Professor Carl Phelpstead BA (Sheffield), MPhil, DPhil (Oxon)

Professor Carl Phelpstead

BA (Sheffield), MPhil, DPhil (Oxon)

Professor

School of English, Communication and Philosophy

Email:
phelpsteadc@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 4245
Location:
2.39, John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU
Available for postgraduate supervision

I teach and research Old Norse-Icelandic and Old English literature, related medieval literatures, and modern medievalism. I studied at the Universities of Sheffield and Oxford and have worked at Cardiff University since 1999. I was elected President of the Viking Society for Northern  Research in June 2018.

My books include Holy Vikings: Saints’ Lives in the Old Icelandic Kings’ Sagas (2007) and Tolkien and Wales: Language, Literature and Identity (2011), which won the Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies in 2012. I co-edited Old Norse Made New: Essays on the Post-Medieval Reception of Old Norse Literature and Culture (2007) with David Clark (University of Leicester), and I introduced and annotated Devra Kunin's translations of two medieval Latin texts, A History of Norway and the Passion and Miracles of the Blessed Óláfr (2001).

My article-length studies of Old Norse-Icelandic sagas, Old English hagiography, Chaucer, and modern medievalist writers such as Tolkien, Auden, and George Mackay Brown have appeared in edited collections and in the following journals: Exemplaria, Leeds Studies in English, Journal of English and Germanic Philology, Northern Studies, Review of English Studies, Saga-Book, Scandinavian Studies, Tolkien Studies, and Viking and Medieval Scandinavia.

I am co-editor of the publications of the Viking Society for Northern Research and one of the editors of its journal Saga-Book.

I was educated at the Universities of Sheffield and Oxford and then appointed to Cardiff University, where I have worked since 1999.

  • 2012 Promoted to Professor
  • 2010 Promoted to Reader
  • 2007 Promoted to Senior Lecturer
  • 1999 Appointed as Lecturer in Old English and Old Norse at Cardiff University
  • 1999 DPhil, University of Oxford
  • 1995 MPhil in English Medieval Studies 1100–1500, University of Oxford
  • 1992 BA in English Language with Medieval Literature, University of Sheffield

Honours and awards

  • Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies (2012)

Professional memberships

2018-present: President of the Viking Society for Northern  Research

2001-present: Council Member of the  Viking Society for Northern  Research

2007-2014: Committee Member of  Teachers of Old English in Britain and Ireland

Member of:

  • Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (UK)
  • Early English Text Society
  • Hagiography Society
  • International Society of Anglo-Saxonists
  • Norse Hagiography Network
  • Teachers of Old English in Britain and Ireland
  • Viking Society for Northern Research.

Committees and reviewing

2007-present: Joint editor of publications for the Viking Society for Northern  Research 

2004-present: Co-Editor of the journal Saga-Book

2018

2017

  • Phelpstead, C. L. 2017. Time. In: Jakobsson, ?. and Jakobsson, S. eds. The Routledge Research Companion to the Medieval Icelandic Sagas.. Abingdon & New York: Routledge, pp. 187-197.

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2001

2000

I have taught a variety of different modules at BA and MA level, mainly on Old English or Old Norse, but also including some Middle English and later literature.

In 2018-19 I am teaching the following modules:

  • BA Year 1: Transgressive Bodies in Medieval Literature (co-taught with Rob Gossedge)
  • BA Year 2: Epic and Saga
  • BA Final Year: Island Stories: Literatures of the North Atlantic
  • MA: Virgins, Kings, and Martyrs: Early English Life-Writing

My research is focused mainly in two areas:

  • medieval literature: Old Norse-Icelandic, Old English, and related medieval literatures
  • modern British medievalism (especially the influence of medieval literature on twentieth-century writers)

I have a particular interest in bringing theory and medieval literature into dialogue and some of my recent work has explored ecocritical approaches to medieval literature. I also have a long-standing interest in medieval hagiography.

In the area of medievalism I have published mainly on the work of J. R. R. Tolkien, though I have also written about W. H. Auden, George Mackay Brown, Peter Maxwell Davies, David Jones, C. S. Lewis, and Victorian saga translations.

As well as several articles, I am currently working on two book projects: An Introduction to the Sagas of Icelanders and a study of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia in the modern imagination.

I am interested in supervising PhD students in the areas of:

  • Old Norse-Icelandic literature
  • Old English literature
  • Medievalism in the twentieth century
  • Ecocriticism and medieval literature

Past projects

I supervised the following completed PhDs:

  • Supervisor for Sheri Smith, ‘Answers to Prayer in Chaucer’ (AHRC-funded)
  • Supervisor for Christopher Hughes, ‘Five Middle English Alliterative Poems: Their Versification, Rhetoric and Authorship’
  • Co-supervisor with Dr Becky Munford for Nicole Thomas, ‘The Daughters of Modron: Evangeline Walton’s Feminist Re-visioning of the Mabinogi’ (for one year after the retirement of Nicole’s former co-supervisor, Prof. Stephen Knight)
  • Supervisor for Jenni Bergman, ‘The Significant Other: A Literary History of Elves’

External profiles