Dr Frank Ferguson’s research at Ulster University represents the most sustained externally sponsored academic research on Ulster-Scots literature in the world in the last 15 years. Ferguson’s Ulster-Scots Writing: An Anthology (2008) was part of a new wave of revisionist thinking that challenged ill-informed and sectarian stereotypes of the literary tradition.
This work alongside Revising Robert Burns and Ulster: Literature, Religion and Politics, c.1770-1920, ‘Ulster-Scots Literature' and ‘The Industrialisation of the Irish Book’ (2009 – 2011), created a bedrock that showed Ulster-Scots literature to be a broad, creative, and lively strand of the cultural fabric of the province of Ulster, and of profound significance to the province’s wider culture and best-known writers.
This investigation was carried out amid the backdrop of conflict resolution measures brought into NI in the wake of the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement in which major steps were taken to reassess the cultural history of all traditions within NI. Ferguson’s research helped inform this process and provided significant insights into writers’ use of and influence by Ulster-Scots language and literature