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 also working on medievalism, particularly in modern Icelandic culture.

Location: Top of 7 Cavendish Road


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 four main areas:

  • Medieval Icelandic romance: its cultural meanings, and its long life through the early modern period to the present day.
  • Medievalism in cultural responses to the 2008 Icelandic financial crisis.
  • Medieval multilingualism: previously focusing mainly on post-Roman Britain, I've been looking more recently at Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea region.
  • The supernatural in health and healing, medieval and early modern: supernatural beings (such as elves and witches) and their connection with health and healing were the subject of my doctoral work, and I continue to return to this subject.

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:

Paul Martin Gorton, 'Continuity of Roman Britain after 410 A.D.' Leeds: Institute for Medieval Studies 2013-
Catalin Taranu, 'Constructing Anglo-Saxon Legendary History' Leeds: Institute for Medieval Studies 2012-
Victoria Cooper, 'Exploring the Twenty-First-Century Construction of the Medieval Scandinavian World Through its Portrayal in Interactive Media' Leeds: School of English 2012-
Lynda Taylor, 'The Cultural Significance of Elves in Northern European Balladry' Leeds: School of English 2011-
Katherine Miller, 'The Semantic Field of Slavery in Old English' Leeds: School of English 2010-
Angela Smith, 'King Æthelstan in the English, Continental and Scandinavian Traditions of the Tenth to the Thirteenth Centuries.' Leeds: Institute for Medieval Studies 2008-2013
Helen Price, 'Human and Nonhuman in Anglo-Saxon and British Postwar Poetry: Reshaping Literary Ecology' Leeds: School of English 2010-13
Sheryl McDonald Werronen, 'Transforming Popular Romance on the Edge of the World: Nítíða saga in Late Medieval and Early Modern Iceland' Leeds: School of English 2009-2013
Erika Sigurdson, 'The Church in Fourteenth-Century Iceland: Administrative Structures, Literacy and the Formation of an Elite Clerical Identity' Leeds: Institute for Medieval Studies 2008-11

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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

  • Modern Icelandic Language and Culture (elective: ENGL1095)
  • Medieval Icelandic Language and Culture (elective: ENGL1085)
  • Introducing Medieval European Literature (elective: MEDV1090)

Levels 2-3

  • Medieval Literature (level 2 core: ENGL2025)
  • Folklore and Mythology (option: ENGL3266)
  • Shieldmaidens, Matriarchs and Monsters: Women in Medieval Scandinavian Literature (option: ENGL3207)


  • Vikings, Saxons and Heroic Culture (option: MEDV5250M)
  • Medieval English (option: MEDV5235M)
  • Old Norse (option: MEDV5245M)
For further details of most of these, the easiest thing to do is Google them. But do email me if you get stuck!