Welcome to our keynote speaker, Declan Taggart!

We are delighted to welcome Dr. Declan Taggart as our keynote speaker for the twelfth annual Háskóli Íslands Student Conference on the Medieval North. Declan received his MA in Medieval Studies from the University of York and his PhD from the University of Aberdeen’s School of Scandinavian studies. Declan is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Háskóli Íslands, working on moral norms, religion and social structure in pre-Christian Iceland and Scandinavia. He has published a monograph on change in representations of the god Þórr called How Thor Lost His Thunder, has previously worked on omniscience-like beliefs in Old Norse religion, and has written two choose-your-own-adventure games for non-academic audiences related to his research (Choose Your Own End to the Viking World and Choice of the Viking). Declan will be speaking on Saturday morning at 9am in Auðarsalar in Veröld. We are so excited to have him as our keynote speaker and encourage all attendees to come by!

First circular – logistics and schedule

We would like to thank all of our attendees again for submitting and congratulate them for being accepted to present at the conference! We are looking forward to a wonderful conference in April. This blog post is intended to shed light on some of the logistics of the conference and travelling to Iceland.

Conference details and schedule

The conference will take place in the auditorium (Auðarsalur, VHV 023) in the Veröld builing, north of Háskólatorg and across Suðurgata as shown on the campus map here:

Nametags and refreshments will be provided.

We are in the process of finalizing the conference schedule and will distribute it in the second circular. At the moment the schedule is as follows, but is subject to change upon request: please contact us as soon as possible if you need the time of your presentation moved. We will notify all attendees of changes when they are made.

Thursday 3pm-6pm – Language and þáttr – Fran Ota, Chair

3.15 – opening address

3.15-3.45 – Jasmin Higgs – A Pragmatic Approach to the Runic Bracteates from Britain

3.45-4.15 – Aleksander Juszczyński – A few words about Slavic loanwords in Old West Norse

4.15-4.45 – Katrin Lísa van der Linde – Unafraid and not as glad as before: Negative markers and semantic opposition as emotion amplifiers


5-5.30 – Anne Elise Crafton – A Topsy-Turvy Court; Forbidden Speech in Sneglu-Halla Þáttr (ONLINE)

5.30 – Connor Bradley – Lost in Translation? An Interdisciplinary Investigation of Mutual Intelligibility Between Old Norse and Old English Speech Communities

Friday 3pm-6pm –  Language, þáttr, poetry and law – Bridget Leary, Chair

3.15 – opening address

3.15-3.45 – Ekaterina Vybornova – Dróttkvætt in autosegmental-metrical prosodic structures

3.45-4.15 – Natasha Bradley – Inciting Eve: Adam, Eve, and the Devil in the Fall Story of Stjórn I

4.15-4.45 – Miriam Conti – Þá kømr inn ríki at regindómi: A semantic and stylistic analysis of Vǫluspá H58


5-5.30 – Piergiorgio Consagra – Between two Worlds – The literary sources and place on parchment of Helga þáttr Þórissonar

5.30-6 – Giulia Zorzan – A Study in Colour: AM 334 fol. in a codicological perspective

Saturday – Sagas, poetry and myths, 9am – 1pm – Sam Cone and Dain Swenson, chairs

9-10 – Keynote speech from Declan Taggart

10-10.30 – Miguel Diogo Andrade – Where be dragons? Draconic environments in the Old Norse-Icelandic sagas

10.30-11 – Michelle Andor – „Þar kømr in dimmi dreki fliúgandi“– Searching for the origin of Niðhǫggr

Break – 11 – 11.15

11.15-11.45 – Konstantinos Georgakopoulos – Rewriting the Magical Past as a Form of Conversion in Old Norse Literature (ONLINE)

11.45-12.15 – Ashley Castelino – Hunting Trolls and Taking Names: The Human/Dog Hybrids of Hrólfs saga kraka

Lunch – 12.15 – 1

Saturday – 1pm – 4 – Colin Fisher, chair

1-1.30 – Poster session – Chair, Thais Gomes Trindade

Lejia Zhang – Actions in Progress: Uncertainties and Emotions in Two Historiated Initials in Skarðsbók (AM 350 fol.)

