), British literature in transition, 1920-1940: Futility and anarchy. (pp. 242-258). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/9781316535929.018

Chapter in Book - Research

McIlvanney, L. (2014). The visionary voyages of Robert Burns. In A. I. Macinnes & D. J. Hamilton (Eds.), Jacobitism, enlightenment and empire, 1680-1820. (pp. 173-191). London, UK: Pickering & Chatto.

Chapter in Book - Research

McIlvanney, L., & Tulloch, G. (2014). Sciascia and Rankin: Detective fiction in Sicilian and Scottish modes. In G. Tulloch, K. Agutter & L. d'Arcangeli (Eds.), Sicily and Scotland: Where extremes meet. (pp. 20-31). Leicester, UK: Troubador.

Chapter in Book - Research

Carruthers, G., & McIlvanney, L. (2012). Introduction. In G. Carruthers & L. McIlvanney (Eds.), The Cambridge companion to Scottish literature. (pp. 1-10). New York, NY: Cambridge University of Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

McIlvanney, L. (2012). The Glasgow novel. In G. Carruthers & L. McIlvanney (Eds.), The Cambridge companion to Scottish literature. (pp. 217-232). New York, NY: Cambridge University of Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

McIlvanney, L., & Ryan, R. (2011). Introduction. In L. McIlvanney & R. Ryan (Eds.), The good of the novel. (pp. vii-xiv). NY: Continuum International.

Chapter in Book - Research

McIlvanney, L. (2002). The politics of narrative in the post-war Scottish novel. In Z. Leader (Ed.), On modern British fiction. (pp. 181-208). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

McIlvanney, L. (2014). 'They gang in stirks and come out asses': Creative writing and Scottish Studies. Studies in Scottish Literature, 40(1), 7-14.

Journal - Research Article

McIlvanney, L. (2014). Scottish poetry in the South Seas: John Barr at the edge of the map. Journal of Irish & Scottish Studies, 8(1), 5-31.

Journal - Research Article

McIlvanney, L. (2012). Poems like hand grenades: Baxter, Burns, and Bawdry. Journal of New Zealand Literature, 30, 29-51.

Journal - Research Article

McIlvanney, L. (2010). Burns and the world [Editorial]. International Journal of Scottish Literature, 6(Spring/Summer). Retrieved from http://www.ijsl.stir.ac.uk/issue6/editorial.htm

Journal - Research Article

McIlvanney, L. (2006). It started with the flutes. To Hell With Journals Edition A: North & South, 78-95.

Journal - Research Article

McIlvanney, L. (2005). Hugh Blair, Robert Burns, and the invention of Scottish literature. Eighteenth-Century Life, 29(2), 25-46.

Journal - Research Article

McIlvanney, L. (2001). The Scottish renaissance and the Irish invasion: Literary attitudes to Irishness in inter-war Scotland. Scottish Studies Review, 2(1), 77-89.

Journal - Research Article

McIlvanney, L. (2017). Special antipodean part issue. Scottish Literary Review, 9(2), vi-viii. Retrieved from http://muse.jhu.edu/article/678037

Journal - Research Other

McIlvanney, L. (2012). A lonely Orpheus [Review of the book The snake-haired muse: James K Baxter and classical myth]. New Zealand Books, 22(1), 19. [Book Review].

Journal - Research Other

McIlvanney, L., & McNeill, D. (2012). Watching a dead man's ember glow. Journal of New Zealand Literature, 30, 6-8. [Editorial].

Journal - Research Other

McIlvanney, L. (2011). [Review of the book Scottish literature]. Scottish Literary Review, 3(2), 262-264. [Book Review].

Journal - Research Other

McIlvanney, L. (2009). The coldest place on earth [Review of the book Brooklyn]. London Review of Books, 31(12), 11-12.

Journal - Research Other

McIlvanney, L. (2017). Troubles fiction too urgent and topical to be historical. Irish Times, (20 October). [Book Review].

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

McIlvanney, L. (2013). [Review of the book Robert Burns and friends: Essays by W. Ormiston Roy Fellows presented to G. Ross Roy]. Eighteenth-Century Scotland, 27, 41-42. [Book Review].

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

MacDonald, C., Wilkie, B., Wallace, V., McIlvanney, L., Stenhouse, J., & Goldie, D. (2019, December). Scotland’s colony? To what extent was Otago a Scottish colony? How does Otago complicate our understanding of Scotland’s involvement in empire? Panel discussion at the Scotland's Colony? Rethinking Otago's Caledonian Connections Symposium, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

McIlvanney, L. (2017, February). Imagining Scotland in the South Seas: A tale of two Burnses. Verbal presentation at the Family Ties Symposium: Exploring Kinship and Creative Production in Nineteenth-Century Britain, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

McIlvanney, L. (2014, February). Creative writing and the canon: The Scottish experience. Verbal presentation at the Professing Creativity Conference: Teaching Creative Writing in Aotearoa, Wellington, New Zealand.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

McIlvanney, L. (2013, July). The 'Global Turn' in Burns Studies. Keynote presentation at the Romantic Studies Association of Australasia (RSAA) Biennial Conference: Global Romanticism, Sydney, Australia.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

McIlvanney, L. (2013, June). Scottish poetry in the South Seas [George Watson Memorial Lecture]. Verbal presentation at the On the Edge Conference: Transitions, Transgressions, and Transformations in Irish and Scottish Studies, Vancouver, Canada.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

McIlvanney, L. (2012, November). The Glasgow background. Verbal presentation at the Celebration of John Buchanan FLS (1819-1898) Symposium, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

McIlvanney, L. (2012, September). 'On life’s rough ocean luckless starrr’d’: The visionary voyages of Robert Burns. Verbal presentation at the Romantic Voyagers - Voyaging Romantics Conference, Wellington, New Zealand.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

McIlvanney, L. (2011, February). ″West awa' yonder″: Global connections in Glasgow fiction. Verbal presentation at the Centre for Irish & Scottish Studies Symposium on the History and Literature of the Scottish Diaspora: Global Scots, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

McIlvanney, L. (2011, July). Internal borders in Scott's Scottish fiction. Verbal presentation at the Ninth International Scott Conference: Walter Scott: Sheriff and Outlaw, Laramie, Wyoming.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

McIlvanney, L. (2010, November). Baxter, Burns and bawdry. Verbal presentation at the Centre for Irish Studies and Scottish Studies Symposium: 'Dead Man's Ember': James K. Baxter and Robert Burns, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

More publications...