Professor Carl Phelpstead
BA (Sheffield), MPhil, DPhil (Oxon)
Professor (research leave)
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.
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 of the University of Leicester, and I edited Devra Kunin's translations of A History of Norway and the Passion and Miracles of the Blessed Óláfr (2001).
I have also published more than twenty article-length studies on Old Norse-Icelandic sagas, Old English hagiography, Chaucer, and modern medievalist writers such as Tolkien, Auden, and George Mackay Brown. My research has appeared in the following journals: Exemplaria, Leeds Studies in English, Journal of English and Germanic Philology, Northern Studies, Saga-Book, Scandinavian Studies, Tolkien Studies, and Viking and Medieval Scandinavia.
I am co-editor of the Text Series of the Viking Society for Northern Research and one of the editors of the journal Saga-Book.
For further information about my work please see the tabs above and my Academia.edu page
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)
2011-present: Full Member of Yr Academi Gymreig/The Welsh Academy (membership is by invitation and ‘is offered to writers as a mark of peer recognition of their contribution to the literatures of Wales’).
2001-present: Council Member of the Viking Society for Northern Research
2007-2014: Committee Member of Teachers of Old English in Britain and Ireland
- Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (UK)
- Early English Text Society
- Hagiography Society
- International Society of Anglo-Saxonists
- Teachers of Old English in Britain and Ireland
- Viking Society for Northern Research.
Committees and reviewing
2007-present: Co-Editor of the Viking Society for Northern Research Text Series
2004-present: Co-Editor of the journal Saga-Book
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.
I am on research leave during the academic year 2017-18.
My research is focused mainly in two areas:
- medieval literature (Old Norse-Icelandic, Old English, and related medieval literatures)
- modern (especially twentieth-century) British medievalism
My particular interests in medieval literature include:
- Icelandic sagas
- theory and medieval literature (especially Bakhtin, gender and sexualites, temporalities, ecocriticism).
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
I supervised the following completed PhDs:
- Supervisor for Sheri Smith, ‘Answers to Prayer in Chaucer’ (AHRC-funded)
- 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’