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Graduate Students 2014-2016

Aaryn Margaret Lavinia Smith (US)

  • Classics, Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Classical Studies, University of Pennsylvania
  • Ancient Studies, Bachelor of Arts, Mount Holyoke College

Years of Greek and Latin taught me to admire the elegance of inflected languages, and I have always harbored a passion for epic poetry. After an undergraduate background in classics, I am now keen to explore Old Icelandic and the hero's journey in medieval sagas.

Anthony Jay Bunker (US)

  • History, AA, North Hennepin Community College
  • History and Medieval Studies, BA, University of Minnesota 

I became interested in the Vikings while studying history when I was an undergraduate.  I hope to learn more about the Old Norse language and literature, especially the folklore and mythology in the literature.

Benjamin Crowe (UK, US)

  • Swedish Language and European Studies, BA (double major), University of Washington 

I come from a mixed historical and linguistic background and having studied Swedish as well as European politics and history I am interested in the linguistic and cultural cross-over/footprint between Medieval Scandinavia and the British Isles.

Bob Oscar Benjamin van Strijen (Netherlands)

  • Religious Studies, BA, Leiden University

Within Religious Studies I tried to focus on (old) Norse religion, mainly studying the modern interpretation in Ásatrú and Odinism. Through the VMN program I plan to broaden my understanding of the original mythology and religion of the North and hopefully include The Netherlands in this area of research.

Borivoj Ratkov (Serbia)

  • Archaeology, Bachelor, University of Belgrade

In my undergraduate studies in Archaeology I mainly focused on the early medieval age (Migration Period and early period of the Byzantine Empire), and I also worked in experimental archaeology. My main interests in Viking and Medieval Norse Studies include material culture, social patterns, religion and beliefs during the Viking Age Period.

Capucine Nathalie André (France)

  • History, Bachelor of Arts, George Mason University

As an undergraduate, I took as many classes on medieval Europe as I could. Over time, thanks to various teachers, I developed interest in Vikings and early medieval Europe. I greatly enjoy books, documentaries and reading about history and anthropology. I also have interest in fantasy, science fiction and historical novels and in other forms of media.

Eirik Vidarsson Westcoat (US)

  • Economics; Engineering & Applied Science, Bachelor of Science, California Institute of Technology
  • Icelandic Language Summer Course, University of Iceland

My interest is in Old Norse Poetry, specifically aspects of meter, mythology, and sociology, along with Old English Poetry. For example, my recent conference papers were on the historical uses of the galdralag meter and on whether the Mead Myth can be a guide to the creative process.

Jared Brian Levison Lister (Canada)

  • History, Bachelor of Arts, Crandall University 

In my undergraduate I focused on conflicts of different civilizations. I began studying Viking history during my second year and I wrote my undergraduate paper on both the Vinland Sagas as well as the Viking expansion into Russia. The areas that intrigue me the most in this program are the explorations, raids, and battles of the Viking culture as well as the Sagas of the Icelanders.

John Wilson Love (US)

  • German, Bachelor of Arts, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  • German Studies, Master, University of Oklahoma

Before coming to the VMN program, my studies focused on medieval German literature and medieval European Arthurian romance. While here, I would like to learn more about medieval Norse literature, Old Icelandic, and develop skills in codicology.

Jonathan Fernando Correa (Puerto Rico)

  • Interdisciplinary Studies, Creative Writing, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras

In my undergraduate work I focused on philosophy, comparative literature and creative writing. I am interested in memory and in the need we humans have to compose and tell stories. And here I have the opportunity to work with a great source: the medieval manuscripts.

Joshua Allan Wilson (Canada)

  • History, Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Queen's University
  • Education, Bachelor of Education, Queen's University

While my undergraduate studies focused primarily on history, I have also maintained a keen interest in religious studies as well as archaeology.  I hope to get a chance to combine my passions and my experience these upcoming years.

Jules Piet (France)

  • History of art and archeology, Licence 1–2, University of Poitiers
  • Archeology, Licence 3, University of Poitiers

Having studied archaelogy, art history and history and being interested mostly in the study of medieval Scandinavia, I was looking for a master’s program that would allow me to study this subject in a multidisciplinary way, both from an archaelogical and historical point of view and from a literary and linguistic perspective.

