ASNC Graduate Seminar

The Graduate Seminar meets regularly in all three terms. It provides a forum for current PhD students in their second or higher year to talk about their research, and to engage in discussion with all of the graduate students (MPhil and PhD) and the senior members. On special occasions, throughout the Michaelmas and Lent Terms, it meets to hear papers given by leading academics from Cambridge and elsewhere.

These seminars are usually on a Monday at 5pm and, unless otherwise stated, will be in-person only in the English Faculty building, Room GR06/07. All are very warmly welcome, and we ask that if you are not a member of the ASNC department you please e-mail Lauren Lalej ( letting her know you that you would like to be added to the mailing list.


  • CANCELLED: Prof. Massimiliano Bampi, Fictional worlds and generic awareness in late medieval saga writing
  • Monday 13 May 2024: Dr Samuel Cardwell, Biblical Commentary at Wearmouth-Jarrow Before Bede? The Hereford Commentary on Matthew

Future Events

Recent Graduate Seminars


  • 11 March 2024, Dr Luciana Cordo Russo (Bristol), The Middle Welsh Pseudo-Turpin Chronicle and the Latin and Vernacular Turpin Traditions in the North of Europe: Manuscripts, Sources, and Textual Transmission
  • 26 February 2024, Dr Robert Portass, Late Anglo-Saxon England and the Christian Kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula: Possibilities of Comparison
  • 7 February 2024: Graduate presentations: Essi Harbord and Adrián Rodriguez Avila, titles to be confirmed
  • 31 January 2024: Graduate presentations: Elisa Chiariotti, The Hendregadredd Manuscript and its scholars: Some questions about a seventeenth-century copy of the manuscript, Maio Nagashima, Medieval Irish Lucan: the Intellectual Milieu
  • 29 January 2024: Dr Irene Bavuso (Utrecht), Trade and Communities: Reassessing Exchange across the Channel (c. 6th-early 7th centuries)
  • 24 January 2024: Graduate presentations: Alison Owen, Loving the Stranger in Early Medieval Scandinavia, Hugo Small, Amidst War and a Rising State: Some preliminary considerations on Norwegian Peasant Revolts c.1180—1240
  • 20 November 2023: Dr Emily Lethbridge (Árni Magnússon Institute), Icelandic Travel, Writing and Teaching in the UK in the 19th and 20th Centuries: Bertha Phillpotts and May Morris
  • Wednesday 15 November, 1pm: Graduate presentations: 'Women and Labour': Lara Harris, Women Who Do No Wish To Go Into Labour: Abortifacients and Contraceptives in Medieval Scandinavia, Daisy Bonsall, Links of Labour: An Object Biography of the Coppergate Sock
  • 6 November 2023: Dr Kousuke Kaita (Meiji University, Tokyo), Two Exhortative Texts in Old English and Old High German
  • 30 October 2023: Dr Geraldine Parsons (Glasgow), Conventions, categorisations, conversations: revisiting the early Irish acallam
  • 16 October 2023: Professor Sarah Semple (Durham), People and Place in the Kingdom of Northumbria. New project and fieldwork perspectives


  • 22 May 2023: Gareth Williams (British Museum), Thor's hammer pendants in the light of recent finds from England
  • 15 May 2023: Professor Javier Martín Arista (University of La Rioja), A database interface of Old English dictionaries. Lessons for lexicography and corpus linguistics
  • 6 March 2023: Graduate presentations: Pau Blanco Ríos, Adrián Rodríguez Avila, Alexandra Zhirnova
  • 30 January 2023: Professor Charlene Eska (Virginia Tech), Preserving the Law: The Legal Glossary of Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh
  • 21 November 2022: Professor William Robins (Toronto), The Romance of Apollonius of Tyre in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, with Some Recent Manuscript Discoveries
  • 7 November 2022: Paul Booth (former Senior Project Manager at Oxford Archaeology, HRA of the Institute of Archaeology, Oxford), From “Roman” to “Anglo-Saxon”: evidence old and new for developments at Dorchester-on-Thames
  • 31 October 2022: Dr Sam Lasman (Cambridge), Terrible Heads: Giants and Time in Medieval Wales
  • 17 October 2022:Dr Nelleke IJssennagger-van der Pluijm (Fryske Academy, Netherlands), Frisia, Britain and Scandinavia in the Viking Age


