Mr Nicolas Le Bigre

Mr Nicolas Le Bigre
BA Hons (University of Toronto), MLitt (University of Aberdeen), OSS

Teaching Fellow

Mr Nicolas Le Bigre
Mr Nicolas Le Bigre

Contact Details

The University of Aberdeen The Elphinstone Institute MacRobert Building University of Aberdeen King's College Aberdeen AB24 5UA Tel: 01224 272997


Staff Responsibilities

Teaching Fellow: I teach on our MLitt programme and our undergraduate Scottish Folklore and Oral Traditions course. Subjects that I teach include 'major' and 'minor' narrative genres (e.g. folktales, legends, jokes), personal-experience narrative, immigrant folklore, digital folklore, ethnographic film theory, material culture and memorialisation, fieldwork practice and theory, and cataloguing and archiving.

Archives: As the individual responsible for the everyday management of the Elphinstone Institute Archives, I train our students and staff in cataloguing, deal with accessioning new materials, work as the archives liaison for internal and external researchers, supervise archives interns and project staff, and, with Institute Director, Tom McKean, work to modernize the archive's database. I also maintain and manage the fieldwork equipment of the Institute.

Website and Social Media: I help maintain the Elphinstone Institute's social media platforms and, alongside Institute administrator, Alison Sharman, maintain the Institute's website. Please contact me if you would like the Elphinstone Institute to upload news to our social media pages or website.

Public Engagement

Folklore, as a discipline, emphasizes responsibility to contributors and community. With that in mind, I have coordinated the Polish-Scottish Song Group at the Elphinstone Institute since the autumn of 2012. The group exists to promote the exchange of traditional Scottish and Polish culture through the sharing of song. The group has performed across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, and continues to grow every year.

I also organise the annual Aberdeen event in the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, sponsored by the Scottish Storytelling Centre. The event has hosted storytellers from Poland, Aberdeen, Shetland, Orkney, Brazil, Pakistan, Brittany, and Canada.

I am also an enthusiastic volunteer in wider-community events, and have filmed and recorded for community groups and festivals.

Conference Organisation

In July 2014, I co-founded and co-organised FEECA 2014, an international early-career conference in Aberdeen. I also advised for the subsequent FEECA 2016, and formed a partnership between the Elphinstone Institute and The Folklore Society, which involves co-funding across the Institute's FEECA conferences and The Folklore Society's Newer Researchers' Conferences. I am currently advising the co-organisers of the upcoming FEECA 2020.

I co-organised the W. F. H. Nicolaisen Memorial Symposium in July 2017.

Doctoral Studies

I am a doctoral candidate researching immigrant-experience narratives in the North-East of Scotland. See the research tab for more information.

Professional Memberships

The Folklore Society – Council Member
Eurethno – Scotland Representative
American Folklore Society – Member
SIEF (Société Internationale d'Ethnologie et de Folklore) – Member
The Folklore Fellows (Finnish Academy of Science and Letters) – Associate Member

Education and Career History

I have been a Teaching Fellow at the Institute since 2016, and have worked in the archives since 2012. I began my PhD research on a full-studentship in 2012.

For 18 months from 2011 to 2012 I worked in the Village Carols Archives as a cataloguer, transferring and digitising audio onto an archive server, and accessioning fieldwork recordings into a card-based indexing system.

In 2011, I received an MLitt with distinction in Ethnology and Folklore from the University of Aberdeen. My dissertation was on Polish immigrant-experience narratives in Aberdeen and its surroundings.

From 2005–2010 I worked as an English teacher, both in schools and in businesses. From 2005 to 2006 I taught at two Junior High Schools in Yamaguchi Prefecture as part of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) program. I then went on to teach English in Paris, France for three years, before moving to Scotland to study Ethnology and Folklore in 2010.

In 2005, I graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honours Bachelor's Degree, majoring in East Asian Studies and minoring in Aboriginal Studies and French.

I am French-American and was born and raised in Washington, D.C., USA.


Research Overview

My research interests include personal-experience narrative, immigration and immigrant folklore, oral history, vernacular religion, memorialisation, and political material culture.

Current Research

Immigrant-Experience Narratives

I research the personal-experience narratives of immigrants in Scotland. Through these narratives, I examine broad concepts of immigrant experience, such as home, space and time, religion and spirituality, as well as the movement and interconnectedness of place and people. This research is not a collection of statistical data, but rather an attempt to consider and understand individuals' creative expressions of and interactions with everyday life in Scotland. In other words, I document and try to understand how people express their experiences of immigration through their own stories about their lives.

Lockdown Lore Collection Project

I also co-ordinate the Lockdown Lore Collection Project, which is a crowdsourced project launched in April 2020. The project aims to collect creative responses to the coronavirus pandemic and has received over 350 submissions from around the world. Supplementing these contributions are the over fifty interviews conducted by a team of volunteer fieldworkers. Read more about the project here:


Teaching Responsibilities

EF5003 (MLitt) - History, Core Genres, and Methodologies of Ethnology and Folklore

EF5004 (MLitt) - Perspectives on Tradition, Identity, and Fieldwork

EF5503 (MLitt) - Oral Traditions

EF5504 (MLitt) - Intellectual and Practical Approaches to Scottish Contexts

EF5505 (MLitt) - Dissertation Supervision

EF2501 (Undergraduate) - Scottish Folklore and Oral Traditions

EF3501 (Undergraduate) - Scottish Folklore and Oral Traditions

EF4501 (Undergraduate) - Scottish Folklore and Oral Traditions



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