Edinburgh Research Explorer

Alex Thomson

Senior Lecturer

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Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

I am happy to supervise projects in 19th, 20th and contemporary British literature, and in contemporary critical theory. I have particular interests in Scottish literature, in projects addressing the relationship between literature, politics and society; in aesthetic and political theories; in twentieth century French philosophy, including phenomenology and deconstruction; in the Frankfurt School; and in contemporary critical theories.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Edinburgh
Master of Arts, University of Sussex
Master of Arts, University of Edinburgh
MA (Hons) in English and Scottish Literature

Professional Qualifications

Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, Learning and Teaching Centre, University of Glasgow


After completing his PhD at the University of Edinburgh, Dr Alex Thomson held a post-doctoral fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, before lecturing at the University of Bristol and the University of Glasgow. He has been a lecturer in the department since January 2006. Between July 1999 and January 2001, he was editor of Edinburgh Review. He also holds an MA (Hons) in English and Scottish Literature from the University of Edinburgh and an MA in English Literature from the University of Sussex.

Research Interests

Dr Thomson’s main research interests are in 19th and 20th century Scottish literature, and in Critical Theory, particularly the work of Theodor Adorno and of Jacques Derrida. He is currently editing Robert Louis Stevenson’s Memories and Portraits for the New Edinburgh Edition of the works of Robert Louis Stevenson, to be published by Edinburgh University Press in 2013. Other current projects are a study of Hugh MacDiarmid and British modernism, and essays in the areas of Scottish romantic literature and philosophy and on devolution, politics and literature in contemporary Scotland.

He is co-director with Penny Fielding of the Scottish Writing in the Nineteenth Century project at the University of Edinburgh, and an active participant in the Scottish Network of Modernism Studies. He is co-editor of the Edinburgh University Press series Taking on the Political, with Benjamin Arditi, Andrew Schaap and Jeremy Valentine, and serves on the Edinburgh University Press Committee.

Dr Thomson welcomes research proposals in any area of modern Scottish Literature, but particularly in twentieth century Scottish fiction and poetry, in Scottish modernism, and in the history of ideas in Scotland. He would also welcome proposals relating to his interests in twentieth century French thought, and in the work of the Frankfurt School, as well as interdisciplinary projects linking literature to philosophy and / or political theory.

Research outputs

  1. Constructing Scotland: Methodological nationalism, weak theory

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Literature and Union: Scottish Texts, British Contexts ed. by Gerard Carruthers and Colin Kidd (review)

    Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

  3. Theodor Adorno

    Research output: Other contribution

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Research activities & awards

  1. Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) (External organisation)

    Activity: Membership typesMembership of peer review panel or committee

  2. Chair, University English

    Activity: Consultancy typesContribution to the work of national or international committees and working groups

  3. External Examiner, PhD thesis

    Activity: Examination typesExternal Examiner or Assessor

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