Dr Alexander Wilson

Research Associate in Old Norse Language and Literature

School/Department: Archaeology and Ancient History, School of



My research focuses on the textual sources of the medieval North, particularly the Íslendingasögur (sagas of Icelanders). As a doctoral student at Durham University (2013–2018), I investigated the sociopolitical elements of Old Icelandic outlaw narratives. As a postdoctoral researcher at Universität Tübingen (2018–2023), I researched and published on the formal and narratological qualities of poetic quotation in saga literature. I joined the SAAH in early 2024 as a research associate on the ERC project Body-Politics (PI Dr. Marianne Hem Eriksen).

2024–     Research associate: Body-Politics (Leicester: ERC)

2020–2023     Research associate: The Íslendingasögur as Prosimetrum (Tübingen: DFG)

2018–2019     Guest lecturer (Tübingen: Teach@Tübingen)

2013–2018     Doctoral student (Durham: AHRC)


My principal research interests include:

  • literary depictions of legality and community
  • constructions of desire, coercion, and the self in medieval texts
  • the formal and narrative properties of premodern texts
  • outlaw traditions in Britain and Scandinavia


Edited volumes

Heiniger, A.K., R. