Article

GCU Magnusson Award winner to investigate masculinity within medieval Icelandic literature

17 May 2017

Glasgow Caledonian University London (GCU London) lecturer and student Dr Jessica Hancock is to investigate the concept of masculinity within medieval Icelandic literature with the support of the University’s Magnus Magnusson Awards.

Jessica is a lecturer in Academic Development at GCU London and is also currently studying for a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education.

With funding through the Magnusson Awards, she will jointly organise three sessions at an international conference that will analyse literary representations of masculinity in medieval Icelandic, or Old Norse, texts.

The sessions will take place at the International Medieval Congress, at the University of Leeds in July. Jessica, along with a colleague from the University of Oxford, will then edit a collection of essays on this subject area.

Jessica said: “There has been some critical analysis of women and femininity within Old Norse literature, but masculinity has been largely neglected. As gender identity is still a significant political issue, it is crucial to also interrogate masculinities.

“I am really interested in this area of work, which extends my PhD research into gender in Old Norse literature and contemporary re-writings, and I believe that work on these types of medieval texts can demonstrate different ways of thinking about gender, and enable us to reconsider present-day assumptions."

Journalist and broadcaster Dr Sally Magnusson, Honorary President of the Magnusson Fellowship and an Honorary Graduate of GCU, presented Jessica with the Mike Smith Magnusson Award at a ceremony held at the University. 

Jessica was one of eight GCU students presented with an award in the name of the University’s late Chancellor, Magnus Magnusson KBE. As an Icelander and a translator of several important works, Jessica’s project is a subject area close to Magnus’ heart.

The annual Magnus Magnusson Awards support the ambitions and dreams of talented students and researchers at GCU. To date, they have supported more than 80 students to undertake their own dream projects worldwide.