Dr Eleanor Parker
Lecturer in Medieval English Literature
BA, M.Phil, D.Phil (Oxford)
Academic Background and Previous Positions
Before joining Brasenose, I taught at Worcester College and held a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH).
Undergraduate Teaching Areas
Old and Middle English Literature, English Language, Old Norse Literature
My research focuses on literature in England between the tenth and the thirteenth centuries, with a particular focus on the literary and cultural impact of the Viking and Norman invasions. My first book Dragon Lords: The History and Legends of Viking England (2018) developed out of my doctoral research into the development and circulation of narratives about Viking invasion and settlement in medieval England. I have also published several articles relating to post-Conquest interpretations of Anglo-Scandinavian history, especially the reign of Cnut. My second book, Conquered: The Last Children of Anglo-Saxon England (2022), looked at the generation of English children who grew up in the aftermath of the Norman Conquest and examined interpretations of their lives in romance, hagiography and historical writing.
I also have an interest in Old Norse literature and the cultural connections between England and Scandinavia in the medieval period; with Professor Heather O'Donoghue, I am co-editor of The Cambridge History of Old Norse-Icelandic Literature (2024).
My other main research interest is the history of the festival year, calendar customs, and medieval writing on time and the seasons. My most recent book is Winters in the World: A Journey Through the Anglo-Saxon Year (2022), tracking the cycle of the seasons and the festival year in a wide variety of texts from Anglo-Saxon England.
Winters in the World: A Journey Through the Anglo-Saxon Year (Reaktion Books, 2022)
Conquered: The Last Children of Anglo-Saxon England (Bloomsbury, 2022)
Dragon Lords: The History and Legends of Viking England (IB Tauris, 2018)
The Cambridge History of Old Norse-Icelandic Literature, ed. Heather O'Donoghue and Eleanor Parker (Cambridge University Press, 2024)
'Making all things new: Eadmer of Canterbury and the pre-conquest church', in Histories of Pre-Norman England: Anglo-Norman Perspectives, ed. Matthew Firth (forthcoming)
'Norse, Irish and English songs: communal entertainment and cultural exchange in the Gesta Herwardi', in The Medieval North and its Afterlife: Essays in Honor of Heather O'Donoghue, ed. Siân Grønlie and Carl Phelpstead (Medieval Institute Publications, 2023)
'"In London, very justly"': Cnut’s English reputation and the death of Eadric Streona', in Anglo-Danish Empire: A Companion to the Reign of King Cnut the Great, ed. Richard North, Erin Goeres and Alison Finlay (Medieval Institute Publications, 2022), 191-207
'"Merry sang the monks": Cnut's poetry and the Liber Eliensis', Scandinavica (2018)
‘Havelok and the Danes in England: History, Legend, and Romance’, Review of English Studies 67 (2016), 428-447.
‘So very memorable a matter: Anglo-Danish history and the Encomium Emmae Reginae’, in Beyond Borealism: New Perspectives on the North, ed. Ian Giles et al. (Norvik Press, 2016), 41-53
A Short History of the Danish Conquest (Rounded Globe Publications, 2016).
‘Siward the Dragon-Slayer: Mythmaking in Anglo-Scandinavian England’, Neophilologus 98 (2014), 481-93.
‘Pilgrim and Patron: Cnut in Post-Conquest Historical Writing’, The Medieval Chronicle 9 (2014), 271-95.
I write and review frequently on medieval topics in the press, including writing a regular column for History Today. I have published translations of medieval English poetry and have acted as consultant translator for several interdisciplinary and media projects, as well as collaborating with a variety of contemporary poets, musicians and artists working with medieval literature. I have been interviewed for radio and television on subjects including the Vikings, Anglo-Saxon poetry, the Norman Conquest, medieval carols, and the history of the festival year, and I can be found on Twitter @ClerkofOxford.
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