School of English


MA (Glasgow); MA (Royal Holloway); PhD (Glasgow)

Michael’s research focuses on the literature of the 1890s, particularly in Scotland and Ireland. His forthcoming monograph, Cultural Revival in Fin-de-Siècle Scotland: Romance, Decadence and Celtic Identity (Edinburgh University Press, 2019) explores the ways in which dissident fin-de-siècle styles and ideas were embraced by Scottish writers and artists hoping to develop a comparable cultural revival to the Irish Literary Revival. The book not only reveals a widespread concern with cultural revivalism in Scotland, evident in the works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, 'Fiona Macleod', Mona Caird, Patrick Geddes, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret Macdonald, but it also examines how these figures were connected to ‘degenerate’ movements of the 1890s, including neo-paganism, neo-Catholicism, japonisme, occultism and pageantry. In 2015, this project was awarded the Ross Roy Medal for Excellence in Research in Scottish Literature, judged by the Universities’ Committee for Scottish Literature. Michael is also currently editing the complete correspondence between Robert Louis Stevenson and J. M. Barrie.

Before coming to Kent, Michael taught at the University of Glasgow and he was a Research Assistant on a cross-institutional project funded by the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, 'The People's Voice: Scottish political poetry, song and the franchise, 1832-1918'. Through this project, he developed research interests in 19th century satirical culture, the literature of women’s suffrage, and the poetry of the Victorian and Edwardian periodical press. Michael also undertook a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University in 2016.

He is a steering committee member of the Scottish Centre for Victorian and Neo-Victorian Studies and he serves on the advisory board for the AHRC Popular Occulture in Britain 1875-1947 network.

Contact Information


School of English, Rutherford Extension NC30

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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Book section
Shaw, M. (2018). Theosophy in Scotland: Oriental Occultism and National Identity. In: Ferguson, C. and Radford, A. eds. The Occult Imagination in Britain, 1875-1947. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 23-40. Available at:
Shaw, M. (2018). Aestheticism and Decadence in Patrick Geddes's Socioeconomics. In: Parkins, W. J. ed. Victorian Sustainability in Literature and Culture. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 165-179. Available at:
Shaw, M. (2016). Before the Rising: Home Rule and the Celtic Revival. In: Lusk, K. and Maley, W. eds. Scotland and the Easter Rising: Fresh Perspectives on 1916. Luath Press, pp. 174-178. Available at:
Shaw, M. (2015). William Sharp's Neo-Paganism: Queer Identity and the National Family. In: Dau, D. and Preston, S. eds. Queer Victorian Families: Curious Relations in Literature. Routledge, pp. 77-96. Available at:
Shaw, M. (2018). Whim and Whipping: Satire and the Great Reform Act in Scottish Periodical Poetry. Scottish Literary Review [Online] 10:1-25. Available at:
Shaw, M. (2016). Transculturation and Historicisation: New Directions for the Study of Scottish Literature c.1840–1914. Literature Compass [Online] 13:501-510. Available at:
Shaw, M. (2017). Cosmo Innes and the Defence of Scotland's Past, by Richard A. Marsden Taylor, J. ed. BAVS Newsletter March 2017 [Online]:30-32. Available at:
Shaw, M. (2019). The Fin-De-Siècle Scottish Revival: Romance, Decadence and Celtic Identity. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Shaw, M. (2018). Decadence and the Urban Sensibility. In: Desmarais, J. and Weir, D. eds. Decadence and Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Total publications in KAR: 9 [See all in KAR]
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Research Interests

Michael's research interests include:

  • Scottish and Irish literature
  • aestheticism and decadence
  • the Celtic revival
  • the romance revival
  • political poetry
  • literary correspondence.
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School of English, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NX

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 823054

Last Updated: 15/09/2018