Essi Harbord – Lexical borrowing in Medieval England: A study of the nature and distribution of Norse, French, and Latin loanwords in twelfth-century English

1.30 – 2 – Tom Fairfax – ‘Vér hǫfum frændafla mikinn ok marga tengðamenn’: Building family networks in Orkneyinga saga

2 -2.30 – Camila Zagnoni – The Queen in the Anglo-Saxon context: historical truth and literary imagination

2.30 – 3 – Paweł Gliźniewicz – Crime, cruelty and brutality during the years 1130-1177 of the Norwegian Civil War in Snorri Sturluson’s Heimskringla – content warning for violence (ONLINE)

3 – 3.30 – Emma Horne – The Function(s) of Landscape and Place within the Íslendingasögur

Break – 3.30 – 3.45

Saturday – Dain Swenson, Session Chair

4pm – 6pm

3.45-4.15 – Katherine Beard – Skínn af sverði: Shedding New Light on Sword Imagery

4.15-4.45 – Ellora Rich – The Soma of Óðinn: Vedic and Norse Parallels

4.45-5.15 – Grace O’Duffy – Red of cheek, fair of cheek: Beauty, enslavement, sexual violence and Svarfdæla saga’s Yngvildr – content warning for sexual violence

5.15-5.45 – Clare Mulley – Becoming the Völva: a study of Völuspá as a continuum

5.45-6 – Ending remarks

At approximately 7pm on Saturday, all attendees are invited to a restaurant in downtown Reykjavík for a celebratory meal. We will announce the name, location, and price point of the restaurant as soon as possible; it should be within 20 minutes’ walking distance of the university. We will ensure that vegan and vegetarian options will be available. Please contact us if you have any other dietary restrictions. 

Transportation from Keflavík Airport and around Reykjavík

Keflavík Airport is located approximately 50 minutes drive from Háskóli Íslands. The Flybus leaves from Keflavík Airport in conjunction with flight arrivals. Tickets are 3699 krónur. Tickets can be purchased at the airport or at https://www.re.is/tour/flybus/. The bus ends at BSÍ bus terminal downtown, which has access to the city bus lines through the BSÍ/Gamla Hringbraut stops, a short walk from the terminal up the hill. Cabs are available at the bus terminal. There is no Uber or Lyft in Iceland.

A less frequent and longer but cheaper option is the Strætó bus 55 from the airport. Tickets are 1960 krónur and can be purchased on the bus using cards, cash, or the Klapp app (klapp.is). Tickets cannot be booked in advance. Schedules can be found here https://straeto.is/en/route-planner/timetables/landsbyggdin/route-55/. The bus line ends at the BSÍ/Gamla Hringbraut public transportation stops and occasionaly at Fjörður in Hafnarfjörður. Tickets to transfer onto Strætó buses can be purchased for 550 krónur in cash or on the Klapp app.

Car rentals at or around the airport include Hertz, Bluecar, Firefly, Sadcars, Enterprise, Gocarrental, Avis, Budget, and Europcar. Please keep in mind that renting a car in Iceland can be very pricey and gas is quite expensive! It is best to book ahead of time.

Cabs: Hreyfill, 588 5522. Hreyfill app (in English) is available on Apple App Store and Google Play. There are cab stands at BSÍ bus terminal, Arnarhóll, and Ingólfstorg in front of Center Hotels Plaza.

The app for using Strætó, the public transportation system, is Klapp (klapp.is). Tickets are 550 krónur for 75 minutes.


Hostelling International Hostels in Reykjavík include Reykjavík Dalur Hostel and Loft HI Hostel. Other hostels include Kex Hostel, Hostel B47, Lækur Hostel, Bus Hostel Reykjavík, Igdlo Guesthouse, and Blue House B&B.

There is currently an ongoing strike affecting several hotels in Reykjavík. Please see here for more information: https://www.ferdamalastofa.is/en/about-us-1/strike-in-reykjavik-hotels

Most accommodation, including airbnbs, in Reykjavík are close enough to a bus line that it is easy to access the university. The closest bus stops to the university are Háskóli Íslands (lines 1, 3, 6), Þjóðminjasafn (12), and Þjóðarbókhlaðan (11). Bus maps and schedules are available at https://straeto.is/en.

Emergency medical services

The emergency number in Iceland is 112. The number for non-emergency medical advice is 1770. The closest pharmacies to the university are Lyfja, Hafnarstræti 19, and Lyfja, Fiskislóð 3.

For non-emergencies: the closest walk-in clinic to the university is Heilsugæslan Miðbæ, Vesturgata 7. Walk-in hours are M-F 8-12, 13-15. Ask for an appointment with a nurse at the desk. The after-hours walk-in clinic, Læknavaktin, is located at Háaleitisbraut 68 and is open on weekdays 17-22 and on weekends 9-22. 

