Academic & Teaching staff
+44(0) 113 343 4761
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.
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.more details
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.
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-).
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:
- Icelandic Language and Culture I (medieval) and II (modern) (electives)
- Exploring Medieval Literature (core)
- 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)