Dr Arun Sood

Dr Arun Sood

Lecturer in English

School of Humanities and Performing Arts (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)

Arun can be contacted through arrangement with our Press Office, to speak to the media on these areas of expertise.
  • English literature

I was appointed Lecturer in English at the University of Plymouth in 2017. Previously, I held a postdoctoral Fulbright Award at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., where I spent a time researching and writing my first book, Robert Burns and the USA, c.1786-1866: Poetry, Print and Memory 1786-1866 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). During this period, I was also named Kluge Fellow at the John W. Kluge Centre (Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). These postdoctoral awards and publications evolved out of a PhD studentship at the University of Glasgow, where I was one of two fully-funded candidates on the AHRC (£1.1million) project Editing Robert Burns For the 21st Century between 2012-16. Previously, I have studied and/or taught at Columbia University, the University of South Carolina, the University of Amsterdam, and the University of Aberdeen; as well as spent time on funded research trips to the British Library, Rothermere American Institute and New York Public Library. Prior to my academic career, I worked as a travel journalist and music critic for Time Out, The Guardian, and Schiphol Magazine, and I continue to work as a freelance journalist on a part time basis.


PhD English Literature, University of Glasgow (2016)
MA English Language, Literature, and Culture, University of Amsterdam (2010)
BA/MA Honours English, University of Aberdeen (2009)
Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, University of Plymouth (2018)

Professional membership

British Association for the Study of Romanticism (BARS)

North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (NASSR)

Transatlantic Studies Association (TSA)

Association for Studies in Scottish Literature (ASSL)

Postcolonial Studies Association (PSA)

Modern Language Association (MLA)

British Association for American Studies (BAAS)

European Network in Global History (ENIUGH)

Teaching interests

My teaching and pedagogical approach is informed by research interests in that I predominantly design and deliver modules on Romanticism, nineteenth-century literature and critical theory. Currently, I lead and teach the following modules across all stages of the degree programme:

ENGL501 Romanticism
ENGL502 Gothic Fiction: Villains, Virgins, and Vampires
ENGL603 Modernism
ENGL404 Critical Theory 

ENGL626 Black Atlantic Literature  

I particularly welcome enquiries about postgraduate research projects relating to Transatlantic Studies, Postcolonialism, Romanticism, and Nineteenth-Century literature and culture.

Research interests

My research concerns the transatlantic movement and influence of Romantic literature in colonial, postcolonial, and global contexts. Following on from my first book, Robert Burns and the United States of America: Poetry, Print & Memory (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), my current project, provisionally titled Romanticism and West Africa: Griots, Bards & Books investigates the extent to which Romantic discourse shaped ideological assumptions about West Africa, and further assesses how an examination of postcolonial West African writing helps us to redefine the borders of Romanticism. Interweaving analysis of travel narratives, essays, oral literatures, and fiction, I not only assess Romantic ideology in relation to the region, but also examine the literary and intellectual legacies of Romanticism as established by British colonial education policy.  This research not only contributes to debates about the shifting borders of Romantic literary studies, but also engages with decolonization within the Western academy.

Grants & contracts

Fulbright Scholar Award (£40,000) (Aug 2016-April 2017)
Kluge Fellowship, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (£9000) (Nov 2016-April 2017)
AHRC Glasgow Life Postdoctoral Award (£12,000) (Jan 2016-April 2016)
Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities ‘Showcase’ Award (&1500) (April 2016)
Eccles Centre Postgraduate Award in American Studies, British Library (£600) (Jun 2014)
AHRC International Research Fellow, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (£7000) (Nov 2013)
David Fleming Brown Scholarship, Columbia University (£500) (Mar 2013)
CABLES Grant, University of Glasgow (£700)(Oct 2013)
Atlantic Cable Grant, University of Glasgow (£700) (Nov 2012)
AHRC PhD Studentship, ‘Editing Robert Burns For the 21st Century’ (£40,000) (Oct 2012)
Seafield Memorial Prize, University of Aberdeen (most distinguished scholar in honours year)(Jul 2009)


Sood, Arun, Robert Burns and the United States of America: Poetry, Print and Memory 1786-1866 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018)


Peer-Reviewed Articles 

Sood, Arun, "Mediations in Transatlantic Reception and Influence", Studies In Romanticism (forthcoming Summer, 2020)

Sood, Arun, ‘The Burnsian Palimpsest: Robert Burns in American Cultural Memory, c. 1840-1866’, Symbiosis: A Journal of Transatlantic Literary and Cultural Relations 22:1(2018)

Sood, Arun and Varona, Felix Flores, ‘Monumental National Heroes: Robert Burns and Jose Marti’ in The Burns Chronicle, Summer (2018).

Sood, Arun, ‘John Brown: Madman and Martyr’, The Quarterly Horse. A Journal of [Brief] American Studies 2:1 Fall (2017), http://www.quarterlyhorse.org/fall17/sood/

Sood, Arun, ‘Patrick Colquhoun: Eighteenth-century Glasgow merchant’ in The Eighteenth-Century Intelligencer 32:1 (2017) 15-18.

Sood, Arun ‘(Post)-Revolutionary Print Networks: Pirated Editions of Robert Burns’ Poetry in The United States of America, 1787-1859’ in Oxford Research in English 2 (2015) 23-37.

Sood, Arun ‘A Modern Poet on The Scotch Bard: Walt Whitman’s 1875 Essay on Robert Burns’ in The Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 32:4 (2015) 230-236.

Sood, Arun ‘An American Trove of Burnsiana: The William R. Smith Collection’ in The Burns Chronicle, Spring (2014) 39-46.

Sood, Arun ‘Dreaming of the Self: Thomas De Quincey and the Development of the Confessional Mode’ in eSharp 20: New Horizons, (2013) 1-13.

Sood, Arun, Robertson, Brianna & Wheeler, David eds., The Kelvingrove Review 11 (2013).

Academic Reviews

Sood, Arun, Review of James Kelman, Dirt Road (Canongate, 2016) in The Bottle Imp 20 (2017)

Sood, Arun, Review of Carol McGuirk, Reading Robert Burns: Texts. Contexts, Transformations (Pickering & Chatto, 2014) in Kelvingrove Review 14: ‘Myth and Nation’ (2015) 1-3.

Sood, Arun, Review of Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis (Vintage, 2009) in The Open Mind 6 (2011) 7-9.

Travel/Culture Editorials

Sood, Arun, ‘A Toxic Inauguration’, CommonSpace, 24 January (2017)
Sood, Arun, ‘Mangled Monkiers: A Difficult Name’, The Guardian, 14 Oct (2016)
Sood, Arun, ‘A View from DC: US Race Relations’, CommonSpace, 7 Nov (2016)
Sood, Arun, ‘A Global Humanitarian Response Beats Terror’, CommonSpace, 16 Nov (2015)
Sood, Arun, ‘Austin, SXSW: A Liberal Oasis’, The Guardian, 7 Feb (2014)
Sood, Arun, ‘Scotland 2014: A Crisis of Democarcy’, Postmag, 1 Jul (2014)
Sood, Arun, ‘Portavadie: Hogmanay’, The Skinny, 7 Oct (2014)
Sood, Arun, ‘Polynesia and the Art of the Needle’, The Island Review, 8 Dec (2014)
Sood, Arun, ‘Chang Mai: Room With a View’, GQ , 6 Aug (2013)
Sood, Arun, ‘Interview: Pia Jane Bijkerk’, Time Out Amsterdam, Feb (2012)
Sood, Arun, ‘Berlin: A City Guide’, The Guardian, 17 Aug (2011)
Sood, Arun, ‘Top 10 Bars in Berlin’, The Guardian, 17 Aug (2011)
Sood, Arun, ‘Top 10 Clubs in Berlin’, The Guardian, 17 Aug (2011)
Sood, Arun, ‘Amsterdam: A City Guide’, The Guardian, 22 Jun (2011)
Sood, Arun, ‘ Top 10 Bars in Amsterdam’, The Guardian, 22 Jun (2011)
Sood, Arun, ‘ Top 10 Clubs in Amsterdam’, The Guardian, 22 Jun (2011)
Sood, Arun, ‘ Top 10 Markets in Amsterdam’, The Guardian, 22 Jun (2011)
Sood, Arun, ‘Picasso: Reviving The Spirit of Andalusia’, Schiphol Magazine 1 Jun (2011)
Sood, Arun, ‘Riding at the Houston Rodeo’, Schiphol Magazine, Jul (2012)
Sood, Arun, ‘Ghost Island: North Uist', Schiphol Magazine, Aug (2011)
Sood, Arun, ‘Hunting the Northern Lights’, Schiphol Magazine, Nov (2011)
Sood, Arun, ‘Lisbon: An Old World Romance’, Schiphol Magazine, Dec (2011)
Sood, Arun, ‘A Helping Hand in New Delhi’, The Skinny, Aug (2010)