Procedures for payment for visitors are available here: https://www.landspitali.is/library/Sameiginlegar-skrar/Gagnasafn/Sjuklingar-og-adstandendur/Sjuklingafraedsla—Upplysingarit/Bradamottaka-Flaedisdeild/patients_without_icelandic_health_insurance-osjukratryggdir.pdf


The weather in Reykjavík in April can be snowy or summery, but tends towards cool and rainy and can be intensely windy. It is a good idea to dress in layers and to bring a good waterproof outer layer. Heavy storms are common in the spring and can make walking even short distances a hassle. The university generally does not close its buildings for bad weather. Detailed weather information and forecasts can be found on https://en.vedur.is/.

(A quick note: It is rare, but still possible, to see northern lights in April!)


Last but not least, we would like to introduce ourselves as members of the conference committee.

Sam Cone has just completed her MA in Viking and Medieval Norse Studies at the University of Iceland, where her thesis looked at horses in the Family Sagas. Prior to this, she completed an MSt in Archaeological Science (with her thesis on comparing isotopic composition between different tissues in mutton), and a BA in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Oxford (for her final dissertation she discussed Roman bronze animal figurines). Her research interests include the uses and depictions of animals throughout history.

Colin Fisher received a bachelor’s degree in Medieval and Early Modern Studies at Binghamton University in New York, then moved to Iceland to study Icelandic and folkloristics before receiving their master’s degree in Medieval Icelandic Studies in 2023. Their interests include oral theory, the processes of syncretization in Old Nordic religious systems, and the influence of medievalism in nationalist discourses. Colin has worked as a teacher and has published poetry and short stories. They are planning to begin a PhD in 2023.

Bridget Catherine Leary recently completed the Viking and Medieval Norse Studies MA at Háskóli Íslands. Her thesis focused on emotionality and worked with thirteenth-century literature to consider dating using emotive scripting. She also holds a BA in Classics from University College London. She has worked professionally as a teacher, editor and ELT writer.

Fran Ota holds a Bachelor of Music Performance from University of Manitoba, and a Master of Divinity from University of Toronto. She was ordained at 50 and was in active ministry for 25 years. She has also studied Ethnomusicology, focusing on medieval Japanese Noh drama. In 2020 she began the VMNS coursework at Háskóli Islands, and Universitetet í Oslo. Her focus in the VMNS degree has been medieval church law in Norway, Sweden and Iceland, and she intends to continue with this research.she is married to Prof. Norio Ota of York University Toronto.  She is a mother of four, grandmother of five,  currently studying Japanese cooking, painting and is an avid gardener.

Dain Swenson is currently studying a masters in archaeology theory and methods at Lund University, where he is creating 3D ground penetrating radar models of a Viking Age burial field in Scania. He completed a MA in Viking and Medieval Norse Studies at the University of Iceland in 2019, conducting a study on diet in Denmark through isotope analysis for his thesis. Prior to that he received a BA at Arizona State University in Anthropology in 2017. Dain has worked professionally both in Europe and the United States as a field archaeologist and in museums. His research interests include geophysical archaeology and changes in old Nordic religion in the Iron Age.

Thias Gomes Trindade is a current MA student in Medieval Icelandic Studies at the University of Iceland. She completed an MA in Translation Studies in 2020 and holds a teaching degree and BA in Language and Literature (English and Portuguese) from the University of São Paulo. As an exchance student at the University of New Mexico, she had her first contact to the Eddas and got interested in Viking gods and myths, and Old Icelandic. She has worked professionally as a translator and a teacher, and has published articles on translation studies, analyzing the translations of the Prose Edda into Portuguese in the most recent of them. Her research interests include linguistics, literature, and translation studies.

We have all been working busily on this conference and want to make sure it is a pleasant and productive experience for everyone. Please feel free to contact us at histudentconference@gmail.com with any questions or concerns. We will do our best to help out. 

A thank you to all who submitted!

The Conference Committee would like to thank everyone who took the time and effort to submit abstracts for the twelfth annual Háskóli Íslands Student Conference on the Medieval North. Acceptance letters have been sent out, and we are looking forward to seeing everyone in April. We are expecting a wonderful conference with presentations on topics ranging from archaeology to reception and beyond.

As a reminder, the conference will be held in Reykjavík on 13th-15 April 2023. If attendees have any concerns or logistical questions, please feel free to contact us at histudentconference@gmail.com. We will do our best to assist you.

