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Dr Erin Goeres

Lecturer in Old Norse Language and Literature

Dr Erin Goeres

Contact details:

Room 210, 16-18 Gordon Square

Tel: 020 7679 3185


Office hours: Thursdays, 2-4pm

  • Background

I received my doctorate in Old Norse-Icelandic Literature in 2010 from the University of Oxford. I also hold an MA in Medieval Studies from the University of York and a BA(Hons) in English Literature and French Studies from the University of Winnipeg. After completing my doctorate I lectured in medieval languages and literature for two years at the University of Oxford before taking up a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Toronto. I joined UCL as Lecturer in Old Norse Language and Literature in September 2013.

  • Teaching 2013-14

SCAN1401 Introduction to Old Norse

SCAN7402 Old Norse I

SCAN4401 Old Norse II

ELCS course: The Poet in Society

  • Research

My doctoral thesis examined the social functions of commemorative skaldic verse during the Viking age and is currently forthcoming as a monograph from Oxford University Press. In this book I trace the evolution of commemorative poetry from its roots in the disparate kingdoms of pre-Christian Scandinavia through to its emergence as a highly crafted, Christian art form in the eleventh century. I argue that that poetic commemoration played a key role in the construction of a shared history and identity for members of the elite, courtly communities of early medieval Scandinavia.

My current research explores the cultural repercussions of the Norman Conquest of England in Scandinavian literature. I am particularly interested in the ways in which Scandinavian writers continued to explore their relationship with England after the Battle of Stamford Bridge and the Norman Conquest. My work for this project encompasses skaldic verse, the historical and political sagas, and Old Norse translations of Anglo-Norman romance. 

  • Publications

The Poetics of Commemoration in Medieval Scandinavia. Oxford English Monographs. Oxford University Press (forthcoming).

‘Battle Play and Battle Pleasure: Female Agency in Early Skaldic Verse’. Play: Aspects and Approaches. Ed. Sarah Baccianti and Tamara Atkin. Medium Ævum Monographs (forthcoming 2014).

‘Sounds of Silence: The Translation of Women’s Voices from Marie de France to the Old Norse Strengleikar’. JEGP (forthcoming, July 2014).

‘How to do Things with Tears: The Funeral of Magnús inn góði’. Saga-Book 37 (2013), 5-26.

‘Skaldic Verse and the Problem of Prosimetra’. Retrospective Methods Network Newsletter, special issue on ‘Approaching Methodology’ (2012), 88-96.

‘The Many Conversions of Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld’. Viking and Medieval Scandinavia 7 (2011), 45-62.

‘Constructing Kin(g)ship: Eyvindr skáldaspillir as Spokesman for the Earls of Hlaðir’. Quæstio Insularis 11 (2010), 97-119.

‘Saintly Exile: The Commemoration of King Óláfr inn helgi in the Poetry of Heimskringla’. Saga and East Scandinavia: Preprint Papers of the 14th International Saga Conference, Uppsala 9th-15th August, 2009. Ed. Agneta Ney et al. (Gävle: University of Gävle, 2009), 309-17.


Francia et Germania: Studies in Strengleikar and Þiðreks saga af Bern, ed. Karl G. Johansson and Rune Flaten. JEGP (forthcoming).

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages. Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035, ed. Diana Whaley et al. Saga-Book (forthcoming).

Ideology and Power in the Viking and Middle Ages: Scandinavia, Iceland, Ireland, Orkney and the Faeroes, ed. Gro Steinsland et al. Early Medieval Europe 21.2 (2013), 236-7.

Old Norse Women’s Poetry: The Voices of Female Skalds, by Sandra Ballif Straubhaar. Saga-Book of the Viking Society for Northern Research 36 (2012), 152-4.