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VMNS Graduate Students 2019-2021

Medieval Icelandic Studies & Viking and Medival Norse Studies orientation meeting August 30, 2019. — See also our graduate students in Medieval Icelandic Studies.

Adela Quero Ruiz (Spain)

  • Archaeology, BA, University of Barcelona, 2019

The main focus of my undergraduate thesis was pre-Christian and early Christian Icelandic burial practices. I am particularly interested in the conversion period and how the acceptance of a new belief had an impact on aspects like collective identity, social organization as well as landscape transformation.

Brian Patrick Palaszewski (US)

  • History, BA, Pennsylvania State University, 2019

With a background in Medieval European History and an interest in Germanic languages, I am eager to pursue further research of the Viking Age with a focus on history, mythology and language through the VMNS program.

Caeli Athina Diaz (US)

  • English Literature, BA, University of Puerto Rico, 2018

As an undergraduate, I studied English literature with an emphasis on literature from the medieval period, as well as German, French, and Latin literature. I am looking forward to be able to broaden my knowledge of Old Norse language and literature in this program.

Chandelier Victoria Martin (US)

  • Art History, BFA, Florida State University, 2019

Throughout my undergraduate, I had a fascination for learning history through objects and visual arts. I am eager to explore Old Norse artifacts, focusing in particular at compositional and visual insights about pre-Christian cultures.

Elinor Louise Ward (UK)

  • English, BA, University of Birmingham, 2018

During my undergraduate study, I did modules in both Old and Middle English language and literature. I am eager to expand my knowledge into Old Norse literature and Viking Age history, looking in particular at their connections with the British Isles and the idea of preserving cultural memory.

Giorgia Sottotetti (Italy)

  • Cultural Heritage Studies/Archeology, BA, University of Pisa, 2018

As an archaeologist, I am interested in ethnicity, social mobility, new settlements, relations and interactions with neighbours and the commingling of different cultures, as well as knowledge, rituals, and beliefs related to the Old Norse and Viking Age and their connections with archaeological finds.

Giulia Zorzan (Italy)

  • Nordic Philology, MA, Università degli Studi di Milano, 2018
  • Scandinavian Studies, BA, Università degli Studi di Milano, 2015

I come from a background in Nordic philology, and in my MA thesis I focused on the magical vocabulary in the legendary sagas (fornaldarsögur). My interest now primarily lies in manuscript studies, especially in paleography, and I am really looking forward to learning more about the Icelandic medieval manuscripts.

James Tanner Hamilton (US)

  • History, BA, Mississippi State University, 2019
  • Secondary Education: English, BSc., Mississippi State University, 2019

As an undergraduate, I focused on history and I have always had a particular interest in medieval Scandinavia. In this program, I hope to expand my knowledge of the pagan religion present in the sagas and attempt to determine the degree to which author influence affected these depictions of pagans.

Julie Anne Françoise Meyer (Luxembourg)

  • Archaeology, BA, Leopold Franzens Universität Innsbruck, 2017

I have worked in the field of archaeology and began to specialize in biofacts, a branch that I also want to pursue in my further career. My main interest lies in the Christianization of Scandinavia, the work of the missionary kings and how the conversion manifests itself in archaeological remains.

Julie Elsa Annick Evelyne Yvette Perez (France)

  • Archaeology, BA, University Toulouse II Jean-Jaurès, 2019

I studied History of Art and Archaeology from prehistory to modern times, with a focus on archaeology in my last year. However, my interest lies in the Middle Ages. I hope to use my archaeological and art history background to research the interaction between Norse and Celtic populations.

Katherine Dawn Haas (US)

  • History/Anthropology, BA, West Chester University of Pennsylvania, 2018

I have always been passionate about history and archaeology so naturally they are what I pursued as an undergraduate. I have presented two papers concerning women and LGBT+ history for my fraternity, Phi Alpha Theta, and hope to continue my research of both during this program.

Katia Saci (France)

  • Nordic Studies, BA, Sorbonne Université, 2019

During my undergraduate studies, I found myself most interested in the area of memory studies, reception of the Norse myths. I particularly focused on the representation of women in video games and movies. Within this program I wish to dive more into the raw material and investigate the lives of women during the settlement period. In the future, I want to examine the use of this material within the field of “Vikingism”.

Michael Joseph Garth (US)

  • Archaeology & The Ancient World, BA, Brown University, 2019

As an undergraduate, I concentrated on bioarcheology and osteology. I did not have a focus on one region in particular, so I am very eager to develop my knowledge of Norse history and culture. For my master’s thesis, I intend to study morbidity and mortality in 12th-13th century burials.

Michael William Duncan Lazar (Canada)

  • English, BA with Honours, Mount Royal University, 2019

I am interested in early medieval literature and the broader topics of ecocritical theory and narrative theory. Medieval Norse literature provides numerous opportunities to integrate these topics.

Neal Garnet McLeod (Canada)

  • History/Interdisciplinary Studies, Ph.D., University of Regina, 2015
  • Philosophy, MA, University of Saskatchewan, 1996
  • Philosophy, BA, University of Saskatchewan, 1992

My background is in narrative theory, poetics, and translation. I am interested in applying these elements to the poetics of conflict and reconciliation in Njáls saga, including the impact of conversion to this process.

Piergiorgio Consagra (Italy)

  • Icelandic as a Second Language, BA, University of Iceland, 2019
  • Foreign Languages and Literatures, BA, Università degli Studi di Milano, 2016

I come from a background mostly focused both on the literary and linguistic aspect of Germanic languages. Philology has always been my passion, but for my last BA thesis I worked on a translation of Þorláks saga helga, which belongs to a genre which I recently discovered to be fascinating, namely the heilagra manna sögur.

Samantha Claire Dickson (UK)

  • History, BA, Leeds Beckett University, 2017

As an undergraduate I studied history. I am incredibly interested in the medieval period and the Viking Age and am eager to explore this area in more depth, particularly the culture of medieval Scandinavia. I aim to explore this in my thesis, with an emphasis on women’s roles within society.

Samantha Ann Monsen (US)

  • Anthropology, BS, University of Southern Indiana, 2019

In my undergraduate studies, I focused on fieldwork, lab methods and experimental archaeology, as well as medieval history. Currently, I am fascinated by the intersection between the sagas and the archaeological record, particularly in regards to the discovery of new archaeological sites, in both traditional site discovery and in maritime conditions.

Suzanne Alyse Swanson (US)

  • English, BA, Loyola Marymount University, 2019

As an undergraduate, I specialized in paleography and codicology. I utilized my experience in Old English to transcribe, research, and theorize medieval interpretations of illuminations and texts. As a graduate student, I aim to investigate idiosyncrasies in Icelandic manuscript marginalia, particularly relating to monstrosity.

Wen Ge (China)

  • Scandinavian Studies and Linguistics, MA with Honours, University of Edinburgh, 2019

In my undergraduate work, I focused on place-names, dialects and language history in Norway, such as dialectal spelling of names, dating of names and the dialect of Hardanger. Now I am eager to study Icelandic place-names and aim to compare them to Western Norwegian place-names in my master’s dissertation.

Yaledma Meraris Ayala Sepúlveda (Puerto Rico)

  • History of Europe, BA, University of Puerto Rico, 2017

I majored in European history, writing my tesina (short BA thesis) on the representation of medieval Norse literature in Scandinavian films and pop culture. Having mostly focused on Viking raids in my undergraduate work, I am looking forward to learning more about medieval Scandinavian history and culture, as well as focusing on Old Icelandic and manuscript studies.

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