We would also like to thank our sponsors UNESCO, Rimmugýgur, and the Saga Museum for their generosity in helping this year’s conference happen. We are indebted to their assistance.

Call for Papers and Posters



We hereby invite submissions to the 12th annual Háskóli Íslands Student Conference on the Medieval North, which will be held as a hybrid online and on-site event at the University of Iceland, April 13th-15th, 2023.

The world is a changed place post-pandemic. Conferences now
embrace the hybrid format, and open-access research is gaining momentum.
This student conference continues to embrace technology to expand access to
our forum through hybrid presentations. We are delighted to accept abstracts
from student researchers all over the world who have an interest in Medieval
northern Europe. We offer an excellent opportunity for students to share their
research and create connections with colleagues both online and in-person in
Reykjavik, Iceland. We encourage submissions on all topics and fields which
deal with the Medieval North (broadly defined).

Topics of interest may include but are not limited to:

art history
digital humanities
gender studies
reception of the Medieval period

The languages of the conference are Icelandic and English. Individual paper presentations will be 20 minutes in length, followed by 10 minutes for discussion. There is also a Poster Session for students to present their material in poster form. Students may apply for either a paper or a poster; the conference committee may offer a poster presentation to some paper applicants. Further information can be found on the conference blog at histudentconference@gmail.com. Please direct any further inquiries to the student conference committee via e-mail. The deadline for submissions is December 4th, 2022. When applying, state if you intend to present a paper or poster, and if you will present online or in-person. Please include in your submission document your full name, pronouns, affiliation (school and department), what degree(s) you hold, as well as which degree you are working towards. For further information regarding submissions, see our submission guidelines page.

Feel free to download the attached CFP document to share with your department and in your social media circles. We look forward to reading this year’s submissions! Please contact the committee with any questions.

Poster Presentations and Virtual Exhibition


Posters at the 11th HÍ Student Conference on the Medieval North will be displayed both at the National and University Library of Iceland from 7th-8th April 2022 and in a virtual exhibition. All posters are available for download as a pdf file below.

Vitoð ér enn, eða hvat?

Virtual Poster Exhibition
Our longhouse returns! The virtual poster exhibition is now open for visitors.

For the full experience, we recommend accessing the exhibition using a mouse, as the navigation tools may be harder to use on mobile or touchpad. We hope you enjoy the exhibition!

Poster Sessions
The poster session will be held at the National and University Library of Iceland, on Friday, 8th April 2022 from 13:15 to 14:00 GMT. Visitors to the conference are welcome and encouraged to discuss the research presented with the authors.

Poster authors who are attending the conference online will be available for discussion on Zoom on Saturday, 9th April 2022 from 12:15 to 13:00 GMT.

Do you have a question or comment on a poster? Feel free to send us an email or contact the authors directly. Author contact information can be found on the bottom of each poster.

Posters at HÍStudCon 2022

Bridget Leary and Ema Bushnell, University of Iceland
Warrior Women and Maiden-Kings: Gender Fluidity and Trans Identity in Medieval Iceland

Ceilidh Elisabeth Burdick, University of Iceland – ONLINE SESSION
Women of the Saga Age: Outlining Ideal “Feminine” Traits of Old Norse Literature

Connor Bradley, University of Iceland – ONLINE SESSION
Within Reach but Beyond Conquest: Novel Obstacles to Viking Activity in Iberia

Eline Elmiger, University of Basel
Nature and National Identity in the Þjóðsögur

Frances Ota, University of Oslo – ONLINE SESSION
Medieval Nordic Church Law: Gulaþing Law of Norway, and Västgöta Laws of Sweden

Freyja Petersen, University of Iceland
Valkyries and Shieldmaidens: Literary Images and Historical Realities

Kári Pálsson, University of Iceland
Binding helskór and Fastening a Ship – A Methodological Comparison Study of Gísla saga Súrssonar

Paige Downey and Julian Menjivar, University of Iceland
Werewolves & Berserks: An Analysis of Transformation in Sagas

Rebecca Bernstein, University of Iceland
The Beginning of the End: Understanding Symbolic Overlap in Cosmological Apocalypse Narratives

Solveig Bollig, University of Umeå – ONLINE SESSION
‘Þorsteinn hét maðr.’: Literary and Socio-Onomastic Considerations

Conference Schedule 2022



It is our great pleasure to announce the programme of the 11th Háskóli Íslands Student Conference on the Medieval North. The conference will be held as a hybrid event at the National and University Library of Iceland from 7th-8th April 2022, and online on 9th April 2022. Please find the conference schedule attached below or download the pdf booklet. The abstracts of all participants can be accessed here. The conference is free and open to all. No registration is required for guests.

