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Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership - Student Profiles



I received my BA in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic from the University of Cambridge in 2015, with a third-year dissertation on gender-nonconforming figures in Old Norse-Icelandic legendary and mythological material. After a year spent working as a library assistant, I then began a two-year MA in Viking and Medieval Norse Studies at the University of Iceland. During this, I took courses on a wide range of Scandinavian material, from the Bronze Age to the 1600s. My MA thesis was on systems of gender in the late-medieval Icelandic poem Snjáskvæði, in which an elf queen is cursed to appear as a male king in the human realm. As a trans person myself, my research reflects my interest in the ways in which sex and gender have been conceptualised throughout history, and how that is manifested in literature.

Other Academic Interests

Outside of my immediate thesis area, I'm also interested in textual transmission and editorial practice, the theory of translation, and gender archaeology, especially mortuary archaeology.

Department: Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic
Supervisor: Dr Judy Quinn
College: Pembroke
AHRC subject area: Gender and Sexuality / Scandinavian Studies / Medieval Literature
Title of thesis (preliminary): The Performance of Gender in Late Medieval Icelandic Poetry
Pronouns: singular 'they'
 Lee  Colwill