  • 23 May 2022: Dr Edmund Hunt (Royal Birmingham Conservatoire) and others, Augmented Vocality: Recomposing the Sounds of Early Irish and Old Norse
  • 16 May 2022: Prof Mia Münster Swendsen, Writing Medieval Lives: A (Re)construction of the Biography of Archbishop Eskil of Lund (c. 1100-1181/2)
  • 9 May 2022: Jonas Wellendorf (Berkeley), Great Ireland, Pseudo-Skotland and the spaces in between
  • 27 April 2022: Prof Greg Toner (Queen's Belfast), Exploring the past in medieval Irish literature
  • 10 March 2022: Tom O’Donnell (Fordham), Performing Identity, Performing Community in the Worcester Chronica chronicarum
  • 7 March 2022: David Parsons, The Galloway Hoard Inscriptions
  • 7 February 2022: Graduate presentations: Davide Salmoiraghi, Nova Historia Sancti Ambrosii: new perspectives on the vexata quaestio of the authorship of Ambrósíuss saga biskups; Beatrice Bedogni, Trójumanna saga: the reception of the Trojan matter in Iceland
  • 24 January 2022: Graduate presentations: Nina Cnockaert-Guillou, Rethinking Literary Genres in the Book of Leinster; Xinmeng Lu, Semantic loans and loan formations in Anglo-Latin language contact: what are they and how to find them
  • 22 November 2021: Graduate presentations: Anna Chacko, Making and Breaking Frames in Aislinge Meic Con Glinne; Adele Kreager, Sword-Prostheses and Grafted Limbs: Embodiment and Surgical Experimentation in “Egils saga einhenda ok Ásmundar berserkjabana”, Emily Clarke, Reforming the Past in Byrhtferth of Ramsey’s Historia Regum
  • 15 November 2021: Andrew Rabin, Judge Not: Rules, Norms, and Legal Ambiguity in the Early Medieval Ordeal
  • 8 November 2021: Dr Roy Flechner, From Bible to law: interpretation and adaptation in the Collectio Hibernensis and King Alfred's Domboc
  • 1 November 2021: Dr Kelly Kilpatrick, The Newton Stones, the Pictish Symbol System and Writing in Pictland
  • 18 October 2021: Prof Stefan Brink, Thraldom. What do we know of slavery in early Scandinavia?


  • 7 June 2021: Prof Damian McManus, You win a few, you lose a few: parallel antonymous verbal phrases in Early and Early-Modern Irish
  • 8 March 2021: Janet Kay (Princeton), “Blood Will Out?” Stable Isotopes, Ancient DNA, and the Adventus Saxonum
  • 1 March 2021: Graduate presentations: Sophie Hemmings, An English coin abroad: monetary interaction between Carolingian Italy and England, c. 774-850; Joseph McCarthy, Fénius Farsaid and the Origins of (the) Irish; Roan Runge, Pack mentality: Transformation and relationality in Scél Tuáin meic Cairill
  • 15 February 2021: Emily Thornbury (Yale), Experimenting with Latin Verse in Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 307
  • 1 February 2021: Elizabeth Boyle (Maynooth), Poetry, Idolatry and Learned Discourse in Medieval Ireland: Rethinking Amairgen son of Eccet Salach
  • 30 November 2020: Professor Máire Ní Mhaonaigh, et al., Introduction to the Dindshenchas project
  • 23 November 2020: Graduate presentations: Judith Higman, Take a Walk on the Berserkr side: Finding Frenzy in the Íslendingasögur; Eleanor Smith, A Very Cornish Anthology? The Case of Gotha MS I.81; Brigid Ehrmantraut, A wrong turn on the way to Troy: Samson and the Classical Tradition in Medieval Ireland
  • 9 November 2020: Simon Rodway (Aberystwyth), “They would rend with the words of their mouths”: the effects of satire in medieval and early modern insular traditions
  • 2 November 2020: Kate Heslop (Berkeley), Death in place: mediating memory in Ynglingatal
  • 19 October 2020: Professor Paul Russell, Introducing Gerald: on editing the writings of Gerald of Wales


