Frances Wilkins is Senior Lecturer in Ethnomusicology at the Elphinstone Institute, University of Aberdeen. She is also a professional musician, performing Scottish traditional music on English concertina. As a field researcher, Frances specialises in Scottish and Northern Canadian singing and instrumental traditions and has worked on research projects in Scotland, Canada and Germany. She has been invited to give lectures on her research in Scotland and internationally for the St Andrews Society of Toronto, Waskaganish 350 Year Anniversary Festival (Quebec), Banff Preservation and Heritage Society Annual Founders Lecture, Mayfest, The Universities of Durham, Sheffield and Newcastle, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Orkney Folk Festival, North Atlantic Fiddle Convention, Scottish Fisheries Museum and at the Aberdeen branch of the Saltire Society.Frances studied Ethnomusicology in London at the School of Oriental and African Studies from 2001-2004. She graduated with a First Class honours degree in music, and moved to Aberdeen in 2005 to work towards a PhD in Ethnomusicology under the supervision of Professor Ian Russell, which she completed in 2009. From 2010-2013 she developed and taught undergraduate modules in ethnomusicology and world music for the Department of Music at the University of Aberdeen, and in 2011 she began conducting ethnographic fieldwork in the James Bay region of Northern Canada. This was initially funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh and Foundation for Canadian Studies in the UK, and she received subsequent support for fieldwork from Wemindji Cultural Department, The Carnegie Trust, the Waskaganish 350 year anniversary festival, and the St Andrews Society of Toronto. In 2013 Frances took up the position of Lecturer in Ethnomusicology at the Elphinstone Institute.
Since 2018, Frances has been working on the research project, Seinn Coisrigte anns a’ Ghaidhealtachd an Iar agus ‘sna h-Eileanan Siar | Sacred Singing in the West Highlands and Western Isles. Fieldwork for the project has been made possible through a Research Incentive Grant from the Carnegie Trust (2019-22) and a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship (2022-23).Frances has curated exhibitions showcasing her research and convened conferences for the British Forum for Ethnomusicology and the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention. She organised Button Boxes & Moothies: A Free Reed Convention in 2015, and in 2018 she was invited to be on the judging panel for the British Forum for Ethnomusicology Book Prize. She is Book Reviews Editor for Ethnomusicology Forum, and is on the editorial board for Folk Music Journal.