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VMNS Graduate Students 2018-2020

Medieval Icelandic Studies & Viking and Medival Norse Studies orientation meeting August 24, 2018. — See also our graduate students in Medieval Icelandic Studies.

Alex Benjamin Casteel (US)

  • Archaeology, BA, Willamette University, 2017

Principally founded in archaeology, medieval studies, and classics, I fixated on Norse myth, pre-Christian material culture, and the relevant literary corpus. After researching the Orcadian Viking-period immigration via a Norwegian soapstone assemblage, I now turn towards utilizing sagas, Old Norse, and runology to elucidate notions of death in Viking-period Scandinavia.

Auksė Beatričė Katarskytė (Lithuania)

  • Scandinavian Studies, BA Honours, Vilnius University, 2017

While working on my undergraduate thesis on pilgrimages in Íslendingasögur and konungasögur, I found the question of the origins of saga literature the most (excitingly) torturing. When I need a break from the never-ending debate on the oral and literary tradition, I turn to paleography and the eye-straining Old Norse scripts.

Catelynn Rose Hendrick (US)

  • Sociology/Anthropology, Modern Languages, BA, Warren Wilson College, 2016

In my undergraduate career, I focused on anthropological-based research of modern subcultures, and am eager to switch to a more deeply historical lens to investigate health, medicine, and death culture in the medieval Scandinavian world.

Claudia Held (Italy)

  • Linguistics and Philology, BA, University Ca' Foscari of Venice, 2017

In my undergraduate studies, I mainly focused on linguistics and philology, and therefore I am very interested in deepening my knowledge about the subject, especially regarding Old/Modern Icelandic. In this programme, I hope to combine my passion for philology and historical linguistics with that of Norse mythology and literature.

Elliot Anning Jones (US)

  • History, BA, University of Oregon, 2017

My undergraduate work was in general history though I took a lot of classes on the early medieval period; in addition I studied Arabic. I am hoping to study and investigate the nature of Viking-Muslim relations, and what tangible impact was left by the Vikings.

Kristen Florence Lindbloom (US)

  • Humanities/Nordic Studies, BA, University of Colorado-Boulder, 2014

During my undergraduate studies, I concentrated on Nordic literature, medieval and contemporary, and the ways in which the former influenced the latter. I wish to further explore the roles of narrative style, skaldic poetry, and folkloric tropes in medieval Norse texts.

Luna Polinelli (Italy)

  • English and Nordic Languages and Literatures, Languages Cultures Literatures and Translation, BA, Sapienza University of Rome, 2017

Since I studied humanities, my main interest resides in analyzing medieval Norse society through archaeology and literature, comparing factual evidence to literary sources. I am looking forward to focusing on both subjects and also on areas that I never became thoroughly acquainted with.

Madelyn Marie DeVore (US)

  • Religion & English, BA, Wittenberg University, 2017

My undergraduate thesis focused on how Germanic paganism has been affected by outside influences such as Christianity, Nazis, and modern pop culture. As this program progresses, I look forward to exploring more of the sagas and myths that served as the foundation of the Viking’s beliefs.

Meg Suzannah Morrow (US)

  • English Literature, BA, DePauw University, 2018

As an undergrad, I primarily focused on Anglo-Saxon literature, specifically the pre-Norman Conquest period when the British Isles had a significant Scandinavian presence. I’m eager to learn more about Medieval Norse literature, language, and religion in this program, and to better understand their unique medieval culture and apply it to my Anglo-Saxon background.

Morten Mathisen (Denmark)

  • Markedsføringsøkonom, KVU, Tietgenskolen Odense, 2004
  • Prehistoric Archeology, BA, Aarhus University, 2018

Norse mythology and pre-Christian religions is my main focus and my BA dealt with Týr worship in (from) Germanic Iron Age. In my MA, I wish to work with Norse mythology and pre-Christian religions through several academic disciplines, and therefore, I am looking forward to acquiring a better understanding of the Old Norse language. For me, it is not the text or archaeological material itself that is the most interesting thing – it is the mind behind.

Raenelda Rivera (US)

  • Art History, BA, Texas Tech University, 2017

In my undergraduate work, I focused on northern medieval art history. In this program, I now hope to focus on the visual culture of the medieval Scandinavians, concentrating on how their cultures inform and were informed by the peoples that they interacted with.

Robert Christopher Erickson (US)

  • English, BA, Franciscan University of Steubenville, 2013

In my undergraduate work I studied English, concentrating in creative writing, while building a deep admiration for Tolkien's ability to build fantasy out of language. Linguistics fascinate me, specifically historical morphology and reading original manuscripts in long-hand. I can't wait to get started.

Ryan Dean Fenster (US)

  • History, BA, Seattle Pacific University, 2016

During my undergrad, I became interested in castles while studying Medieval Europe. I am interested now in examining fortification construction among the Norse, and Viking raiders as the impetus behind early castle-building.

Samuel Ryder Levin (US)

  • Classical and Medieval Studies, BA, Bates College (Lewiston, Maine), 2018

My undergraduate work was in classical and medieval history and literature, with a particular focus on early medieval northern Europe. I look forward to continuing to explore the history and literature of this region and time period in greater detail while developing proficiency in examining source material in Old Icelandic.

Thomas W. Ireland-Delfs (US)

  • English/Drama, BA, State University of New York (SUNY) Geneseo, 1972
  • English/American Literature, MA, State University of New York (SUNY) Geneseo, 1978

I have been informally studying the sagas and Old Norse for 25+ years, and I am looking forward to increasing and expanding my knowledge through study and research in the VMNS program.