Home research cultural Centre for Nordic Studies Staff Dr Andrew Jennings MA (Hons) MSc PhD FHEA FrHist FSA Scot

Dr Andrew Jennings MA (Hons) MSc PhD FHEA FrHist FSA Scot

Post Doctoral Research Associate

Centre for Nordic Studies
University of the Highlands and Islands
Shetland College UHI

e: andrew.jennings@uhi.ac.uk
d: +44 (0)1595 771408
Full research profile on the Research Database RD.jpg


Dr Andrew JenningsDr Andrew Jennings is based in Scalloway, Shetland's ancient capital. He enjoys everything about life in this beautiful archipelago, from rowing in the local yoal team and taking part in the Fire Festival, to walking the dog and experiencing the wild Shetland weather. Living in Scotland's most northerly islands, with their Nordic cultural inheritance, inspires his research and his teaching. He teaches on many aspects of Shetland and Orkney culture and is the programme leader on the MLitt in Island Studies. He also teaches a module on Vikings in popular culture which involves watching Viking movies, reading comics and listening to Viking metal.

Research interests

Dr Jennings has a particular research interest in the Early Medieval History of the Scottish Islands, with an emphasis on place-names and the Vikings. He wrote his PhD on 'Gael and Norse in Western Scotland c.795 to c.1000'. His other research interests include Small Island Studies, with a particular focus on the islands of the North Atlantic and the Baltic, the history of the North Atlantic between the years 500-1200, Norse Mythology, Folklore of the Northern Isles, Gaelic Culture, Shetland in the 16th century and Mapping the Viking age using kml-files and the Google Maps api. He is the Principal Investigator on the RSE funded Hjaltland research Network: Mapping Viking Age Shetland.

Current Projects

The Hjaltland Network - Mapping Viking and Norse Shetland

Academic Responsibilities

Dr Jennings is the programme leader on the MLitt in Island Studies and teaches the following modules at the MLitt level:

  • Myths and Origins of Orkney and Shetland
  • Traditional Custom and Belief of the Northern Isles
  • Creideamh and Freuteries: Traditional Custom and Belief of the Highlands and Islands
  • Visualising the Vikings: The Vikings in Popular Culture
  • From Atlantic to Utopia: The Nature of 'Islandness'
  • Governance in Small Islands

External responsibilities and memberships

  • International Advisory Board of the Centre for Advanced Migration Studies (AMIS), Copenhagen University
  • Member of the Viking Society for Northern Research
  • Member of the Scottish Society for Northern Studies
  • Member of the Scottish Medievalists
  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
  • Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Editorial Board of Northern Scotland
  • Review Editor (History and Archaeology) the Scottish Society for Northern Studies


'Continuity?  Christianity  and  Shetland'. In The Seventeenth Viking Congress (Forthcoming 2015)

‘The Old Rock’s Rockin – a cultural anatomy of Shetland’. In Culture, Place and Identity at the Heart of Regional Development (ISER forthcoming 2015)

'The Folklore of Fetlar'. In Proceedings of the Conference on Folk Belief and Traditions of the Supernatural (Beewolf Press forthcoming 2015)

‘Latter Day Vikings: Gaels in the Northern Isles in the 16th century’ in Proceedings from the Inaugural St Magnus Conference: (JONA 2013)

‘The Finns (Sami) in the folklore of the Northern Isles – from magician to monster.’ In J.P. Ziker and F. Stammler (eds.) Histories from the North: Environments, Movements, and Narratives (Boise State University 2011): 109-112 ISBN 978-0-9779515-7-X

‘Hjaltland Revisited: The Place-name Shetland and its Celtic Origin’. NORNA 87: Etymologiens plass i navneforskningen (Uppsala 2011): 132-141 ISBN 978-91-7276-086-8

‘Shetland and Byzantium’ in Unkans (Shetland Museum & Archives 2011)

‘The Giantess as a Metaphor for Shetland’s Cultural History.’ SHIMA: The International Journal of Studies into Island Cultures(2010): 1-14 ISSN 1834-6049

‘From Dál Riata to the Gall-Ghàidheil.’ Viking and Medieval Scandinavia 5 (Brepols 2010): 123-149 ISBN 978-2-0503-53089-5 (Co-authored with Dr A. Kruse)

