Frances Wilkins, lecturer in ethnomusicology at the Elphinstone Institute, was recently awarded a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship for her project, Seinn Coisrigte anns a' Ghàidhealtachd an Iar agus 'sna h-Eileanan Siar - Sacred Singing in the West Highlands and Western Isles.
The fellowship is for 12 months from January-December 2022 and will enable the completion of a ground-breaking ethnographic study and the curating of a public exhibition exploring sacred song traditions across Northern Scotland.
Scotland is home to an incredible wealth and variety of sacred song traditions with unique and multi-dimensional histories. In North-West Scotland, Gaelic psalmody is recognised as a highly stylised and unique vocal tradition, and there are numerous other practices making a profound contribution to the cultural life of those living in the region. Frances Wilkins has been researching the subject since 2019 with the help of a Carnegie Trust Research Incentive Grant, and is delighted to receive this fellowship from the British Academy which will enable her to focus on the completion and publication of the research, alongside significant public engagement activities related to the project.