  • Friday, 28 February 2020: Graduate presentations, Judith Higman, Take a Walk on the Berserkr side: Berserksgangr in the Íslendingasögur and Claudia Hossbach, Laughter in Old Norse Prose - between historical semantics and modern philosophy
  • 10 February 2020: Dr Johanna Dale (UCL), The Cult of Oswald of Northumbria in Post-Conquest Peterborough
  • 27 January 2020: Graduate presentations, Brittany Hanlon, ‘That’s when Good Neighbours become Good Friends’; Building Consensus in the Early English Localities and Patrick McAlary, Broad strokes: The Church of Emly in the Seventh Century
  • 18 November 2019: Graduate presentations, Lee Colwill, Of Monsters and Men: Masculinity in Dínus rímur drambláta and Alisa Valpola-Walker, Reading and Writing Stories about Heathens: AM 589f 4to in the Fifteenth Century and Beyond
  • 4 November 2019: Professor Søren Sindbæk (Aarhus University), Northern Emporium. Ribe and the Making of the Viking Age
  • 21 October 2019: Professor James Palmer (St Andrew's), Contested Nature: Authority, Science and Belief, from Cummian to Alcuin


  • 20 May 2019: Dr Francesco Marzella (ASNC), …sed illa stabat immobilis: the Sword in the Stone before Robert de Boron
  • 6 May 2019: Dr Ciaran Arthur (Queen's University, Belfast), Language, Cosmography, and Salvation History: Representations of Divine "Speech" in Early Medieval "Gibberish"
  • 25 February 2019: Graduate presentations: Calum Platts, The Evangelisation of the English: Bede, Gregory the Great and the Frankish Church, Kimberley Anderson, Advice Giving in Saga Age Iceland, Dara Hellman, Gereint and Its Welsh Contexts: A Case Study
  • 11 February 2019: Prof Elizabeth Tyler, (University of York), Æthelweard, Matilda and Greek at Essen: the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in European Social Networks
  • 28 January 2019: Graduate presentations: Francesco Colombo, Eddic Poetry about Sigurðr's Youth: Approaches to Literary Analysis, Kathryn Haley-Halinski, Title to be confirmed
  • 15 October 2018: Annina Seiler (University of Zurich), An Anglo-Saxon Glossary on the Continent
  • 5 November 2018: Dr Jens Eike Schnall (University of Bergen), Food Stories: Meals and Manners in Old Norse Literature
  • 19 November 2018: Prof Paul Russell and Dr David Callander (ASNC), Latin Lives of Welsh Saints Project
  • 26 November 2018: Dr Marilina Cesario (Queens' University, Belfast), Natural Science and Prognostication in the Peterborough Chronicle


