Professor Michelle MacLeod

Professor Michelle MacLeod
M.A. (Hons), PhD (Aberdeen)

Director of the Confucius Institute
Personal Chair

Professor Michelle MacLeod
Professor Michelle MacLeod

Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 272548
fax +44 (0)1224 272562
The University of Aberdeen Room B03 Taylor Building, Gaelic, School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture, Taylor Building University of Aberdeen Old Aberdeen AB24 3UB


I have been a lecturer in Gaelic since September 2004 and Senior Lecturer since August 2011. I was promoted to Personal Chair in Gaelic in 2019.


Research Interests

My areas of research include: modern Gaelic literature; the concept of Gaelic identity; the modern Gaelic community; Gaelic drama; language teaching and language planning.

Current Research

Gaelic drama, modern Gaelic literature, community language planning and adult language acquisition.


I am Co-Director of the Soillse Research Network - a research collaboration between the University of the Highlands and Islands, The University of Aberdeen, Edinburgh University and the University of Glasgow.  It has been established to provide a much enhanced research capacity to inform public policy towards the maintenance and revitalisation of gaelic language and culture.


Teaching Responsibilities

 I teach Gaelic language across the degree programme and sub-honours introductory courses on Gaelic society and literature.  I also teach honours courses on: Modern Gaelic Poetry, Gaelic Dialectology, Modern Irish Language and Language and Identity.



Further Info

External Responsibilities

  • Chair of the Catherine McCaig Trust
  • Co-Director Soillse Research Network

Admin Responsibilities

I am the Exams Officer for Gaelic and the Programme Coordinator for the Combined Honours in Scottish Studies and Sustained Studies in Arabic, Mandarin and Swedish.  I am a Deputy Director of the University of Aberdeen Confucius Institute.  I sit on the University's Gaelic Language Plan Advisory Group

Previous Employment

  • Teaching Assistant / Fellow, University of Aberdeen Celtic Department, 1994-1997
  • Lecturer in Gaelic, School of Irish, National University of Ireland, Galway, 1997-2000
  • Project Officer and Director of Ionad Chaluim Chille Ìle, 2000-2003
  • Language Planning Manager, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, 2003-2004


