Theresa Mackay

Theresa Mackay
Ph.D candidate

BA (SFU), MLitt (with Distinction, University of the Highlands and Islands)

Area of expertise

18th and 19th century Scottish history, particularly of daily life, foodways, and innkeepers in the Highlands and Islands; Public History and the GLAM sector (galleries, libraries, archives, museums).


I grew up mainly in Vancouver and completed my undergraduate degree at Simon Fraser University when I was fresh out of high school. Many years later I decided to return to academia after a successful career in marketing and museums to pursue Scottish history, which was my calling. I completed my Master of Letters at the University of the Highlands and Islands (Scotland), graduating with Distinction. My research on rural innkeeping and the impact of women on tourism and hospitality infrastructure in Scotland’s early nineteenth century won the 2016 Women’s History Scotland Leah Leneman prize. The content was subsequently featured extensively on the BBC, was adapted for a play by a community group in London, and used in courses at the University of Guelph and UHI. This research became the catalyst for my Ph.D which looks at nineteenth century coastal foodways in the west Highlands and Islands and the daily lives of Gàidhealtachd women. Currently I am the RA Coordinator for Dr. Elizabeth Vibert’s documentary project, Four Stories About Food Sovereignty. My past teaching experience includes Capilano University, Camosun College, Royal Roads University, and UVic. I teach ATWP 135 at UVic and will be developing and teaching HSTR 371: Scottish Food History for delivery in 2023 and 2024.

Awards & Honours

2016 Women’s History Scotland Leah Leneman Prize

2020 Herbert Bertram Falkenstein Graduate Scholarship in Humanities

Two-time winner of the Hugh Campbell and Marion Alice Small Graduate Teaching Fellowship in Scottish Studies (2021, 2022)

Publications and Research Dissemination

“Crow Pie: Cookery from the Maclagan Manuscripts” blogpost for The School of Scottish Studies Archives, University of Edinburgh.

“Developing a City: Scots Kinship in Nineteenth Century Victoria” blogpost for Scots in British Columbia, Centre for Scottish Studies, Simon Fraser University. 

“The Female Innkeepers of Cromarty” blogpost for HistoryLinks Museum and the University of the Highlands and Islands, Scotland.

“Scottish Emigrants on Vancouver Island” article for History Scotland magazine, online.

“Women at Work: Innkeeping in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland 1790-1840.” Journal of Scottish Historical Studies 37, no. 2 (2017): 155–76.

Conferences (selected)

Kitchen Table Talk to Global Forum, Ohio University, Rural Women’s Studies Association Triennial, 2021

The Outlander Conference, University of Glasgow, 2020 (cancelled due to Covid-19)

The Association for Tourism in Higher Education, Leeds Beckett University, 2018

Women, Money & Markets, King’s College London, Arts & Humanities Research Institute, 2017


ATWP 135 Introduction to Academic Reading and Writing

HSTR 371 Topics in Thematic and Comparative History- Flavours of the Past: Scottish Food History