  • 21 May 2018: Gareth Williams (British Museum), The Watlington Hoard of pennies of Alfred the Great and Ceolwulf
  • 7 May 2018: Dr James Gerrard (Newcastle), Brancaster rings and literacy in Late Antique Britain
  • 5 March 2018: *This seminar was cancelled* Prof Elizabeth Tyler (York), Poetry Across Time and Language: The Exeter Book and Gg 5
  • 26 February 2018: *This seminar was cancelled* Prof Dáibhí Ó Cróinín (NUI, Galway), The Irish Invention of English History: The date of the Adventus Saxonum and the beginnings of English historical Chronology
  • 12 February 2018: Dr Stephen Harrison, Forgotten Vikings? Women, burial and landnám in Britain and Ireland
  • 29 January 2018: Graduate presentations: Details to be confirmed
  • 27 November 2017: Graduate presentations: Thomas Grant, The Poetics of the Gift in the Skaldic Corpus, James McIntosh, St Eustace in Layman's Terms: An Exemplar of Lay Piety in Anglo-Saxon England, Alice Taylor, urdliged and uasaldliged: Etymological Glossing of Prefixes in Early Irish Law
  • 20 November 2017: Prof Peter Lucas (Cambridge), Printing Anglo-Saxon from 1566 to 1705
  • 6 November 2017: Dr Jenny Benham (Cardiff), Morkinskinna, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and the Killing of King Harald Gille of Norway
  • 30 October 2017: Graduate presentations: Sven Rossel, Unwrapping History: A Modern Approach to understanding Medieval Manuscript Fragments in Danish Collections, & Brynja Thorgeirsdottir, The Emotional Vocabulary of Njáls saga and Egils saga
  • 16 October 2017: Prof Charlene Eska (Virginia Tech), Raiding and Retaliation: Legal Raiding in Medieval Ireland


  • 20 November 2017: Prof Peter Lucas (Cambridge), Printing Anglo-Saxon from 1566 to 1705
  • 6 November 2017: Dr Jenny Benham (Cardiff), Morkinskinna, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and the Killing of King Harald Gille of Norway
  • 30 October 2017: Graduate presentations: Sven Rossel, Unwrapping History: A Modern Approach to understanding Medieval Manuscript Fragments in Danish Collections, & Brynja Thorgeirsdottir, The Emotional Vocabulary of Njáls saga and Egils saga
  • 16 October 2017: Prof Charlene Eska (Virginia Tech), Raiding and Retaliation: Legal Raiding in Medieval Ireland
  • 22 May 2017: Dr Emily Lethbridge (Háskóli Íslands), Joining the Dots: Sagas and Place-Names
  • 8 May 2017: Dr Tom Lambert (Cambridge), Laws and Borders in Anglo-Saxon England
  • 6 March 2017: Professor Jürg Glauser (Zürich), A medial look at myth: Snorri's mead of poetry myth and Martianus Cappella's De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii
  • 27 February 2017: Dr Rosalind Love, Dr David Parsons (Aberystwyth) and Prof Paul Russell, Presentation of the Vitae Sanctorum Cambriae Project
  • 13 February 2017: Professor Lesley Abrams (Oxford), Hrólfr, Rollesby, and Routot: the Role of Place-Names in Understanding Scandinavian Settlement in England and Normandy
  • 30 January 2017: Graduate presentations: Rebecca Thomas: The Historia Brittonum and its Sources, Jon Wright: The Hand(s) of the A Manuscript of the Poetic and Prose Eddas
  • 28 November 2016: Graduate presentations: Emma Knowles: Transgression, Authority and the 'merestreames mod': Nature and God's Will in the Old English Exodus, Katherine Olley: An Absent Presence?: Maternity and the Maternal Body in the Poetic Edda and the Old Norse fornaldarsögur, Alexander Sigston: Textual Criticism and Welsh Law: Editing and the Evidence of Variation
  • 21 November 2016: Dr Edel Bhreathnach (Discovery Programme, Dublin), Monks on Islands: Landscapes of Monasticism in Ireland 900-1300
  • 7 November 2016: Dr Amy Mulligan (Notre Dame), Walking and Talking Place in Acallam na Senórach: Ireland’s National, Natural Pilgrimage


