Margaret Bennett HRSA
Elected to the Academy as the Professor of Antiquities.
Margaret Bennett HRSA is a folklorist, writer, singer and broadcaster. She was brought up in a family of tradition bearers, Gaelic on her mother’s side (from Skye) and Lowland Scots on her father’s. School years were spent in Skye, Lewis and Shetland before studying in Glasgow. In the mid-sixties, the legendary Hamish Henderson, singer, poet, folklorist and political activist inspired her career choice. In 1968 she emigrated to Canada to study Folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundland, after which she spent a year in Quebec as a folklorist for Canada’s Museum of Civilization. From 1984 to 1996 she lectured at The University of Edinburgh’s School of Scottish Studies and now teaches part-time at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
A prize-winning author, she has written ten books, contributed to over 40 others, featured on media productions and several musical collaborations with her son, Martyn Bennett (1971–2005), including the National Theatre of Scotland’s acclaimed production, ‘Black Watch’. Recipient of previous awards for contributions to literature, folklore and culture, she recently received an Honorary Doctorate of Music (Glasgow, 2010), ‘Le Prix du Québec’ (for contributions to Quebec cultural studies, 2011) and was made an Honorary Professor of the Royal Scottish Academy in 2012, she is widely regarded as ‘Scotland’s foremost folklorist’