She worked as a researcher and taught as a lecturer and senior lecturer. Her teaching covered mainly in nineteenth and twentieth century Scottish women’s writing. She published a full-length critical study of the writings of Willa Muir. Aileen was recognised for her outstanding contribution to Scottish Literature and the Arts by the Saltire Society in 2019
She was a long-time supporter of the organisation Rape Crisis Scotland, a network of centres that provide support to campaign and lobby to raise awareness of the issues of sexual violence. Rape Crisis Scotland centres were established in Glasgow in 1976 and in Edinburgh in 1978. Aileen was a member of the Rape Crisis Centre Collective 1978-96.
She died in Edinburgh on 12 June 2020.
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