  • 16 May 2016: Professor John Hines (Cardiff), 'The Earliest Welsh Court Poetry: Meilyr Brydydd's death-song for Gruffudd ap Cynan and the skaldic tradition'
  • 2 May 2016: Dr Mercedes Salvador-Bello (Seville), 'The /Physiologi/ in the Exeter Book and Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS. 448: Two Sides of the Same Coin'
  • 29 February 2016: Matthew Driscoll (Copenhagen), 'Stories for All time: the Icelandic Fornaldarsogur Project'
  • 8 February 2016: Dr Caroline Brett, Dr Fiona Edmonds and Professor Paul Russell, 'Contact, Myth and History: Brittany and the Atlantic Archipelago, 450-1200'
  • 25 January 2016: Graduate presentations: Ben Allport 'An Assessment of the Regional Political Geography of Late Ninth- and Tenth-Century Norway using Literary and Archaeological Sources', Jonathan Hui 'The Layers of Legendary Gautland', and Harriett Soper 'Reading the Exeter Book Riddles as Life-Writing'
  • 23 November: Caitlin Ellis: 'Go West: Contextualising the Naval Expeditions of Scandinavian Royals into the Insular World, 1013-1103'; William Norman 'The Classical Barbarian in the "Isendingasogur"'; and Rebecca Shercliff 'Textual Correspondences in Tochmarc Ferbe'.
  • 16 November 2015: Professor Greg Toner (Queen's University Belfast), 'Desire and Divorce in the Wasting Sickness of Cu Chulainn (Serglige Con Culainn)'.
  • 9 November 2015: Dr Mark Atherton (Oxford), 'When Edgar "Got Tough": Literature and Politics in Tenth-Century England, from Lantfred to Wulfstan'.
  • 26 October: Mike King (County Down Museum), 'Redemption and Recognition in stone carvings: moving and interpreting the 1100-year-old Downpatrick High Cross'


  • 11 May: Professor Heide Estes (Monmouth University), 'Ruined Landscapes in Old English Poetry'
  • 4 May: Dr Elizabeth Duncan (Independent Researcher), 'Contextualising London, Lambeth Palace Library, MS. 12.30: Late Celtic Script and its Descendants'
  • 2 March: Dr Callow (University of Birmingham), Title TBC
  • 23 February: Dr Paul Gazzoli, 'The Afterlife of Rimbert's Life of Anskar from the Eleventh through the Seventeenth Centuries'
  • 16 February: Dr Victoria Whitworth (University of the Highlands and Islands), 'The Brompton Hogback Stones' [exact title TBC]
  • 9 February: Scott Waby (National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth), 'The Digitisation Project at the National Library of Wales'
  • 26 January: graduate Presentations (David Callendar, 'What to do with Narrative? Mapping Developments in Welsh Poetic Style', Albert Fenton, 'The Charter of Gospatrik and its political context' and Tom Lynch, 'How to get what you want from St Erkenwald')
  • 1 December: Professor Padraig O Machain (Cork), 'Late Medieval Irish Poem-Books'
  • 24 November: Dr Eric Cambridge, 'Early Christian Exegesis, Northumbrian Hagiography, and the Ruthwell and Bewcastle Crosses'
  • 10 November: Graduate Presentations (Ben Guy, 'The Textual Tradition of Medieval Welsh Genealogy: A Chronological Overview' and Rebecca Merkelbach, 'Kjalnesigna saga and the Outlaw Saga Tradition')
  • 27 October: Professor Don Scragg (Manchester). 'Skeletal Remains or the Scragg Bone'


  • 26 May: Graduate Presentation (Julianne Pigott) and Br Bruno Heisey OSB (Saint Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe), Title TBC
  • 19 May: Dr Martin Foys (KCL), 'Mannum to Sweotelunge: Bodies, Materials and Media in Anglo-Saxon England''
  • 12 May: Professor Alison Finlay (Birkbeck), 'Bjarnar saga Hítdœlakappa and the kings' sagas'
  • 03 March: Professor Aoibheann Nic Dhonnchadha (School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies), 'Medical Writing in Early Modern Irish, 1350-1600'
  • 24 February: Graduate Presentations (Sara Lackner, Julianne Pigott, Myriah Williams)
  • 17 February: Dr Erik Niblaeus (CRASSH Fellow), 'The Liturgy of Medieval Lund: Sources and Influence'
  • 3 February: Dr Rory Naismith, Dr Francesca Tinti (University of the Basque Country) and Prof Simon Keynes, 'Popes and Robbers: The English Embassy to Rome in 1061'
  • 27 January: Graduate Presentations (Julia Bolotina, Rosalind Lintott, Tony Harris)
  • 2 December: Graduate Presentations (Rosie Bonté, Maria Ramandi, Jo Shortt-Butler)
  • 25 November: Dr Barry Lewis (Cardiff),`Welsh and Irish Elements in the Hagiography of St Cybi of Holyhead'
  • 11 November: Dr Anna Gannon (ASNC HRA), 'Christianity in Early Anglo-Saxon England: the evidence through art and coinage'
  • 28 October: Dr Immo Warntjes (Queen's University, Belfast), 'Willibrord the computist: harbinger of the Carolingian renaissance?'
  • 21 October: Professor Dominic Powlesland (Field Archaeologist in Residence, The McDonald Institute), 'Reflections upon the Anglo-Saxon Landscape and Settlement of the Vale of Pickering, Yorkshire '



