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Staff at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig Recognised for their Academic Achievements

The quality of scholarship and research of two members of the academic staff at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the national centre for Gaelic language and culture, has been recognised at the highest level.

Dr Richard Cox has been awarded a professorship from UHI, the prospective university of the Highlands and Islands, in recognition of his contribution to Gaelic studies and publishing.  Professor Cox spent a number of years working on the Historical Dictionary of Scottish Gaelic and lecturing at the University of Glasgow before taking up post as a writer for the acclaimed Speaking Our Language TV series.  He went on to teach at the University of Aberdeen under Professor Donald Meek before joining the academic team at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in 2006.  He has published  an impressive number and range of books, articles and papers relating to the Gaelic language and literature including Brìgh nam Facal and The Gaelic Place-names of Carloway, Isle of Lewis.

Professor Cox currently teaches on the College’s degree programme and is Director of the academic publishing arm of the College, Clò Ostaig.  He is also the Scottish Gaelic editor for The Year’s Work in Modern Language Studies.

Decker Forrest, Programme Leader for the BA Gaelic & Traditional Music, was awarded a PhD from the University of St Andrews and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama for a thesis on bagpipe music entitled’˜Ceòl Beag: The Development and Performance Practice of the’˜small music’ of the Highland Bagpipe c.1820-1966.  This is one of the first theses on bagpipe music to be awarded a doctorate-level degree.

Interestingly, Dr Forrest’s thesis included recordings of Decker playing a very old set of bagpipes and a chanter copied especially for his research from one made about 1810 by Donald MacDonald of Glenhinnisdal on the Isle of Skye.  Dr Forrest’s doctoral studies were overseen by Dr Roderick D. Cannon and Iain MacInnes and some of his latest research was recently published in the anthology, The Highland Bagpipe: Music, History, Tradition.

Principal of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Professor Boyd Robertson said,’The awards conferred on Richard and Decker are well merited and fitting recognition of their scholarship and research skills.  The honours bestowed acknowledge their personal achievement and further enhance the academic standing of the College.’

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