I cut my teeth at the University of Cambridge, in the department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic. Like many of the best things that have happened in my life, this one was a combination of serendipity and existential angst. Having arrived to do an English degree, I swapped to Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic on the basis that it was the strangest degree Cambridge had to offer. Three degrees later I was still going strong, with an undergraduate degree from Churchill College and an MPhil / PhD from Pembroke College. During my PhD I held visiting studentships at the University of Bergen (Centre for Medieval Studies) and the University of Oslo (Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies). I then defected from the misty fens of Cambridge to the dreaming spires of Oxford for a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship in the Faculty of English Language and Literature. At the same time, I was an Extraordinary Junior Research Fellow at The Queen’s College, where I was also college lecturer in early medieval literature. In 2013 I moved to Durham University, where I have held lectureships in the Department of English Studies and Department of History. I’m strongly committed to outreach and widening participation, and at Cambridge, Oxford and Durham have taken part in programmes designed to increase the proportion of students coming to university from non-university backgrounds. If you want more information on these programmes, or if you’d like me to come speak at your school (primary or secondary), then please get in touch.
I’m currently Associate Professor of Medieval History and Literature in the Department of History, where I have taught modules on the Viking Age, Medieval Iceland and Old English. In 2018 I was awarded a student-nominated ‘Excellence in Learning and Teaching Award’ by the University. Beyond the medieval north, my research interests extend to Arctic and Nordic studies more broadly. I’m Co-Associate Director of the Durham Arctic Research Centre for Training and Interdisciplinary Collaboration (DurhamARCTIC), doctoral training and research centre funded by the Leverhulme Trust to support interdisciplinary understanding for a changing arctic. I also collaborate with colleagues at the Arctic University of Norway (Tromsø), where I’m part of the research group ‘Creating the New North: Manifestations of Central Power in the North AD 500-1800’. This is a multidisciplinary programme designed to coordinate research into medieval North Norway and its place in a wider regional, national and international context. Likewise, I have enjoyed projects with colleagues from the International Arctic Social Sciences Association, including an edited volume, Imagining the Supernatural North, published with the University of Alberta Press in 2016. I am General Editor of my own book series, Borders, Boundaries, Landscapes with Brepols Publishers.