The latest exciting development in Languages and Intercultural Studies at Heriot-Watt University is the excellent news that, as of September 2012, Máiréad Nic Craith will join the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies as Professor of European Culture and Heritage. An anthropologist, Máiréad currently holds a Chair at the School of Sociology and Social Sciences at the University of Ulster and has held honorary and visiting Professorships at the Universities of Exeter and Göttingen. Máiréad is an expert in European cultural studies and has made a particularly strong contribution to the conceptual understanding of contemporary political-linguistic debates in Ireland and across Europe.
As the author or editor of 14 books and numerous essays, she has received many accolates for her publications. She was joint winner of the 2004 Ruth Michaelis-Jena Ratcliff research prize for folklife. In 2006, she was awarded a Senior Distinguished Research Fellowship at the University of Ulster, and in 2009 she was elected to the Royal Irish Academy. On that occasion she was cited as “an impressive and very productive scholar who is leading research in areas of contemporary relevance, both in Ireland and across the world”. She served as a panel member for the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise and is again involved in the 2013 Research Excellence Framework audit. She has also served on numerous research evaluations in Europe and in Canada. In 2011, she was invited by the United Nations as an expert on heritage and human rights.