Dr Brynja Thorgeirsdottir

Postdoctoral Research Associate on The Íslendingasögur as Prosimetrum

Research Fellow, Clare Hall

Contact Information

Department of ASNC
Faculty of English
9 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DP
email: bt346@cam.ac.uk


Biographical Information

Brynja Thorgeirsdottir received her doctorate in Old Norse literature from the University of Cambridge, where she studied the emotional depiction in the thirteenth-century Sagas of Icelanders, a body of epic prose narratives about the lives of Norse settlers in Iceland in the 9th and 10th centuries.

She is currently a Research Fellow at Clare Hall and a postdoctoral research associate at the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic, University of Cambridge working on the project ‘The Íslendingasögur as Prosimetrum’, a collaborative project between the University of Cambridge and Eberhard Karls Universität, Tübingen. The project investigates the interaction of prose and verse in the Sagas of Icelanders with the aim of producing a comprehensive quantitative and qualitative analysis of the prosimetric nature of the whole genre.

Prior to engaging in full-time research, Brynja worked as a broadcast journalist and editor in Iceland. Her main journalistic fields were culture, literature and language. Her personal interests are first and foremost literature in the widest sense. She has also had Icelandic horses and enjoys trekking in the Icelandic nature.

Departmental and College Responsibilities

  • Postdoctoral Research Associate
  • Teaching Modern Icelandic language

Academic Interests

Brynja is interested in Old Norse literature and how it was shaped by medieval culture, manuscript transmission, manuscript studies, emotions in literature, the history of emotions and literary history, as well as close comparative literary and textual analysis.

Selected Publications

  • 2020. Brynja Þorgeirsdóttir, ‘The Language of Feeling in Njáls sagaand Egils saga: Construction of an Emotional Lexis’, Scripta Islandica, 71 (2020), 9–50.
  • 2020. Brynja Þorgeirsdóttir, ‘Emotions of a Vulnerable Viking: Negotiations of Masculinity in Egils saga’. Masculinities in Old Norse Literature, ed. by Gareth Lloyd Evans and Jessica Hancock, Studies in Old Norse Literature (Cambridge: Brewer, 2020), pp. 147–63.
  • 2020. forthcoming: Jonathan Y. H. Hui, Brynja Þorgeirsdóttir, Francesco Colombo, Caitlin Ellis, Kathryn A. Haley-Halinski, and James McIntosh. ‘Jóns saga leiksveins: A Text and Translation’. New Norse Studies, 1 (2019). [A collaborative English translation of the saga with an introduction.]
  • 2019. Brynja Þorgeirsdóttir, ‘The Head, the Heart, and the Breast: Bodily Conceptions of Emotion and Cognition in Old Norse Skaldic Poetry’, Viking and Medieval Scandinavia, 15 (2019), 29–64.
  • 2018. Brynja Þorgeirsdóttir. ‘Humoral Theory in the Medieval North: An Old Norse Translation of Epistula Vindicianiin Hauksbók’. Gripla, 29 (2018), pp. 35-66.
  • 2015. Brynja Þorgeirsdóttir. ‘Elskhuginn Egill Skallagrímsson’. Skírnir, 2/2015, pp. 360-397. [On the lovesick Egil Skallagrímsson.]
  • 2014. Brynja Þorgeirsdóttir and Bragi Valdimar Skúlason. Orðbragð (Forlagið: Reykjavík, 2014). [A book on the diversities and history of the Icelandic language.]
  • 2013-2016. Orðbragð I, II & III. Script writer and presenter. Three television series on the wonders of the Icelandic language. Aired on RÚV/The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service.
  • 2013. Brynja Þorgeirsdóttir. Sjúkdómsgreining: Ást. Radio episode aired on Rás 1/The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service. [On lovesickness in the Middle Ages.]
  • 2012. Brynja Þorgeirsdóttir. ‘Samtal yfir tvö þúsund ár. Um tengsl Skugga-Baldursog UmmyndanaÓvíðs’. TMM, Tímarit Máls og menningar, 3/2012, pp. 42-50. [On the relationship between Sjón´s Blue Fox and Ovid´s Metamorphoses.