Music/Reviews/Miscellaneous Editorials

Sood, Arun, ‘Andrew Bird Q & A’, Unfold Amsterdam, May (2012)
Sood, Arun, Time Out Amsterdam City Guide: Music (editor) (2012)
Sood, Arun, ‘Jamie Woon: Q & A’, Time Out Amsterdam April (2012)
Sood, Arun, ‘Clubbing: Supperclub’, Time Out Amsterdam, May (2012)
Sood, Arun, ‘Clubbing: Green Room’, Time Out Amsterdam, June (2012)
Sood, Arun, ‘Clubbing: SLAVE’, Time Out Amsterdam, July (2012)
Sood, Arun, ‘Restaurant Review: Restaurant Red’, Amsterdam Magazine, Jan (2011)
Sood, Arun, ‘Restaurant Review: Ken Sa’, Amsterdam Magazine, Feb (2011)
Sood, Arun, ‘Restaurant Review: Kyoto’, Amsterdam Magazine, Mar (2011)
Sood, Arun, ‘Pimp My Ride’, Amsterdam Magazine, Apr (2011)
Sood, Arun, ‘Shop Review: Concerto’, Amsterdam Magazine, Apr (2011)
Sood, Arun, ‘Shop Review: Knopenwinkel’, Amsterdam Magazine, May (2011)
Sood, Arun, ‘Shop Review: Café Winkel’, Amsterdam Magazine, Jun (2011)
Sood, Arun, ‘Tomoko’s Voyage: Preview’, Time Out Amsterdam, Aug (2011)
Sood, Arun, ‘Jamie Woon: Paradiso Preview’, Time Out Amsterdam, Aug (2011)
Sood, Arun, ‘Josh T. Pearson: Son of A Preacher Man’, Time Out Amsterdam, Sep (2011)
Sood, Arun, ‘The National: An Operatic Interview’, Time Out Amsterdam, Oct (2011)
Sood, Arun, ‘The Secret Love Parade: Preview’, Time Out Amsterdam, Nov (2011)
Sood, Arun, ‘Sh(O)ut!’: Preview’, Unfold Amsterdam, Dec (2011)
Sood, Arun, ‘Restaurant Review: Mazzo’, Amsterdam Magazine, Dec (2010)

Poetry & Creative Non-Fiction

Sood, Arun, ‘The Corran Ferry’, Poetry Ireland Review, 135 (2018)
Sood, Arun, ‘So They Say’, Amberflora, 3 (2018)
Sood, Arun, ‘Sonnet For Alice’, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, 18:1 (2017)
Sood, Arun, Sonnet For Paul’, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, 18:2 (2017)
Sood, Arun, ‘Highland Disunion’ and ‘Divali in Kessock’, Aiblins: New Scottish Political Poetry
(Edinburgh, Luath Press, 2016)
Sood, Arun, ‘Peripheries’, Gutter 15 (2016)
Sood, Arun, ‘The Man That Lived With Besty’, Octavius Magazine 5 (2015)
Sood, Arun, ‘A Helping Hand’, The Skinny Jul (2014)
Sood, Arun, ‘Scatter My Ashes’, Volume Magazine 9 (2014)
Sood, Arun, ‘Coffee’, The Open Mind 3 (2013)