Mairi McFadyen



From Peebles in the Scottish Borders, Mairi is an ethnologist and cultural activist now based in Inverness. Mairi studied Scottish Ethnology and Scottish Literature as an undergraduate before going on to complete her Masters and PhD in the Department of Celtic & Scottish Studies at the University of Edinburgh.  

Mairi’s PhD (2012) was awarded the Michaelis-Jena Ratcliff Prize for ethnology and folklore, a study of the embodied aesthetic experience of traditional narrative song performance and practice in a Scottish context. This was followed by a short fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities (IASH) exploring links between ethnology and human ecology. Mairi is also a research associate at Heriot-Watt’s Intercultural Research Centre (IRC) where she is interested in developing a creative ethnological practice.

Mairi has lectured and taught courses in culture and heritage in both higher education (University of Edinburgh; Newbattle Abbey College) and non-formal settings, has supported various creative projects and has worked for and contributed to the development of various arts organisations including TRACS (Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland). She is also co-director of The Shieling Project in Strathglass, a ground-breaking social enterprise bringing the ‘folk school’ approach from Scandinavia to the Highlands and leading in heritage and sustainability education.

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