Professor Stafford studies Romantic poetry. Her first book was study of the Scottish Highland poet, James Macpherson and his The Poems of Ossian; her most recent, Local Attachments, is an exploration of the relationship between poetry and place.
Her current interests include research into Wordsworth’s Lines written a few miles above Tintern Abbey and the literary significance of rivers; the differences between landscape and place; the uses of landscape and memory by Scottish writers and artists; and the links and contrasts between English, Irish and Scottish literature. She has also published on Wordsworth, Burns, Austen, Celticism, dialect poetry, Scottish Romanticism, contemporary Scottish Poetry, literature of the 'Four Nations', national identity in Ireland and Scotland, as well as editing novels by Austen and Mary Shelley.
She has recently completed a book that aims to introduce students and general readers to the pleasures of reading Romantic poetry.
- English literature
- Scottish and Irish literature, especially poetry
- The novel, especially Jane Austen
- Literature and the visual arts
- National and regional identity in literature
Professor Stafford has media experience. In 2014 and 2015 she presented two series of programmes for BBC Radio 4 on the symbolism, importance, topicality and surprises about different trees.