Home research cultural Centre for Nordic Studies News Dr Angela Watt joins the Centre for Nordic Studies in Shetland

Dr Angela Watt joins the Centre for Nordic Studies in Shetland

Dr Angela Watt has recently been appointed as lecturer at the Centre for Nordic Studies in Shetland, joining Dr Andrew Jennings and Silke Reeploeg in the NAFC Marine Centre UHI in Scalloway. Previously she was one of the first graduates with a First Class BA Honours in culture studies of the Highlands and Islands, which was obtained through the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Dr Watt’s PhD thesis, The Implications of Cultural Interchange in Scalloway, Shetland, with reference to a perceived Nordic-based Heritage, was supervised by Professor Margaret Grieco, Professor of Transport, Napier University and Dr Donna Heddle, University of the Highlands and Islands Centre for Nordic Studies, Orkney.

Dr Watt’s PhD investigated and developed a theoretical model of cultural interchange as one of the main principles governing the development of cultural identity and the conceptualisation of culture as a process. Her case study focused primarily on the village of Scalloway, Shetland, the ancient capital of the Shetland Islands, utilising a qualitative framework to explore the legacy of visual and narrative histories. She undertook research in Shetland, Scotland, Orkney, Faroe, Norway and New Zealand, investigating cultural links, the visuality of heritage practice, and the lessons we can learn from this. Copies of her thesis will be donated to Scalloway Museum and to the Lerwick Museum and Archives and she anticipates receiving feedback from the community.

Although she now lives in Lerwick, Angela has a strong family connection with Scalloway; she is the youngest daughter of Jim and Liz Watt at Ladysmith Road, and granddaughter to the late Jim and Ella Watt at Port Arthur. As a child, her father was a lighthouse keeper, which meant regular “shifts” to different stations around Scotland. The family settled in Scalloway before the last lighthouse was automated and she attributes these varied experiences to her interest in culture(s) and maritime identities.

Her current research includes the heritage of lighthouses as a family space and the representation of islands and lighthouses in film and literature; both within a Scottish and global perspective. She is also particularly interested with identifying and recording elements of cultural discourse, knowledge, visuality or narrative, whilst it remains within living memory. She is fascinated with practices which transform intangible culture, ideas or knowledge into tangible and marketable products of culture; for example, the creation of a local jewellery tradition which is inspired by mythology and narrative histories. In her lecturing role at the Centre for Nordic Studies , Dr Watt will be teaching on the following modules in the forthcoming academic year:

  • Orkney and Shetland: Myths and Origins
  • Traditional Customs, Beliefs and Folklore
  • From Atlantis to Utopia; the nature of islandness.


Contact Details:

Dr Angela Watt
Centre for Nordic Studies (CNS)
NAFC Marine Centre UHI
Port Arthur

E: angela.watt@uhi.ac.uk
T: +44 (0) (01595) 772493

Filed under: