Dr Andrew Jennings MA (Hons) MSc FHEA FrHist FSAScot


Associate Professor in Island Studies

Institute for Northern Studies
University of the Highlands and Islands
UHI Shetland

+44 (0)1595 771406
Andrew Jennings Academia Profile
Full research profile on the Research Database

Dr Andrew Jennings



Dr Andrew Jennings is based in Lerwick, Shetland's 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 is the programme leader on the MLitt Viking Studies, Island Studies, Orkney and Shetland Studies and Highlands and Islands Lliterature.

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 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, and the history of Shetland.

Current and Recent Projects

Norse and the Sea Project

Estonian War Museum Project

Academic responsibilities content

Academic responsibilities

Academic responsibilities

Dr Jennings is the MLitt Programme Leader and Module Leader for:

  • Scotland’s Customs: Traditional Beliefs and Folklore
  • From Atlantis to Utopia: The Nature of 'Islandness'
  • Governance in Small Islands
  • Selling Cold Islands
  • A Tour of the Highlands
  • Modern History of Orkney and Shetland
  • Medieval History of Orkney and Shetland
  • From Muckle Flugga to Pladda
External memberships content

External memberships

External 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
Publications content



2021 Jennings, A. 'Shetland's Norse Identity: 'Da Norn is lang gien, but hit’s left a waageng'. In K. Burnett (Ed.), 'Scotland and Islandness: Explorations in Economy and Culture' (Studies in the History and Culture of Scotland Series). Peter Lang.

2020 Jennings, A. ‘The Potential Viking Stronghold at the Kame of Isbister’. In Proceedings of the Eighteenth Viking Congress 2017 (Copenhagen)

2020 Jennings, A. ‘Folklore between the Northern and Western Isles.’ In A.MacDonald (ed.) Between Islands (An Lanntair)

2017 Jennings, A. ‘Three Scottish Coastal Names of Note: Earra-Ghàidheal, Satíriseið, and Skotlandsfirðir’. In D.Worthington The New Coastal History: Cultural and Environmental Perspectives from Scotland and Beyond (Palgrave MacMillan), 119-130

2017 Jennings, A.  ‘Our Islands Our Future - Purposeful Opportunism at its Best’. In L.Brinklow, R.Gibson (eds.) From Black Horse to White Steeds, Building Community Resilience (Island Studies Press), 62-85

2017 Jennings,A. ‘Chapter 1 - Introduction’. In A.Jennings et al. (eds.) Northern Atlantic Islands: Seascapes and Dreamscapes (Cambridge Scholars), 1-6

2016 'Continuity? Christianity and Shetland'. In Turner, V. (et al.) Shetland and the Viking World, Papers for the Proceedings of the Seventeenth Viking Congress 2013 (Lerwick), 47-54

2015 Jennings, A. 'The Folklore of Fetlar: Memories and Metamorphoses'. In T.Kuusela (ed.) Folk Belief and Traditions of the Supernatural (Beewolf Press), 27-58

2015 Jennings, A. 'The Old Rock's Rockin' - a cultural anatomy of Shetland'. In K.Vodden, R.Gibson and G.Baldacchino (eds.) Place Peripheral: Place Based Development in Rural, Island and Remote Regions (St Johns), 156-179

2013 'Latter Day Vikings: Gaels in the Northern Isles in the 16th century'. In A.P.Jennings and A.Sanmark (eds.) Across the Sólundarhaf: Connections between Scotland and the Nordic World. Selected Papers from the Inaugural St. Magnus Conference 2011, Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4, (Eagle Hill Publications), 35-42

2011 ‘Hjaltland Revisited: The Place-name Shetland and its Celtic Origin’. In NORNA 87: Etymologiens plass i navneforskningen (Uppsala), 133-142

2011 Jennings, A. ‘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), 109-112

2010 ‘The Giantess as a Metaphor for Shetland’s Cultural History.’ In SHIMA: The International Journal of Studies into Island Cultures, 1-14

2010 Jennings, A. & Kruse, K. ‘From Dál Riata to the Gall-Ghàidheil.’. In Viking and Medieval Scandinavia 5 (Brepols), 123-150

2009 Jennings, A. and Kruse, A. '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), 75-102

2005 Jennings, A & Kruse, A. ‘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), 284-296

2004 'The Norse Place-Names of Kintyre'. In K. Holman & J. Adams (eds)., Scandinavia and Europe 800-1350: Contact, Conflict, and Coexistence. (Turnhout), 109-120

2001 'Galloway: GallGaidheil'. In Oxford Companion to Scottish History (Oxford), 257-258

2001 'Isles and Mann: Kingdom of'. In Oxford Companion to Scottish History (Oxford), 405

1998 'Iona and the Vikings: a study in survival'. In Northern Studies 33 (Edinburgh), 37 - 54

1996 'Historic and linguistic evidence for Gall-Gaidheil and Norse in Western Scotland'. In Language contact across the North Atlantic, Linguistische Arbeiten 359 (Tubingen), 61-74

Invited talks and conferences content

Invited talks and conferences

Invited talks and conferences

‘Hebrideans in the Sagas’. 22nd October 2020, Dualchas na Mara Project, Museum nan Eilean

‘Viking Age Shetland’, 22nd August 2015, Vinland Society of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown

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 :

PhD students content

PhD students

PhD students

Previous PhD students

  • Marc Chivers ‘The Traditional Shetland Boat’
  • Lydia Crow 'Digital Ethnography and a Virtual Orkney: The Role of Folklore in Creating an Online Orkney Place’

Current PhD students

  • Fleur Ward 'Information and Communication Technology’s Role in the Governance of Sub-National Island Jurisdictions (SNIJs) – Successes, Failures and Lessons for Scotland’s Island Councils'
  • Evelyn Anderson '“Filthy houses, bad food and wretchedness:” What factors affected wellbeing, health and care in Shetland prior to the establishment of the National Health Service?'

Suggested PhD topics

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