Katherine Mary Thorn (UK)

  • English Language and Literature, University College London

Lars Christian Benthien (Germany)

  • History, Bachelor of Arts, Ohio State University

Having studied history and folklore as an undergraduate, I am particularly interested in investigating the ways in which folk belief and more elite religious belief influenced each other in medieval Scandinavia, both pre- and post-conversion, as well as the roles literacy and sacred and vernacular authority played in this process.

Matthew Andrew Kenyon (US)

  • History, BA, SUNY Oswego

As an Undergraduate I studied the Greek and Roman periods, as well as the early Middle Ages. My interest surrounds the Migration Period 400–700 AD. This program offers a unique insight into that period by studying what follows, the Viking Age.

Michael Anthony Hansen (US) 

  • History, BA, University of Nebraska at Lincoln

As an undergraduate I studied history focusing on the medieval period and the Viking Age. Continuing my studies here, I am very excited about the interdisciplinary approach this program offers and am looking forward to supplementing history research with research from fields like archaeology, language, and literature.

Michael John MacPherson (Canada)

  • English/History, B.A. (hons.), University of Manitoba

As an undergraduate I studied history, English literature, and Latin. In this program I am excited to work alongside the Árni Magnússon and Arnamagnæn Institutes to study digital editorial theory and practice for Old Norse primary source material.

Minjie Su (China)

  • Medieval Studies, Classical Civilization, Bachelor of Arts, University of Toronto
  • Medieval History, Master of Science, University of Edinburgh

I am primarily interested in Old Norse mythology and literature in general, with a particular taste in paranormal phenomena and otherworldly creatures/societies. Other interests include intellectual development in Viking and medieval Norse society and the Norsemen’s interaction—both politically and culturally—with the Anglo-Saxons, the Carolingian Franks and later the French.

Patrick Aaron Farrugia (Canada)

  • Music History, Bachelor of Music, Honours, Western University
  • English Literature, Bachelor of Arts, Honours, Western University

During my undergrad, I studied Old and Middle English literature, as well as the history of the English language.  I also took several courses concerning music in the Middle Ages. In this program, I am particularly interested in palaeography, runology, and poetic meter and diction.

Rebeca Franco Valle (Spain)

  • Art History, Degree, University of León
  • Heritage Management, Master, University of Salamanca 

Addicted to knowledge, I come from a History of Art background. I would like to learn everything that I can about my passion: Medieval Scandinavian Art.  For this I find of vital importance to know what surrounds it: literature, thoughts, religion, folklore, etc.

Roderick Wilfrid McDonald (Australia)

  • English, BA Hons, University of Sydney
  • English, PhD, University of Sydney 

My BA included Early English language and literature, Old Icelandic, Old Irish, Middle Welsh, and Scottish Gaelic and my PhD looked at Old Norse loanwords in the Gaelic languages. I am looking forward to working with Old Icelandic manuscripts and improving my ability to read and interpret Old Icelandic texts. I am returning to study with the hope of starting a new career in academia.

Suzanne Clare Valentine (US)

  • English/Medieval Studies, Bachelor of Arts in English, University of New Mexico

As an undergraduate I studied literature and medieval studies, with an emphasis on Anglo-Saxon literature and history at the University of New Mexico. Currently I am most interested in the evolution of recurring characters throughout Old Norse literature and how their changes reflect the current community.

Vanessa Katalin Iacocca (US)

  • English, BA, University of California Davis 

As an undergraduate, I focused on English and Irish literature specifically pursuing subjects of mythology and folklore. For my master's thesis, I am enthusiastic to concentrate on Norse mythology and literature, particularly on tracking how myth is formed and retold over time and place.

Vesela Valerieva Stankova (Bulgaria)

  • Bulgarian language and history, University of Plovdiv

For my BA thesis my main focus was on the Poetic Edda. Now I am eager to explore Old Norse literature, myths and memory about the settlement of Iceland.

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