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Department of English Studies

Our Current and Recent Research Students

We have a thriving postgraduate community, with around 75 current PhD students, and many more MA students. The profiles of some of our current and recent PhD students can be found here.

Dr David Varley

Contact Dr David Varley


David Varley is a PhD student working in the field of Old Norse. He received a BA (First Class) in English Language and Literature from the University of Leeds in 2009, when he was also awarded the Canon Purvis Prize for gaining the highest overall third-year score among students in the School of English. In 2010 he received an MA (Distinction) in Medieval and Renaissance Literary Studies from the Department of English Studies, Durham University, where he was awarded the McKinnell Prize for the highest achieving medievalist at Masters level.

David's undergraduate dissertation examined the use of animal symbols in conceptualising aspects of death in Eddic poetry and saga literature, and his MA dissertation examined the representation, function and impact of regal witches in saga literature. Building on these studies, at PhD level he is working more widely on the representation and negotiation of female power in Old Norse texts, with special emphasis on the fornaldarsögur (sagas of ancient times) and konungarsögur (kings' sagas). In particular he is seeking to establish connections between the scenarios of mythological material and the construction of social reality in the sagas.


Alaric Hall, David Varley et al.  'Sigurðar saga fóts (The Saga of Sigurðr Foot):
A Translation'. Forthcoming for Mirator 11 (2010).

Supervisor: Dr David Ashurst

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