  • 06 May: Dr Matthias Egeler (St Catherine's College, Cambridge), 'Hunting paradise islands and catching stags on the world tree, or: the potential of comparative approaches to medieval Otherworlds'
  • 13 May: Dr Máirín MacCarron (National University of Ireland, Galway), 'Saints and saint-making: modern canonisation and medieval hagiography'
  • 20 May: Dr Amy Mulligan (University of Notre Dame), 'Narrative Topographies and Virtual Geographies of Twelfth-Century Ireland'.
  • 28 Jan: Graduate Presentations (Eoghan Ahern, Rob Gallagher, Razvan Stanciu)
  • 11 Feb: Jón Viðar Sigurðsson 'The beautiful Viking: thoughts on ideology, rulership and social hierarchy'
  • 18 Feb: Chris Lewis 'Profiling English landed society in 1066: a progress report'
  • 25 Feb: Graduate Presentations (David Baker, Ellie Heans-Glogowska, Alice Hicklin)
  • 15 Oct: Anthony Harvey (Royal Irish Academy), ‘Cambro-Romance? Celtic Britain's Counterpart to Hiberno-Latin’
  • 29 Oct Philip Durkin (Oxford), 'Investigating the impact of loanwords on the basic vocabulary of English: some possible approaches'
  • 12 Nov: Dr Sæbjørg Walaker Nordeide (University of Bergen), 'The emergence of Christianity in Norway: who, how, where and when?'
  • 19 Nov: Jennifer Neville (Royal Holloway), 'Truth is Trickiest: Taking the Exeter Book Riddles Seriously'



  • 21 May: Dr Elizabeth Boyle (ASNC), 'The Transmission of Latin Philosophical Texts from Ireland in Twelfth-Century England'
  • 7 May: Professor Thomas Clancy (Glasgow) and Dr Rachel Butter (Glasgow), ‘From St. Baldred's Boat to Exmagirdle: Saints and their Cults in the Place-Names of Scotland’
  • 14 May: Dr Carl Phelpstead (Cardiff University), ‘Nature and Nation: Towards an Ecocritical Reading of the Sagas of Icelanders’
  • 27 February: Dr Alban Gautier, (Université du Littoral Côte d'Opale), 'Seneschals and butlers in Anglo-Saxon royal courts'
  • 20 February: Graduate presentations - Sarah Waidler: 'The Interaction of Poetry and Prose in Three Saints' Lives from the Book of Lismore' and Chris Voth: 'What Lies Beneath: The Application of Digital Technology to Recover Writing Obscured by a Chemical Reagent'
  • 6 February: Graduate presentations - Silva Nurmio: 'Optional Plural Marking and the Animacy Hierarchy in Middle Welsh' and Helen Oxenham: 'Women in combat in early Ireland'.
  • 30 January: Dr Pádraic Moran (National University of Ireland, Galway), 'Language learning in the ninth century: The St Gall Priscian glosses'
  • 23 January: Professor Juan Luis Garcia Alonso (University of  Salamanca), 'Celtic in Spain'

Click to see Previous Graduate Seminars