Meet the committee

Lead organiser

Lorna MacBean is currently correcting her AHRC-funded PhD thesis on the infamous William Lithgow (1582–c.1645). Her thesis reappraises Lithgow’s corpus and position in the Scottish literary canon in light of post/decolonial theory. Using textual editing in a theoretical pursuit, her research seeks to reread literature from Scotland’s seventeenth century for a twenty-first century audience and emphasise the importance of that century for current understandings of and identifications with Scotland as a built nation. She would, of course, rather meet in person, but is very excited to co-host an online symposium with Glasgow’s early modern cohort.


Alice Gibson is a graduate in English Literature from the University of St Andrews, and is currently undertaking an MPhil in Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow. Her undergraduate dissertation was entitled ‘Sympathy or Satire? A Question of Tone in the Quare of Jelusy’, an investigation into the little-known, anonymous poem found in the Arch Selden B.24 MS. Her research interests concentrate primarily on the 15th and 16th centuries, with her MPhil work focusing on historical female readership in Scotland and its impact on the reception of narrative texts. Alice is looking forward to the chance to forge further bonds between the studies of medieval and early modern Scottish literatures.


Emily Hay is a SGSAH funded PhD researcher in Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow. Her main interests lie in early modern women’s writing, especially women’s literary and cultural production in and around the Reformation. Her current research evaluates the cultural image of Mary Queen of Scots as presented in her own writing: her self-portrayal in poetry and correspondence from 1567–1587, and how this contrasted with how others wrote about her in the same period. More broadly, she also has a developing fascination with the posthumous memorialisation of Mary and other female monarchs.


Roslyn Potter is a SGSAH funded PhD student at the University of Glasgow in Scottish Literature. She is particularly interested in early Scottish music, having completed a Carnegie Vacation Project on early Scottish lyrics in 2019 and her MPhil thesis on John Forbes’s Songs and Fancies (the first known book of secular Scottish songs to appear in print in 1662) and its musical and literary legacy. Roslyn’s PhD work focusses on women’s manuscript collection, song culture and bawdry in early modern Scotland. Part of her work will include creating recorded versions of these forgotten songs as shared and performed by women in the early modern household.


Jessica Reid is a SGSAH-funded PhD candidate in the Scottish Literature department at the University of Glasgow. Her research is on the writing of the pamphleteer, translator and playwright Thomas St. Serfe or Sydserf (1624–70). Her essay on St. Serfe was recently published in the Scottish Literary Review. She is a founding member of the symposium and was lead organiser in its inaugural year. This year she is looking forward to building on last year’s event by broadening and deepening the conversation, without losing sight of the conviviality which made last year such a success.


Heather Wells is in the final stages of her PhD thesis which provides a Scottish literary perspective on the plays and fictional writing of Anglo-Scottish playwright and philosopher, Catharine Trotter Cockburn (?1674–1749). Her wider research interests lie with the very few examples of plays we have from Scotland in the seventeenth and very early eighteenth centuries. The Symposium for Seventeenth-Century Scottish Literature is a great opportunity to gather together with other researchers, and Heather is really excited to reconnect with and meet new lovers of Scottish Literature in this field.