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  • MacLeod, M, MacLeod, M & Dombrowski, L 2019, 'Perceptions of creativity and authenticity when acquiring a minoritised language as an adult', Scottish Gaelic Studies, vol. 31, pp. 48-69.
  • MacLeod, MC 2019, '“New Speakers, New Language? A pilot study of young Gaelic bilinguals’ language practices”', Studia Celtica Posnaniensia.
  • MacLeod, M, Armstrong, TC, Munro, G & Taylor, I 2018, Planning for growth: the professionalisation of the taskforce for Gaelic revitalisation. in M Marsaili & C Smith-Christmas (eds), Gaelic in Contemporary Scotland : The Revitalisation of an Endangered Language. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh.
  • MacLeod, MC 2016, An Fhirinn agus A' Bhreug: Deich Dealbhan-cluiche le Tormod Calum Domhnallach. Aberdeen University Press, Aberdeen.
  • MacLeod, M & MacLeod, MC 2016, 'Structure and Agency: Influences on and Experiences of Learning Gaelic in Adulthood', Paper presented at Small Language Planning Communities in Crisis, Glasgow, United Kingdom, 6/06/16 - 8/06/16.
  • MacLeod, MC 2016, 'The closed room: expressions of existentialism and absurdity in Gaelic drama', International Journal of Scottish Theatre and Screen, vol. 9, pp. 89–112. <> [Online] DOI:
  • MacLeod, MC & Dosa, A 2015, Contemporary Poetry 1950s-The Present. in C Sassi (ed.), International Companion to Scottish Poetry. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, pp. 89-93.
  • MacLeod, M, Macleod, MC, Milligan Dombrowski, L & Jones, K 2015, Lìbhrigeadh Gàidhlig do Dh’inbhich tro Ùlpan: Delivery of Gaelic to Adults through Ùlpan. Bord na Gaidhlig.
  • MacLeod, M & MacLeod, MC 2015, 'Structur agus Fèin-riaghladh: Buaidhean agus Fèin-fhiosrachadh air Gàidhlig Ionnsachadh mar Inbhich', Paper presented at Còmhdhail Eadar-Nàiseanta na Ceiltis / International Celtic Congress, Glasgow, United Kingdom, 13/07/15 - 17/07/15.
  • Macleod, MC 2014, 'Three Centuries of Gaelic Language Manipulation on Stage', Scottish Language, vol. 33. <> [Online] DOI:
  • MacLeod, M, Macleod, MC, Coyle, D & Thirkell, AM 2014, Young Speakers’ Use of Gaelic in the Primary Classroom: A multi-perspectival pilot study. Soillse, Isle of Skye.
  • MacLeod, MC, Rothach, G, Mac an Tàilleir, I & Armstrong, T 2013, Dealbhadh Prògram CPD Airson Obair Choimhearsnachd Ghàidhlig.
  • Macleod, MC 2013, 'Leasachadh Gàidhlig anns a’ choimhearsnachd: dùbhlain agus siostaman taic', Scottish Gaelic Studies.
  • MacLeod, M 2010, Leasachadh Gàidhlig anns a' choimhearsnachd: teoric agus gnìomh. Unknown Publisher.
  • MacLeod, M 2010, 'The Cianalas code: bridging traditional verse and modern poetry', Scottish Gaelic Studies, vol. 26, pp. 67-86.
  • MacLeod, M 2009, Language and Identity in Modern Gaelic Verse. in I Brown & A Riach (eds), Edinburgh Companion to Twentieth Century Scottish Literature. Edinburgh Companions to Scottish Literature, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, pp. 167-180.
  • MacLeod, MC 2008, Gaelic Language Use in the Classroom. Bord na Gaidhlig, Inverness, United Kingdom.
  • MacLeod, MC 2008, 'The Gaelic Plays of Tormod Calum Domhnallach', Scottish Gaelic Studies, vol. 24, pp. 405-418.
  • MacLeod, MC 2007, Gaelic Prose Fiction in English. in B Schoene (ed.), The Edinburgh Companion to Contemporary Scottish Literature. Edinburgh Companions to Scottish Literature, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, pp. 149-158.
  • MacLeod, MC 2007, 'Measuring Gaelic Language Planning', Scottish Language, vol. 26, pp. 61-78.
  • MacLeod, MC 2007, 'Puer Aeternus: a’ chiad phearsa ann an trì nobhailean Gàidhlig', Léann, vol. 1, pp. 37-45.
  • MacLeod, MC 2005, Theories of Language Planning. Western Isles Language Planning Group, Stornoway, United Kingdom.
  • MacLeod, MC 2004, 2020 Vision: A Consultative Survey of the Gaelic Development Sector. Bord na Gaidhlig, Inverness, United Kingdom.
  • MacLeod, MC 2003, "Eilean Beag Donn a' Chuain": A'Mhuir mar mheatafor ann am Bàrdachd Leòdhais. in In: Cruth na Tire (eds.McLeod,W;Ní Annracháain) Coisceim, Dublin. In: Cruth na Tire (eds.McLeod,W;Ní Annracháain) Coisceim, Dublin, pp. 121-135.
  • MacLeod, MC 2001, 'Home and Exile: a comparison of the poetry of Máirtín Ó Direáin and Ruaraidh MacThòmais', New Hibernia Review, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 72-81.
  • MacLeod, MC 2001, 'Language and bilingualism in the Gaelic Poetry of Ian Crichton Smith', Scottish Studies Review, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 105-113.
  • MacLeod, MC 2000, 'Teaching Scottish Gaelic to Irish Speakers', Journal of Celtic Language Learning, vol. 5, pp. 77-81.
  • MacLeod, MC 1999, 'Smuaintean an eilthirich: Leodhas agus Fanas ann am bardachd Ruairidh Mhic Thomais', Scottish Gaelic Studies, vol. 19, pp. 59-65.
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