Dr Bold was educated at the University of Edinburgh, Memorial University of Newfoundland and the University of Glasgow. She was one of the first lecturers at the Dumfries Campus, where she came in 1999 after working previously in the Elphinstone Institute at the University of Aberdeen where she worked on studying and promoting the traditional culture of Northern Scotland. Before that, she worked at the University of Glasgow, in the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies.
Dr Bold is Director of the Solway Centre for Environment and Culture, a Dumfries-based initiative to explore research into landscape, place and memory; sustainable rural tourism and rural landscape management. The Centre was launched in October 2012, with initial projects including Dr Matt Davies' project on the effects of wildfires on carbon dynamics, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council, and Dr Bold and Dr Richard Jones (Archaeology)'s 'Discovering Dumfries and Galloway's Past', through geophysical archaeology and community engagement, funded by Leader, the University of Glasgow's Chancellor's Fund and the Crichton Foundation.
Dr Bold is interested in interdisciplinary connexions between cultural and natural environments, and economic development. She supervised a research project into usage of the Southern Upland Way (funded by the Southern Upland Partnership) alongside Dr Mhairi Harvey and Dr Steven Gillespie, and was a Principal Investigator, along with Dr Donald Macleod, in a European project, through the Rural Development fund, which explored the experiences, and assisted the development, of, selected small and medium sized businesses in the South of Scotland.
Particular research interests include the literature and oral traditions of Scotland, especially poetry, storytelling and song but also customs and beliefs. Dr Bold is interested in cultural heritage, both in Scotland and in Scottish diaspora communities, such as those within Canada and the U.S.A. Dr Bold also has a special interest in the literary and song traditions of Southern Scotland, from the eighteenth century onwards, particularly in the work of Robert Burns and James Hogg. Her latest publication is an edited collection, with Dr Andrew Nash, Gateway to the Modern: Resituating J.M. Barrie (ASLS, 2014).
During the 2009 'Homecoming' year she spoke on Burns in locations as far apart as Vancouver and Washington, as well as in Glasgow and Edinburgh, and published a well-received edition of Burns's Merry Muses of Caledonia with illustrations by Bob Dewar (Luath Press, 2009). She provided the introduction for a new edition of James Hogg's Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (Merchiston Press, 2009). Dr Bold is currently working on an edition of James Hogg’s Brownie of Bodsbeck for the Stirling/South Carolina edition of the Complete works of James Hogg. Future projects include a monograph considering consideration of Scottish identity in North America, a comparative study looking at European poets of the nineteenth century and an edition of the Kitty Hartley manuscript, held in the Ewart Library, Dumfries: Scotch Songs from Scotch Corner: the Kitty Hartley manuscript.
Dr Bold has supervised postgraduate students on topics as diverse as the song traditions of South West Scotland and tourism, the traditional expressive arts, Morris dancing and creative responses to place as well as on the work of specific writers including James Barke and Robert Burns, and on creative responses to place. She is happy to discuss supervision of a variety of topics relating to Scottish literature and oral traditions, particularly from the seventeenth century onwards, as well as on Scottish folklore and traditional culture, and on relationships between landscape and place-making through narrative.