English

I am Ármann Jakobsson, professor in mediaeval Icelandic literature at the University of Iceland.

Area of specialisation: Medieval literature. Cultural studies. Folklore.

Sagas of Icelanders, kings' sagas, þættir, legendary sagas, eddic poetry, skaldic poetry, late medieval poetry, Sturlunga saga, J.R.R. Tolkien.

The paranormal (supernatural), the marginal, royal ideology, medieval aesthetics, gender, disability, the ages of man, history of scholarship and critical editions.


Career: Before I started working at the University (1/1 2008), I was a research council fellow, external lecturer at the University, a teacher at MR sixth form college, a columnist and critic for DV daily newspaper, and I had a research position at Árnastofnun in 2007.

It is now more than 20 years since I last had a job that did not involve research or some creative writing. I feel very fortunate to have an occupation I feel is purposeful.

Scholarly interests: On the Rannsóknaverkefni page, I list some of my research interests that may result in scholarly books in the next decade or so. Among those are:

1. Medieval Icelandic encounters with the paranormal. A book arrived in 2017.

2. Disability before disability: Participant in a large Rannís-project in 2017–19.

3. The mediaeval royal biographies and kingship ideology in mediaeval Icelandic narratives.

4. Marginal people in mediaeval Icelandic prose narrative.

5. The Old Norse-Icelandic legendary sagas.

6. The sagas as history and literature.

7. Saga scholarship and research history. Edited a large research companion in 2017.

I can be contacted at my university address (see sidebar) if further information is needed about these projects.

Teaching: I teach the mediaeval part of the introductory course on the history of Icelandic literature. I have also developed a course on critical methods for mediaeval studies. Among the subjects I teach at the BA- and MA-level are sagas of Icelanders, Sturlunga saga, eddic poetry, skaldic poetry, kings' sagas, legendary sagas, Old Norse mythology, and Tolkien and the Old Norse world, see the Kennsla page.

I have graduated six doctoral students, one has handed in his thesis, and I currently supervise three more, one jointly.

I enjoy teaching and my experiences from teaching at the Menntaskólinn í Reykjavík and the Endurmenntunarstofnun Háskóla Íslands have been very valuable to me. I hope to go on teaching as long as I can.

Bibliography: My bibliography can be found under the heading Ritaskrá, it should be decipherable even to people with a limited understanding of Icelandic. The order is: scholarly books, articles in journals, other articles, other works (such as textbooks and fiction).

The covers of most of the books I am responsible for can be seen on the page Bækurnar mínar, albeit somewhat unelegantly arranged. Most of those books can be purchased through the Bóksala stúdenta website or directly through the Háskólaútgáfan website.

In 2009, I published one textbook in mediaeval Icelandic literature for sixth form colleges, one book aimed at university students about research issues in mediaeval Icelandic literature (used in my course) and a collection of articles on the legendary sagas (along with Annette Lassen and Agneta Ney). In 2011, my edition of Morkinskinna in two volumes appeared after eight years of hard labour, and in 2012, another anthology of articles on the legendary sagas (again with Annette and Agneta).

In 2013, I published Nine Saga Studies, an anthology of some of my best articles concerning the Sagas of Icelanders and a small volume potentially useful for a non-specialist audience, Icelandic Literature of the Vikings. These books were followed by a translation of Þorláks saga co-edited with David Clark with my part being the introduction and notes, a new Icelandic translation of Tolkien's famous Beowulf essay where I again am responsible for the introduction and notes, and an anthology of articles on disability and culture in Iceland.

In 2014, I published Íslendingaþættir: Saga hugmyndar, volume 63 in the Studia Islandica series. This book concerns the invention and cultural impact of the category of the þættir in 20th century scholarship. A Sense of Belonging: Morkinskinna and Icelandic identity c. 1220, appeared as volume 22 in the Viking Collection series in Odense, translated by Fritz Heinemann.

In 2017, The Routledge Research Companion to the Medieval Icelandic Sagas appeared, co-edited by me and Sverrir Jakobsson, with contributions from 27 authors from various countries and universities. The Troll Inside You, an experimental book, also appeared in 2017.