Edinburgh Research Explorer

Guy Puzey

Lecturer in Scandinavian Studies

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Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

Language, politics and identity (especially language policy and linguistic landscapes); critical toponomastics; modern and contemporary Nordic (especially Norwegian) social, cultural and historical topics.

Education/Academic qualification

2007Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Edinburgh
Wars of Position: Language Policy, Counter-Hegemonies and Cultural Cleavages in Italy and Norway
2006Master of Science, University of Edinburgh
Planning the Linguistic Landscape: A Comparative Survey of the Use of Minority Languages in the Road Signage of Norway, Scotland and Italy
2002Master of Arts, University of Edinburgh

Research Interests

  • Language policy
  • Linguistic landscapes and language visibility
  • Critical approaches to toponymy; the interactions between power and place naming
  • Modern and contemporary Nordic social, cultural and historical studies


Dr Guy Puzey was appointed Lecturer in Scandinavian Studies at the University of Edinburgh in 2015. He first came to Edinburgh as an undergraduate student, graduating with first class honours in Italian and Scandinavian Studies in 2006. He went on to study for an AHRC-funded MSc by Research, which he was awarded with distinction in 2007. He then continued with AHRC-funded doctoral research on language policy in Italy and Norway, which he completed in 2011. Before taking on his current role, he was employed by both the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures and the Office of Lifelong Learning (now the Centre for Open Learning) in a number of roles from 2006 to 2015.

His principal research interests concern the interactions between languages, politics and identity, particularly in the social and cultural contexts of Norway, Scotland and Italy.

Guy's doctoral thesis examined the political dimension of language activist campaigns in Norway (with the Nynorsk language) and Italy (with a focus on Lombard dialects). Guy has also carried out extensive work in the emerging field of linguistic landscape studies, focusing on the relative visibility of languages in public spaces. He has been consulted by policy‐makers and has recently participated in several externally‐funded research projects related to Gaelic language policy, applying his comparative European perspective to the Scottish policy context and collaborating with colleagues from the Celtic & Scottish Studies subject area.

In the field of onomastics, Guy’s work deals with the links between power and place naming, especially with regard to minority languages, but also in connection with renaming and place branding. He has engaged in collaborative research in these areas with colleagues from Australia, Finland and Germany.

Other research interests include connections between Norway and Scotland during and after the Second World War, and the social and cultural history of the Cold War era.

Guy is also a translator of Norwegian literature and has contributed to translation studies programmes at the University of Edinburgh.


School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (undergraduate courses)

  • Culture and Society in Twentieth-Century Italy 2 (2009-10)
  • Dynamics of Language and Power (2019-present) (course organiser)
  • History of the Scandinavian Languages (2006-07; 2010-11; 2015-present)
  • Introduction to European Theatre (2015-19)
  • Norwegian 1 (2012-21)
  • Norwegian Language 2 (2013-14; 2015-21)
  • Nynorsk Language and Literature (2015-present) (course organiser)
  • Scandinavian Historical and Cultural Topics 2 (2012-13)
  • Scandinavian Languages 2 (2013-14; 2015-present)
  • Scandinavian Literature 2 (2012-13; 2015-present)
  • Scandinavian Literature for Children and Young People (2006-09)
  • Scandinavian Place-Name Studies (2007-09)
  • Scandinavian Studies Language Paper 2 (honours-level translation from Danish, Norwegian and Swedish) (2012-13; 2015-present) (course organiser)


School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (postgraduate courses)

  • Literary Translation as Creative Practice (2012-13)
  • Minority Languages in Europe: Policy and Language Planning (2012-13; 2014-15)
  • Translation Studies (2012-13; 2015-present)


Office of Lifelong Learning (now Centre for Open Learning)

  • Norwegian 1 (2006-07; 2008-09; 2010-11; 2013-15)
  • Norwegian 2 (2007-08; 2011-12)

Research students

  • Rachel Rankin (PhD, 2020-)
  • Jamie Glisson (PhD, 2019-)
  • James Konrad Puchowski (PhD, 2018-)
  • Joseph Wade (PhD, 2018-)
  • James Konrad Puchowski (MSc by Research in Scandinavian Studies, 2017-18)
  • Anja Tröger (PhD, 2016-20)
  • Mikhail Vodopyanov (PhD, 2016-)
  • Anja Tröger (MSc by Research in Scandinavian Studies, 2015-16)

Research outputs

  1. Raur gives his blanket a hug

    Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

  2. Corona Is a Ball with Spikes

    Research output: Other contribution

  3. Lena, the Sea and Me

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

View all (36) »

Research activities & awards

  1. Winkie's Return

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesPublic Engagement – Public lecture/debate/seminar

  2. Visit by the Nordic Council

    Activity: Consultancy typesContribution to the work of national or international committees and working groups

  3. Names in the Economy 6

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

View all (103) »

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