Personal profile


Ainsley is the first AHRC-Daphne Jackson Fellow in Arts and Humanities at the University of Edinburgh. Previously, she has held Research Fellowships at the Walter Scott Research Centre, University of Aberdeen. Her critical edition of Scott’s Marmion (Edinburgh University Press, 2018) was the first of ten volumes of the Edinburgh Edition of Walter Scott’s Poetry (EEWSP). She works on nineteenth-century women’s writing, and seeks to disrupt established critical narratives surrounding its contribution to literary culture. Her current project explores nineteenth-century Scottish manuscript culture, with a specific focus on the poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson.  It approaches issues of identity and canonicity via the lens of literary, cultural and bodily fragmentation. Her research strands are connected by an overarching interest in literary manuscript culture, social authorship, and the interplay between textual and cultural legacies. 

Her other major project in progress considers how writers and artists of the Romantic period bear witness to the ecological and anthropological cost of the Napoleonic Wars. In addition to ideas relating to trauma, pain and disability studies, she is interested in the politics of commemoration and regeneration.



Ainsley has taught widely across the curriculum from medieval to contemporary literature. She mentors on the FutureLearn MOOC 'Walter Scott: The Man Behind the Monument' and enjoys engaging regularly in public engagement activity.

Education/Academic qualification

MA English and Scottish Literature, Bachelor of Arts, University of Aberdeen

MLitt English Literary Studies , University of Aberdeen

Doctor of Philosophy, Literature, University of Aberdeen

External positions

Affiliated Researcher, University of Aberdeen


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