Lecturer in Scandinavian Studies
Centre for Scandinavian Studies, University of Aberdeen
I’m currently a lecturer in Scandinavian Studies at the University of Aberdeen. I research and teach the literature, culture and society of Viking Age and medieval Scandinavia.
I was fortunate enough to be part of the 2017 Scottish Crucible cohort. It was an amazing privilege to meet the other Cruciblists and learn about the exciting work being done by young researchers in Scotland. As a researcher from the Arts and Humanities, I did have a few anxieties about what I might find to talk about with scientists and engineers. But everyone’s openness and willingness to forge connections was really inspiring and immediately made me scale up my thinking about possibilities for interdisciplinary and collaborative projects. One of the most exciting (if exhausting) parts for me was the speed collaboration event, which amazed me in how connections – sometimes small-scale, sometimes more substantial – could be found with almost everyone and in such a short time.
One immediate and tangible result coming from Crucible for me was that following some fascinating discussions with fellow Cruciblist Miranda Anderson (Edinburgh), I developed a paper exploring how the mind was understood in Old Norse pre-Christian poetry, which will be published in Miranda’s co-edited, collaborative series on the history of concepts and practices of distributed cognition (that the mind, or cognition, extends across brain, body and world). The interdisciplinary research for the paper has definitely influenced my thinking about other aspects of my work, and I’m sure it will continue to develop in interesting directions.
Since participating in Crucible I have taken up an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded Leadership Fellowship. My project looks at how the natural world and natural phenomena are depicted in Old Norse poetry – in terms of poetics, politics, and early natural science. I’ve also been invited to give the keynote address at a student conference and travelled on an ERASMUS scholarship to teach in Vienna. Scottish Crucible really helped me to push my own boundaries: about what I could do (and enjoy doing!) in the workshops themselves, and beyond; about what being a researcher in the Arts and Humanities encompasses; and about where I look for inspiration and collaboration.