Remote participants can follow the entire event online via Zoom by clicking on the button below.

Zoom Workshop: Early Medieval Manuscript Illumination



In this workshop, attendees will be introduced to the art and interior content of early medieval manuscripts. Due to their highly decorative quality, we will be using Irish texts (such as the Book of Kells) as examples to demonstrate the creative and technical processes of constructing ancient manuscripts. This is a hands-on workshop, and will include a step-by-step activity following a historical overview of the materials and context. We will be using modern materials for the activity to make it accessible for participants, but the process is generally the same. Participants will be provided with a materials list and a template. No artistic ability is necessary to enjoy the workshop.

Instructor: Ceilidh Elisabeth Burdick

Free Zoom Workshop, Saturday, 9th April 2022 , 5-6pm UTC

Zoom links will be sent to your provided email address before the event.

Keynote Announcement



We are delighted to announce that Dale Kedwards will give the Keynote ‘Old Maps, New Beginnings’ at the 11th Háskóli Íslands Student Conference on the Medieval North. We’re looking forward to his talk at the National and University Library of Iceland on Thursday, April 7th at 09:00. The talk is free and open to everyone. You can read Dale’s blog post for more about his talk.

Dale Kedwards is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies. He was awarded his PhD by the University of York, UK, in 2015, and has since held postdoctoral fellowships in Nordic Studies in Switzerland, Denmark and Iceland. His monograph, The Mappae Mundi of Medieval Iceland, appeared with Boydell and Brewer in 2020, and presents the first book-length examination of world maps in medieval Iceland. His work continues to examine how people conceptualise their physical and social worlds in both literature and science; his more recent work examining the uses of historical imagery related to the Vikings in discourses about space and its exploration.

E-book release



It is with great pleasure that we announce the release of our e-book “Proceedings of the 10th Háskóli Íslands Student Conference on the Medieval North (Reykjavík, April 15-17, 2021)” edited by Katrín Lísa L. Mikaelsdóttir, Felix Lummer, Eirik Westcoat, Ermenegilda Müller, Luca Panaro, Lea Pokorny and Giulia Zorzan, and published with Miðaldastofa Háskóla Íslands – The University of Iceland Centre for Medieval Studies.

The volume comprises 29 selected presentations given at the 10th Háskóli Íslands Student Conference on the Medieval North. It is now available free of charge in the Open Access repository Opin vísindi and can be accessed here.

Call for Papers and Posters

We invite submissions to the 11th Háskóli Íslands Student Conference on the Medieval North, which will be held as a hybrid online and on-site event at the University of Iceland, April 7-9, 2022.

As the world is slowly emerging from the pandemic, graduate students and Early Career Researchers have found new ways to conduct and present their research, to form new networks and friendships. To reflect these changes, we are delighted to announce that the conference will be held under the theme “New Beginnings”. We are open for any independent research related to the Medieval North (broadly defined).

Topics of interest may include but are not limited to:

• Changing tastes in literature, introduced motifs, text transmission, translations, reworkings and reception
• New currents in text, codices, book-making, and art
• Linguistic innovation, language change, new writing systems
• Digital humanities, editing, translation
• Technological advances
• Christianisation, developments in religious practices
• Settlement, migration, and social change
• Understudied figures and groups, gender and queer studies
• Innovative interaction with Old Norse material in post-medieval literature, games, movies and other modern media
• New methods and emerging fields of study

The languages of the conference are Icelandic and English. If you wish to submit, please e-mail an abstract of 250-300 words to histudentconference@gmail.com by December 1, 2021 and clearly state whether you apply for a paper or poster, and also whether you intend to present online or in person.
Please include with your submission, within the same document, full name, pronouns, affiliation (school and department), what degree(s) you hold, as well as which degree you are working towards.

Find our Call for Papers and Posters below and have a look at the Submission Guidelines page. Please feel free to download/print the Call for Papers and distribute to your institution or other interested parties!
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the committee.

While we are continuing to plan next year‘s conference and hope to move forward with a hybrid event in spring 2022, we are aware that the situation may change in the coming months. We are closely monitoring the developments and adhere to most up-to-date recommendations of the Icelandic Directorate of Health. Should we not be able to hold in-person panels in April, we will postpone the conference to September 2022. All delegates will be informed in due time.