Guy Puzey

Senior Lecturer in Scandinavian Studies, Head of the Department of European Languages and Cultures


Dr Guy Puzey was appointed Lecturer in Scandinavian Studies at the University of Edinburgh in 2015 and Senior Lecturer in 2022. 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.

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 from the 1800s to the present day, especially during and after the Second World War, as well as the social and cultural history of the Cold War era.

Guy is also a translator of Norwegian literature and contributes to Translation Studies programmes at the University of Edinburgh. His translation from Nynorsk of Maria Parr’s Vaffelhjarte: Lena og eg i Knert-Mathilde (Waffle Hearts: Lena and Me in Mathildewick Cove) was shortlisted for the 2015 Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation.

Responsibilities & affiliations

  • Head of the Department of European Languages and Cultures
  • Bilingualism Matters: Programme Director for Language Visibility and Nordic Languages
  • Exchange co-ordinator for Norwegian
  • Modern European Languages Board of Examiners Regulations Expert
  • Northern Scholars Scheme committee member

Undergraduate teaching

  • Communicating across the Scandinavian Languages (2022-present) (course organiser)
  • Culture and Society in Twentieth-Century Italy (2009-10)
  • Dynamics of Language and Power (2019-present)
  • History of the Scandinavian Languages (2006-07; 2010-11; 2015-17)
  • Introduction to European Theatre (2015-18)
  • Nordic Languages: Diversity and Historical Developments (2022-present)
  • Norwegian 1 (2012-20; 2022-23)
  • 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; 2015-22)
  • 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 1 / Oral for Norwegian (2015-16; 2018-19)
  • Scandinavian Studies Language Paper 2 (honours-level translation from Danish, Norwegian and Swedish) (2012-13; 2015-present) (course organiser)

Postgraduate teaching

  • 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)

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Current PhD students supervised

  • Emma Dussouchaud-Esclamadon
  • Jamie Glisson
  • Jeff Justice
  • Rachel Rankin
  • Joseph Wade
  • Ashley Xing

Past PhD students supervised

Research summary

  • 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

Affiliated research centres

View all 43 publications on Research Explorer