I am an experienced researcher and educator specializing in early medieval northern Europe. My primary research considers issues of law, normativity, and transgression in Viking and Medieval Scandinavian societies and I am passionate about interdisciplinary and comparative approaches to teaching and researching the medieval world. My postdoctoral research project, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, investigates early Scandinavian customary law and applies methodologies from Indigenous legal studies to better understand and articulate it.

I have previously worked as Assistant Professor in the University of Nottingham’s School of English, Teaching Assistant in the University of Aberdeen’s Department of Anglo-Saxon and Celtic Studies, and Guest Researcher at Uppsala University’s Department of History and Stockholm University’s Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, and am currently Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of the Viking Age (University of Nottingham) and the Institute for Northern Studies (University of the Highlands and Islands).


I have previously studied at the University of Alberta (BA in English and Scandinavian Studies), the University of York (MA in Medieval Studies), and the University of Aberdeen (PhD in Scandinavian Studies).


Ruiter, Keith. 2021. ‘Legal Custom & Lex Castrensis?: Using Law and Literature to Navigate the North-Sea Neighbourhood in the Late Viking Age’, in Britain & its Neighbours: Cultural Contacts & Exchanges in Medieval & Early Modern Europe, ed. by Dirk H. Steinforth & Charlie Rozier, New York: Routledge, Routledge Themes in Medieval and Early Modern Histories,  105-20.


Ruiter, Keith. 2020. ‘Berserks Behaving Badly: Manipulating Normative Expectations in Eyrbyggja saga’, in Narrating Law and Laws of Narration in Medieval Scandinavia, ed. by Roland Scheel, Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter, Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde. Ergänzungsbände 117, 171-184.


Ruiter, Keith. 2019. ‘A Deviant Word Hoard: A Study of Non-Normative Terms in Early Medieval Scandinavia’, in Social Norms in Medieval Scandinavia, ed. by Jakub Morawiec, Aleksandra Jochymek, & Grzegorz Bartusik, Leeds: ARC Humanities Press, Beyond Medieval Europe, 201-212.


Ruiter, Keith & Steven P. Ashby. 2018. ‘Different Strokes: Judicial Violence in Viking-Age

England and Scandinavia’, in Viking and Medieval Scandinavia 14, 153-184.


Kyriakou, Aristea, Jan Peter Loovers, Anette Moir, Eleanor Peers, & Keith Ruiter. 2018.

‘Sharing a Voice: Early-Career Scholars and the Arctic.’ in Education in the North 25.1, 181-185.


Ruiter, Keith. 2014. ‘Visibility, Authority, and Execution in Heimskringla.’ in Illuminating the

North: Proceedings from the Nordic Research Network Conference 2013, ed. Agnes Broomé and others, London: Norvik Press, 119-132.


Eliuk, Steven, Keith Ruiter, & Pierre Boulanger. 2011 ‘Classifying HIV-1 Circulating Recombinant Forms.’ in Proceedings of the 2011 International Conference on Bioinformatics & Computational Biology vol. 2, 447-453.

Blog Posts


    Renegotiating Early Law in Scandinavia and Iceland:

    Culture, Custom, and Practice in the Viking Age and Beyond

    May 2021-May 2023:

    SSHRC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (ref: 756-2021-0499)

    Université de Montréal, Département d’anthropologie, Canada 

    • Beginning a transdisciplinary project applying Indigenous legal studies approaches to medieval Scandinavian customary law. Placed in the Laboratoire d’archéologie publique and supervised by Dr Katherine Cook, this project seeks to foster dialogue between legal traditions and makes use of cutting-edge dissemination strategies to maximize public engagement.

    • Additional support and mentorship provided through a Fellowship awarded by Western Michigan University’s Wallace Johnson Program for First Book Authors.


    Higher Education Academy – Associate Fellow

    Association for the Advancement of Scandinavian Studies in Canada – Member

    Canadian Society of Medievalists – Member

    Viking Society for Northern Research – Member

    Sällskap för östnordisk filologi – Member

    Keith Ruiter

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    Active 1 year, 8 months ago