Edinburgh Research Explorer

Dr. Alan Macniven

Senior Lecturer

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Phone: 0131 650 3279

Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

I am very happy to consider proposals for PhD and MSc (R) projects on all aspects of the Viking Age, especially those with a multi-disciplinary focus, or an emphasis on place-names or Scotland. I would also welcome proposals for research projects on more modern developments in Scandinavian, and particularly Swedish, literature, language and culture.

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Arts, University of Edinburgh
Scandinavian Studies with Distinction in Oral Swedish
Master of Science, University of Edinburgh
Master of Science by Research in Scandinavian Studies
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Edinburgh
PhD in Scandinavian Studies

Professional Qualifications

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Secondary Teaching), PGCE
Postgraduate Certificate in University Teaching, PGCUT

Area of Expertise

Research expertiseScandinavia, Vikings, Sweden, Norden, Nordic, Place-names, Islay, Hebrides

Biography

  • MA, MSc, PhD (Edinburgh)
  • PGCE (Cumbria)
  • PGCUT (Edinburgh)
  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy
  • Convener, Scottish Place-Name Society
  • Committee Member, Scottish Society for Northern Studies
  • Convener of the Northern Scholars' Scheme, the University of Edinburgh
  • Representative for Scotland, Viking Congress
  • Trustee, Finlaggan Trust
  • Fellow, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
  • Member, Cross Party Group on the Nordic Countries

 

  • I am currently Head of DELC: Scandinavian Studies

 

  • I have previously served as School Representative on the College Library & IS Committee; and as the Convenenor, and Deputy Convener of the MEL Exam Board for DELC.
  • As Head of the DELC Teaching Organisation, I was responsible for compiling the Analytical Report for DELC's periodical Teaching Programme Review in 2017.
  • I have served as External Examiner in Scandinavian Studies for University College, London; and in Swedish for the University of Aberdeen; and as External Advisor for Leeds Metropolitan University.

Research Interests

Dr Macniven's current research focuses on cultural interaction, principally between Norse and native in western maritime Scotland during the Viking Age. Although dogmatically interdisciplinary, the main source material for this work comes from the names of places and associated settlement studies. Specific interests include: immigrant naming practices in fully occupied and named landscapes; the nature and extent of cultural transitions at the beginning and end of Scotland’s Viking Age; and the evidence for maricultural practices and military infrastructure in Scandinavian Scotland. Alan's recent Monograph, The Vikings in Islay (2015, John Donald), was shortlisted for the Saltire Society's 'Research Book of the Year' award.

Teaching

 Postgraduate

  • Viking Studies (Course Organiser)
  • Old Norse Studies (Course Organiser)
  • The Material Culture of Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic Scotland (Course Organiser)

1st & 2nd Year

  • Swedish 1
  • Scandinavian Literature 2
  • Literature & Culture in Medieval Europe 2
  • Scandinavian Civilisation A (Course Organiser)
  • Scandinavian Civilisation B (Course Organiser)

 Honours

  • History of the Scandinavian Novel
  • History of the Scandinavian Languages
  • Scandinavian Place-Name Studies
  • Old Norse Studies (Course Organiser)
  • Viking Studies (Course Organiser)

 

Research students

Current PhD Projects

  • Dan Haycraft: The Impact of Natural Disasters on 9th Century Carolingian France.

Completed PhD Projects

  • Dr Christian Cooijmans (2018): Of Monarchs and Hydrarchs: A Conceptual Development Model for Viking Activity across the Frankish Realm (c. 750-940 CE).
  • Dr Ryan Foster (2018): Norse Shielings in Scotland: An interdisciplinary study of setr/sætr and ærgi-names.
  • Dr Ian Giles (2018): Tracing the Transmission of Scandinavian Literature to the UK: 1917-2017.
  • Dr Katarzyna Aleksiejuk (2016): Names on the Internet: Towards Electronic Socio-onomastics.
  • Dr Dominic Hinde (2015): Our shared future: The rhetorics of modern Swedish environmentalism.
  • Dr Ersev Ersoy (2012): Social reality and mythic worlds: reflections on folk belief and the supernatural in James Macpherson's Ossian and Elias Lönnrot's Kalevala.

Completed MSc by Research Projects

  • Elizabeth Bradbury (2018): Facets of the Feminine in Old Norse Religion.
  • Kevin Luschen (2018): Aspects of Viking Age Sword Culture in Scotland.
  • Eric Cain (2012): Insecurity in the Unresolved: The Game of Literature Experience and [Un]resolution in Swedish Crime and Horror Fiction of Mankell’s Mördare mot ansikte, Lindqvist’s Låt den rätta komma in, and Roman’s Mörkrädd.
  • Marilyn Amedro (2011): Reflections on the Instability of Place and Identity in the first two novels of William Heinesen.               
  • Dominic Hinde (2011): A perceived utopia?: Four narratives on the environment in Sweden.

 

Research activities & awards

  1. Scotland's Nordic Connections: Cultural, Economic and Historical

    Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk

  2. Scottish Society for Northern Studies: Annual Day Conference

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

  3. Nordic Branding and the Reception of the Nordic Model Abroad

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

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