Dr Alaric  Hall

Dr Alaric Hall

Lecturer in Medieval English Literature

+44 (0)113 343 4761

Summary: Alaric's research focuses on Britain and Scandinavia, 500-1600. He is best known for his work on early medieval non-Christian beliefs.


For the most up-to-date information on Alaric's activities, web-resources, and publications, see http://www.alarichall.org.uk.


My earliest memories of being interested in the medieval past come from when I was about six. But it was university study which directed my enthusiasms beyond the British Isles to Scandinavia, where I have since lived and worked. In doing so, I became a fan of modern languages and language-learning and see the promotion of language-learning as one of my core contributions both to the School of English's syllabus and more widely.

  • University of Leeds, Lecturer in medieval English literature: 2007-.
  • University of Helsinki, research fellow: 2005-7.
  • Ph.D., 'The Meanings of Elf and Elves in Anglo-Saxon England', University of Glasgow: 2001-4.
  • M.Phil., Medieval Studies, University of Glasgow: 2000-2001.
  • B.A., Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, Cambridge University: 1997-2000.
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Research interests

I work mainly on Anglo-Saxon England and medieval Iceland, but my research and publications often extend across the British Isles and the Nordic world; and my research on Iceland reaches down to the present day. My current research investigates three main areas:

  • Medieval Icelandic romance: its cultural meanings, and its long life through the early modern period to the present day.
  • Medieval multilingualism: previously focusing mainly on post-Roman Britain, I've been looking more recently at Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea region.
  • Morality and health: a development of my doctoral work, examining the cultural connections between these two spheres.

All of these areas involve making bids for external funding.

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For the most up-to-date list, including links to free access texts, forthcoming articles, and abstracts see http://www.alarichall.org.uk/bibliog.php. For working papers see http://www.alarichall.org.uk/iease.php. I also edit Leeds Studies in English, for which I'm always seeking good submissions.

Postgraduate supervision

I supervise widely at MA level for both the School of English and the Institute for Medieval Studies, not only on medieval topics but also on recent popular culture. Meanwhile, I welcome postgraduate research applications on medieval Britain and Scandinavia, and the historical linguistics of English and Scandinavian languages. My recent and current PhD supervising includes:

  • Erika Sigurdson, 'The Church in Fourteenth-Century Iceland: Administrative Structures, Literacy and the Formation of an Elite Clerical Identity' (IMS, 2008-11).
  • Angela Smith, 'King Æthelstan in the English, Continental and Scandinavian Traditions of the Tenth to the Thirteenth Centuries' (IMS, 2007-).
  • Sheryl McDonald, 'Icelandic-European Dialogue in Nítíða saga' (English, 2009-).
  • Helen Price, 'The Relationship between Human and Non-Human in Anglo-Saxon Literature: Shaping Literary Ecology' (English, 2010-).
  • Katherine Miller, 'The Lexicon of Slavery in Old English' (English, 2010-).
  • Lynda Taylor, 'Elves in European Traditions' (English, 2011-).
  • Victoria Cooper, 'Exploring the Twenty-First-Century Construction of the Medieval Scandinavian World Through its Portrayal in Interactive Media' (English, 2012-).
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Teaching is one of the most fun things that I do, and is the single most important thing to me in my job here at Leeds. I particularly enjoy that fact that my students have almost never studied my subjects at school: we get to start from scratch, looking at some amazing material which people generally haven't had a chance to study before. The texts I teach were mostly written in medieval English or Scandinavian, and although I teach a lot in translation, it's also a central aim for me to help students access and appreciate this material in the original language--and through this to open up other opportunities for language-learning in future. Current teaching includes:

Level 1

  • Icelandic Language and Culture I (medieval) and II (modern) (electives)
  • Exploring Medieval Literature (core)

Levels 2-3

  • The Medieval Renascence (level 2 core)
  • Old English! (option)
  • Shieldmaidens, Matriarchs and Monsters: Women in Medieval Scandinavian Literature (option)


  • Old and New Beliefs in Medieval Scandinavia (option)
  • Vikings, Saxons and Heroic Culture (option)
For further details of most of these, see the School of English undergraduate module catalogue or postgraduate module catalogue.  Or just email me.  Also, some of these descriptions include mistakes not of my own making. One day they might actually get fixed...