‘Gygrs, guykerls and other grotesque females in the landscape’ in The New Shetlander, Hairst No.249 (Lerwick 2009)

'One coast - three peoples: names and ethnicity in the Scottish west during the early Viking period'. In A. Woolf (ed.) Scandinavian Scotland - Twenty Years On (St Andrews 2009): 75-102 ISBN 978-0-9512573-7-1 (Co-authored with Dr A.Kruse)

‘Something funny about Funzie’ in The New Shetlander, Yule No.242 (Lerwick 2007)

An Ethnic Enigma – Norse, Pict and Gael in the Western Isles.’ In A. Mortensen and S.V. Arge (eds.) Viking and Norse in the North Atlantic. Selected papers from the Proceedings of the Fourteenth Viking Congress Annales Societatis Scientiarium Færoensis Supplementum XLIV (Torshavn 2005): 284-296 ISBN 99918-41-44-X (Co-authored with Dr A.Kruse)

'The Norse Place-Names of Kintyre.’ In K. Holman and J. Adams (eds.) Scandinavia and Europe 800-1350: Contact, Conflict, and Coexistence. (Turnhout 2004): 109-119 ISBN 2-503-51085-X

'Isles and Mann: Kingdom of' & 'Galloway: GallGaidheil'. In the Oxford Companion to Scottish History (Oxford 2001) ISBN-13: 978-0192116963

Plato 1 - the creation of a 3D Multi-User Virtual Environment for Teaching and Learning English (unpublished MSC Dissertation Stirling 2001)

'Iona and the Vikings: a study in survival.’ Northern Studies (Edinburgh 1998): 37-54 ISSN 0305-506X

'Historic and linguistic evidence for Gall-Gaidheil and Norse in Western Scotland.’ In P.S.Ureland and I. Clarkson (eds.) Language contact across the North Atlantic, Linguistische Arbeiten 359 (Tubingen 1996): 61-73 ISBN 61-73-3-484-30-359-X (Co-authored with Dr A.Kruse)

'Galloway and Gall-Gaidheil' in Proceedings of the Association of Postgraduate Scottish Historical Research Day Conference Edinburgh (Edinburgh 1993)

'Fugl/Fogl – An unusual Hebridean personal name' in Notes and Queries of the Society of West Highland and Island Historical Research Series 2 no.8 (1991)

Book Reviews

'Celtic-Norse Relationships in the Irish Sea in the Middle Ages'. Northern Studies, 46: 107-109 

‘Excavations at Old Scatness, Shetland Volume 1: The Pictish Village and Viking Settlement’. Shetland Times, August 20th, 2010

‘West over Sea: studies in Scandinavian sea-borne expansion and settlement before 1300’. Scandinavian Journal of History, 34: 4 (Routledge): 443-445 ISSN 0346-8755

Invited talks and conferences

Viking Congress 2013, Shetland: Continuity-Christianity and Shetland

‘Shetland’s Viking and Norse Heritage’, 15th November 2012, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Institut für Nordische Philologiee

‘Shetland’s Viking and Norse Heritage’, 13th November 2012, Institut für Skandinavistik, Frisistik und Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Universität Kiel

‘The role and potential of tourism and heritage in regional development - the Shetland Experience’, 31st October 2012, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick

‘The Hjaltland Network – Mapping the Viking Age’, 27th of January 2012, Department for Name Studies, University of Copenhagen

‘Shetland, Unst and Yell: Onomastic Evidence for Pre-Viking Contact between Norway and the Northern Isles’ Scandinavian Studies Seminar, 4th May 2010, Centre for Scandinavian Studies, Aberdeen University

‘Finns in the Folklore in the Northern Isles’ Scandinavian Research Seminar, 17thMarch 2010, University of Edinburgh. Transcription:"The Finnfolk"

PhD students

  • Lydia Crow ‘Orcadian Identity’
  • Marc Chivers ‘The Traditional Shetland Boat’

Suggested PhD topics

  • Vikings in Scotland
  • The history and culture of the Northern Isles
  • Island Studies
  • Onomastics