Prof. Johnny Rodger

Job Title:

Professor of Urban Literature


Mackintosh School of Architecture



The Drouth
Literary Quarterly founded by Johnny Rodger

The Drouth


Prof. Johnny Rodger

Johnny Rodger is a writer, critic, and Professor of Urban Literature at the Glasgow School of Art.

His research consists of enquiry published internationally in two aspects: on the one hand literary and critical writing, and on the other architecture and urbanism. The thesis which runs through all his work is that literary and critical writing has a direct, specific and particular influence on civil and political, and ultimately spatial formations.
He has published several books of fiction –including Redundant (1998), g haun(s) Q (1996), and The Auricle (1995)-- and critical works like the recent Tartan Pimps: Gordon Brown, Margaret Thatcher and the New Scotland (2010), Fickle Man: Robert Burns in the 21st Century (2009), The Red Cockatoo: James Kelman and the Art of Commitment(2011), and the monograph Gillespie, Kidd & Coia 1956-87 (2007).
His research aims at the opening of a new area of cross disciplinary enquiry which brings together literary analysis with the critical techniques of the political and social sciences to examine the spaces inhabited by society, and designed by artists, architects and urbanists.

This field of enquiry ranges from his book Contemporary Glasgow (1999) about architecture and urban environments, to the monograph on influential Glaswegian architects Gillespie, Kidd & Coia; through to the work on Robert Burns and how the culture represents his significance in space by the construction of monuments; and on to the study of the pay-in from writers in Scotland to the form of devolved politics and even the shape of the devolved parliament itself (see Tartan Pimps and the recent James Kelman work). From thence it moves further still to encompass collaborations in music theatre which research movement and relationships organised by the word through space, such that all his work finds coherence in the importance of the word as an ethical and moral fundament in the Scottish polity.

Critical engagement with his work includes articles on his published books in academic journals throughout Europe and the USA. He has worked on projects attracting grants totalling over £750 000 from major funding bodies such as the Heritage Lottery Fund and Creative Scotland. These projects have involved collaboration with colleagues form other Universities --eg Glasgow, Edinburgh, Napier and Salford, and cultural institutions such as the Lighthouse and the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland.

He has worked together with the composers and animators on a series of music theatre collaborations involving, text, image and music. In 2011 Vanishing Boundaries was performed by the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland in Manchester and at the Glasgow Music and Film Festival. In 2008 Animals was performed in Edinburgh Filmhouse by the Research Ensemble at the Edinburgh New Music Festival. In 2006 Love Eurydice, commissioned by Scottish Opera was performed in concert recital by at Musica Nova in the West End Festival, Glasgow.

He makes regular contributions to architectural press, and also appears regularly on BBC radio arts and national TV programmes.
He is a founding editor (2001) of The Drouth ( Scotland’s literary arts quarterly.

Johnny Rodger on RADAR

SUGAR AND SOOT: Denise Ferreira da Silva & Arjuna Neuman @ CCA

SUGAR AND SOOT: Denise Ferreira da Silva & Arjuna Neuman ...

06/07/21 15:39

Where They Are: Language and Place in James Kelman's Fiction

Where They Are: Language and Place in James Kelman's Fict...

22/06/21 14:39

Welcome Back to Junkspace! Performing Infinity while Confined to Lockdown

Welcome Back to Junkspace! Performing Infinity while Conf...

18/03/21 14:33

Mackintosh School of Architecture on RADAR

Mackintosh School of Architecture on RADAR |

Research outputs from staff at the Mack