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Women's Music in the Herring Industry

Women's Music in the Herring Industry

Learn more about Meg Hyland's research into the role of music and dance in the lives of herring gutters and packers in the British and Irish fishing industries.


Here you can find a list of my publications, talks, and academic honours.


  • currently enrolled in PhD Celtic and Scottish Studies, University of Edinburgh
  • MSc Celtic and Scottish Studies, University of Edinburgh, with distinction (2019)
  • MA (Hons) Mediaeval History, University of St Andrews, 1st class (2017)

Conference and Seminar Papers

  • “Recovering the Songs of Herring Gutters: Lessons from Scotland”, International Congress of Celtic Studies XVII, Utrecht (2023)
  • “Irish and Scottish Song Exchange in the Scottish Herring Industry”, As I Roved Out: Traditional Songs, Singers and Collections of Britain, Ireland and Beyond, Irish World Academy of Music and Dance (2022)
  • “‘They Soon Had Us Singing in Their Language’: The Macaronic Songs of Gaelic-Speaking Herring Gutters”, Celtic and Scottish Studies Seminar, University of Edinburgh (2021)
  • “The Missing Herring Gutters in Gaelic Song Scholarship”, British Forum for Ethnomusicology and Royal Music Association Research Students’ Conference, University of Cambridge (2021)
  • “Songs of the Herring Gutters: An Overlooked Genre of Gaelic Song”, Celtic Students Conference (2020)
  • “Cross Slabs, Cists, and Cill-Names: The Early Medieval Church in the East Neuk of Fife”, Cambridge Colloquium in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic (2019)
  • “Cross Slabs, Cists, and Cill-Names: The Early Medieval Church in the East Neuk of Fife”, Pictish Arts Society (2017)
  • “Research and engagement partnership”, Connecting Scotland’s Sounds (2016)


Public Lectures and Podcasts


  • McCaig Trust award (2024)
  • British Forum for Ethnomusicology Fieldwork Grant (2021)
  • Moray Endowment Fund award (2020)
  • McCaig Trust award (2020)
  • LLC Masters Scholarship (2018)
  • Institute of Scottish Historical Research Senior Honours Dissertation Prize (2017)
  • John Adamson Honey Prize in Mediaeval History (2017)
  • Samuel Rutherford Prize in Scottish History (2017)
  • Principal’s Scholarship for Academic Excellence (2017)
  • Connecting Scotland’s Sounds grant (2016)
  • University Scholarship for Research and Leadership (2016)
  • Abertay Student Prize in Scottish History (2016)
  • Dr Robert Mackie Prize in Scottish History (2016)
  • Mediaeval History Third Year Prize (2016)
  • Cedric Thorpe Davies Award in Music (2015)
  • James McGlashan Scott Memorial Prize in Church History (2015)
  • School of History Bookprize (2015)
  • Saltire Award for volunteering (2014)
  • Warch Scholarship (2012)
  • Wisconsin’s Academic Excellence Scholarship (2012)

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