Dr Arun Sood

Dr Arun Sood

Lecturer in English

School of Society and Culture (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


Arun Sood is a Scottish-Indian writer, academic, and musician working across multiple forms. He was born in Aberdeen to a Gaelic-speaking, West-Highland Mother and a Punjabi-speaking Indian father, and has since lived in Glasgow, Amsterdam, and Washington, DC. He was appointed Lecturer in English at the University of Plymouth in 2018. 

Arun’s critical and creative practice ranges from academic publications, fiction and poetry to ambient musical tapestries. Broadly, his works often reflect diasporic identities, mixed-race heritage, ancestry, language, and memory.  As an academic researcher he also has expertise in Scottish Literature in Global contexts, and 18-19.c Literature and culture. 

Previously, Arun held a postdoctoral Fulbright Award at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., where he spent a time researching and writing his first book, Robert Burns and the USA, c.1786-1866: Poetry, Print and Memory 1786-1866 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). During this period, he was also named Kluge Fellow at the John W. Kluge Centre (Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.).  

He has also previously 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.


PhD Scottish 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)



Teaching interests

Currently, Arun leads/teaches the following modules across undergraduate and postgraduate programmes:

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

ENGL626 Black Atlantic Literature  
MAEL711: Remembering Things Past: Literature and Memory

He particularly welcomes enquiries about postgraduate research projects relating to Memory Studies, Transatlantic Studies, Postcolonialism, and Romanticism.



Research interests

Arun’s critical and creative practice encompasses a range of diverse outputs including academic publications, fiction, and musical collaborations. Consistent themes throughout these varied outputs include colonial histories, diasporic identities, mixed-race heritage, ancestry, language, and memory. These themes intersect in Arun's debut novel New Skin For The Old Ceremony, which will be published by 404 Ink in 2022. He is also currently co-editing an Edinburgh University Press cross-journal special issue on 'Race and Racism in Scotland'. 

As a literary critic, Arun's research primarily concerns the transatlantic movement and influence of Romantic literature in colonial, postcolonial, and global contexts. Following on from his book, Robert Burns and the United States of America: Poetry, Print & Memory (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), his current project, provisionally titled Romanticism and West Africa: Griots, Bards & Books examines the literary and intellectual legacies of Romanticism as established by British colonial education policy in West Africa.  Interweaving analysis of travel narratives, essays, oral literatures, and fiction, this research not only contributes to debates about the shifting borders of Romantic literary studies, but also engages with decolonization within the Western academy.

Research groups

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, New Skin For The Old Ceremony: A Kirtan (404 Ink, forthcoming 2022)

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


Peer-reviewed articles 

Sood, Arun, ‘Mungo Park, Mande Orality, and Critical Indigenous Studies’, currently under review Eighteenth Century Fiction

Sood, Arun, ‘Burns and Abolition’ invited contribution to The Burns Chronicle 2022 (EUP), currently in preparation

Sood, Arun, ‘Mediations in Transatlantic Reception and Influence: Vernacular Orality and ‘The Rustic Bard of New Hampshire’, Studies in Romanticism Vol. 59, No.3 (2020): 163-185.

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 and 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)