UCL English



Dr Nik Gunn

Email: n.gunn@ucl.ac.uk
External phone: 020 7679 3659
Internal phone: 33659
Office: Foster Court 242

Nik Gunn

Education and Experience 

Nik Gunn graduated with a BA in English from the University of Leeds in 2011 and completed his MA in Medieval Studies at the University of York the following year. After a brief stint working for an education charity in London, he was awarded a full scholarship by the Wolfson Foundation in order to complete a PhD in English and Related Literature at York under the supervision of Matthew Townend. He gained his PhD in September 2017 and joined UCL as a Teaching Fellow in Old and Middle English in October the same year.

Alongside his research at York, Nik taught undergraduate Old Norse at the Department for English and Related Literature, as well as postgraduate classes in Old English and Old Norse at the Centre for Medieval Studies. In addition to his academic work, he acted as historical consultant for the York Archaeological Trust during the preparation for the relaunch of the Jorvik Viking Museum in 2017. He has been regularly involved with York Festival of Ideas and participated in the 2014 AHRC-funded Languages, Myths and Finds project.

Research Interests

Nik’s research focuses on the languages and literatures of medieval England and Scandinavia. His interests encompass Old English and Old Norse poetry, the sagas, Christianisation, language contact, and orality and literacy. He views the denationalisation of the literature of the Anglo-Saxon period as integral to a better understanding of the cultural and intellectual culture of the time, stressing the multilingual nature of pre-Conquest England (including—but not limited to—Latin, Old English, Old Norse).

His PhD thesis explored Anglo-Scandinavian linguistic and literary exchange from the beginnings of the Viking Age up to the thirteenth century, with a particular focus on English influence on Old Norse. He is currently working on turning parts of his thesis into articles, including one on the preface to the twelfth-century Icelandic First Grammatical Treatise and another on English loanwords in Old Norse relating to Christianity.

Articles and Chapters in Books

“The Dialect Heritage of Viking Age Cleveland.” In The Vikings in Cleveland, edited by Heather O’Donoghue and Pragya Vohra, 26-29. Nottingham: Centre for the Study of the Viking Age, 2014.