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Graduate Students 2016-2018

Amy May Franks (UK)

  • History, BA (Hons), University of Winchester, 2016

While my undergraduate degree was in History, I want to learn to take an interdisciplinary approach with my work to gain a broader understanding of women, gender non-conforming, and queer people in the Viking Age. 

Bailey Suzanne Johnson O’Connor (US)

  • Anthropology, BA, Smith College, 2016

As an undergraduate, I studied biological archaeology, modern languages, and medieval studies with a focus on Scandinavia.  In my graduate career, I am interested in studying in greater depth the material culture of the Medieval Norse world.

Courtney Meadow Coldon (US)

  • Anthropological Archaeology, focus in Palaeoanthropology, BA, Green Mountain College, 2012

My background is in archaeology and fiber art. I look forward to using historical and archaeological evidence in literature and cultural material remains to investigate the textile history of the Medieval Norse people.

Dante Ives Abel (US) 

  • Art History, BA, San Jose State University, 2014

In my undergraduate studies in Art History, I spent a lot of time with mythologies from all over the world and fell in love with Norse mythology. I am looking forward to building a stronger foundation in Norse mythology and use this as a base for comparative religious studies.

Dion Christopher Corless (US)

  • English, BA, Portland State University, 2016

For my undergraduate I studied literature with a focus in medieval English and Norse texts. I look forward to an in-depth examination of the Icelandic sagas from a literary perspective as well as their contextual background. In particular, I am interested in the intricate relationships within the family sagas and the psychological characteristics of outlaws.

Embla Aae (Norway)

  • History/English Literature, BA, University of York, 2016

As an undergraduate student, I specialized in early medieval history and Old Norse/Icelandic literature, so I decided to continue onto the VMN program to expand my knowledge and supplement it with further courses within fields such as archaeology and early Nordic religion.

Emily Parsons (Canada)

  • Anthropology, BA (Hon), University of Alberta, 2016

My undergraduate degree focused on archaeology, concentrating on issues of gender and women’s work. I hope to explore both material and literary topics related to gender, childhood, and education in the medieval North.

Genea Piervittori (Italy)

  • Humanities, First Degree in Arts and Humanities, University of Parma, 2016

As an undergraduate, I studied different aspects of the Classical Antiquity and Middle Ages, while in my final dissertation I explored the Viking history and culture. In the VMN program I hope to learn more about the Viking Age archaeology and, through the Old Icelandic texts, about the Norse mythology.

Jack Threlfall Hartley (UK)

  • English and Related Literature, BA, University of York, 2015

First encountering Old Norse Literature during my BA, I was fascinated by the Íslendingasögur, and especially the relationship between story and place, real and imagined. I am also interested in more modern understandings of Medieval Iceland and its literature, and wrote my undergraduate dissertation on ideas of the north in 20th-century poetry in English.

Jaka Čuk (Slovenia)

  • History, Philosopy, BA, University of Ljubljana, 2013
  • Philosophy, MA, University of Ljubljana, 2015

With the deeper knowledge of Old Icelandic and my master’s degree in Philosophy, I hope to interpret the Old Icelandic texts in a new light. My bachelor’s degree in Medieval History will hopefully enable me understand the context in which the texts were created, and with hermeneutical approach I hope to gain new insights.

Joshua David Wright (US)

  • History, BA, Cedarville University, 2016

I studied history and politics as an undergraduate, and am especially interested in the development of political thought in late medieval Scandinavia, especially as it contrasts with contemporary thought in post-classical Europe.

Lee Colwill (UK)

  • Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, BA (First Class), University of Cambridge, 2015

My undergraduate dissertation was on representations of gender non-conforming individuals in fornaldarsögur, and I would like to explore this subject in a wider range of contexts as part of my Master's thesis. I am also looking forward to learning more about the material culture of medieval Scandinavia, especially in the area of archaeology.

Lotte Dijk (Netherlands) 

  • Religious Studies, BA, Leiden University, 2016

As an undergraduate, I majored in religious studies. I am mainly interested in the mythology and religion of the Old Norse people and its revival through modern day religious movements such as Ásatrú and the New Age practice of Seid.

Michael Ferrer (US)

  • Spanish, BA, Northeastern Illinois University, 2013

In my undergraduate I studied Spanish Literature, Latin American History, a wide-range of Anthropology courses focusing on diverse cultures and religions, and Archaeology. In my MA thesis, I wish to focus on the Viking’s impact on culture, lifestyle and religion by means of the legacy they left behind on at least one of the following countries: Normandy (France), England, Ireland or Scotland.

Nicolas Jaramillo Gomez (Columbia)

  • History, Historian, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, 2015

I am a historian, and in my undergraduate studies I examined the Norse concepts of honor. I am interested in the historicity of the sagas and the key concepts that shaped the Icelandic literature.

Poppy Hannah Forshaw-Perring (UK)

  • Ancient and Medieval History, BA, University of Birmingham, 2016

My undergraduate degree in Ancient and Medieval History allowed me to take several modules relating to Scandinavian and Icelandic history, and an Old Norse seminar series. My dissertation was on place-names with a connection to female personal names which led to my interest in both gender and landscape studies.

Robin Emma M. Kennedy van Dam (Netherlands) 

  • Medieval European History, BA, Leiden University, 2015
  • Medieval European History, MA, Leiden University, 2016

My interest lies in the Middle Ages, specifically in how people interact and shape their society. Either in literature, mythology, by means of expansion and trade or their great tales of old: people express themselves. I’ve always loved the Viking Age and I seek to tell it’s tale.

Samantha Jennie Lee (Canada)

  • Psychology/Scandinavian Language and Literature, BA, University of Alberta, 2015

My undergraduate degree exposed me to a wide range of eras, and genres, within Scandinavian Literature with my own interests lying in mythology and folktales. I am hoping to explore the transmission of Scandinavian literature, and what themes were retained through time.

Susanne Nagel (Germany) 

  • History/Scandinavian Studies, BA, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt Universität Greifswald, 2016

As an undergraduate, I majored in Scandinavian Studies and History, which ignited my interest in Viking and medieval history. I am really looking forward to not only learning the language of the first settlers, but especially getting to know all about archeology, paleography and the Norse mythology.

Vera Hannalore Kemper (Netherlands)

  • History, BA, University of Amsterdam, 2015
  • History, MA, University of Amsterdam, 2016

My previous studies have allowed me to study Scandinavia historically, linguistically and archaeologically. These studies accumulated in a thesis about the remnants of the Old Norse cosmology during 19th-century nationalism and the added value of approaching the Christian conversion through models. In this master’s program I would like to explore the possibilities of synchronic as well as diachronic comparison through both time and space.

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