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Durham University

Research & business

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Mr Alexander Wilson

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Authored Publications

2016. ‘Ef eigi kœmi troll milli húss ok heima: Monstrousness and the Communication of Power in Sverris saga.’ Quaestio Insularis 16, 117–42.

2014. ‘The Vikings in Munster.’ In The Vikings in Munster. Languages, Myths and Finds 3. Eds Tom Birkett and Christina Lee, 20–32.


I am currently a PhD student working in the field of Old Norse–Icelandic literature. I received my BA in English Literature from the University of Durham in 2011, and my MA in Medieval and Renaissance Literary Studies from the same institution in 2012. At MA level, I was awarded the McKinnell Prize for outstanding work into the subject of medieval literature, and was runner-up to the Raman Selden Prize for the highest overall MA mark within the Department of English Studies.

My MA dissertation studied the function of outlaws as monster-killers in saga literature, and particularly how their exclusion from the legal nexus of the Icelandic commonwealth directly affects their success in this role. My PhD thesis, which is in the final stages of completion, aims to reassess the Icelandic outlaw sagas in reference to the ideas of community and social failure, and argues against following the prevailing interpretation that these narratives are concerned only with socially inept individuals who fail on a personal level. I am also currently working on some publications that explore the idea of ‘extra-legality’ in the sagas more broadly, focusing in particular on the alternative legal systems and negotiations depicted in representations of víkingar warrior-troops.

My other research interests include: Old Norse–Icelandic saga literature and skaldic verse; the relationship between individual and community; narratives of deviance, resistance and failure; theories of violence and power; and purposes of laughter, humour and irony.

Edited Publications

2015. With Natalie Goodison. On the Fringes: Outsiders and Otherness in the Medieval and Early Modern Worlds. MEMSA Journal 1.

Recent Teaching Experience

Level 1:

  • English: Language, Use, Theory
  • The Heroic Age

Level 2:

  • Chaucer
  • Old English
  • Old Norse