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.

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.

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.

Virtual Poster Exhibition Now Open

Welcome to our longhouse! The virtual poster exhibition is now open for visitors.
Enter here

We hope you enjoy the exhibition!

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.

Download the pdf version of all posters here:

Virtual Poster Exhibition Opens April 12th


Visit our virtual longhouse for the grand opening of our poster exhibition!

Download the pdf version of all posters here:

Poster presentations at the 10th Háskóli Íslands Student Conference on the Medieval North will consist of two parts: The 3D-modelled digital poster exhibition will open on Monday April 12th, 2021 and be accessible until the end of the conference. In addition to that, this year‘s poster presenters will be organised into groups based on topics and keywords. The groups will be available in an open Zoom meeting on Thursday, April 15, 12:00–13:30 GMT to take questions and feedback.

Session 1 (12:00–12:30 GMT): Archaeological Perspectives in the Medieval North

Amy Blank, University of the Highlands and Islands, Scotland
Finding the Norse in Medieval Orkney
Colin Fisher, Háskóli Íslands, Iceland
Holy hǫrgr, haugr horror: Interactions with Passage Tombs in the Viking Age
Rebecca Mason, Háskóli Íslands, Iceland
The Burial Mound and its Occupant in Icelandic Saga Literature
Nicola Louise Nuttall, Háskóli Íslands, Iceland
War or Peace? Viking Settlement in the 10th Century North-West England
Luna Polinelli, Háskóli Íslands, Iceland
The Historicity of the Völva: A Comparative Analysis

Session 2 (12:30–13:00 GMT): The Importance of Memory and Cultural Concepts

Jan Jürgensen, Háskóli Íslands, Iceland
Of Legomancy and Magic Song – Words of Power. Law, Magic & Poetry in Old Norse Saga Literature
Lysiane Lasausse, University of Helsinki, Finland
Vikings in Gaming, Gaming with Vikings
Olivia Little, University of York, England
The Role of Memory in Viking and Anglo-Scandinavian Identity
Andrew Yakovenko, Moscow Pedagogical State University, Russia
The Concept of Sin in the Early Irish and Anglo-Saxon Tradition

Session 3 (13:00–13:30 GMT): Law, Religion, and the Role of Women

Victor Barabino, University of Caen, France
Warriors of Odin: Fighting for A God Before Militia Christi in Medieval Scandinavia
Listen to the narration here.
Eliza Bond, Queen’s University, Canada
Fluid Valkyries: Roles and Personalities of the Women in Beowulf
Alisa Heskin, Western Michigan University, USA
‘If Necessity Drives Him to It’: Legal Culpability in Hrafnkels saga
Listen to the narration here.
Tom Lorenz, NTNU, Norway
Liturgical Books in Icelandic Palimpsests
Anastasiia Gnatchenko, Saint Petersburg State University, Russia
The Image of Scandinavia in the European Cartography of the XV and XVI Centuries

Conference Schedule 2021

We are delighted to announce the full programme of the 10th Háskóli Íslands Student Conference on the Medieval North. The below information and our booklet are subject to editorial changes and will be updated in the coming weeks. Click the images below to see a larger version of our schedule or download the pdf. Please consider sharing with your home institution and other interested parties.

HÍStudCon 2021 will be hosted online via Zoom (Meeting ID: 843 6285 5941, Passcode: 316984) and broadcast on Twitch. Note that general conference presentations and the virtual poster exhibition are free and open to all without registration. However, preregistration is required for our two keynote lectures, the virtual manuscript exhibition and the bookmaking and illuminations workshop. You can find more information on our events and sign up for free here.

Find all abstracts and more about this year’s speakers here.

Last updated: 8 April 2021

Upcoming events at HÍStudCon 2021

For the 10th Háskóli Íslands Student Conference on the Medieval North, we are delighted to present a selection of keynote lectures, exhibitions, and workshops for everyone to enjoy. All conference-related events are free of charge and available to everyone interested. Registration forms can be accessed below.

Platform: Zoom. Links will be sent shortly before the conference.

Workshop: Manuscript crafts
Zoom workshop – Thursday, 15 April 2021 at 18:00 UTC

Gilda Müller and Rain Mason walk you through the main artistic techniques involved in the making of medieval Icelandic manuscripts, from bookbinding to illumination. Rain will be discussing the ways in which pigments were produced, the mediums used for creating paint and gesso for burnishing, and the potential pigments which can be found locally in Iceland. Using these Icelandic pigments and real vellum Rain will show how to produce an illumination, followed by a beginners course in Carolingian Minuscule. Gilda, on the other hand, will show how a manuscript would be physically constructed. No prior knowledge required. Participants should bring ruled paper and a calligraphy pen. The event is open to anyone interested in manuscripts, bookmaking, and calligraphy.

Keynote Lecture with Dr Beeke Stegmann, Research Lecturer, Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies
Hopes and opportunities: Thoughts on pursuing an academic career
Zoom webinar – Friday, 16 April 2021, 14:00-15:00 UTC

Foundations of the Field: A Virtual Manuscript Exhibition in Cooperation with Stofnun Árna Magnússonar í íslenskum fræðum
Zoom webinar – Friday, 16 April 2021 at 18:30 UTC

Come and join Lea Pokorny and Luca Panaro within the conservation vault of the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies, which houses half of the manuscripts collected by Árni Magnússon, Iceland’s most precious cultural treasures.
Old Norse-Icelandic manuscripts constitute the bedrock material upon which the field of Old Norse studies is built, and as a special privilege for the occasion of the Háskóli Íslands Student Conference on the Medieval North, we have the honor to virtually display three of the most valuable manuscripts in the collection:
GKS 2365 4to (Codex Regius of the Poetic Edda)
AM 350 fol. (Skarðsbók, the finest example of Jónsbók)
AM 132 fol. (Möðruvallabók, one of the most important codices of the Íslendingasögur).
In this short video presentation, we will show you some remarkable aspects of these three illustrious manuscripts supplemented by information on their provenance.

Keynote Lecture with Dr Luke John Murphy, Postdoctoral Researcher, Háskóli Íslands
‘I Have a Cunning Plan’: Strategy, Flexibility, and Reality in Early Research Careers
Zoom webinar – Saturday, 17 April 2021, 14:00-15:00 UTC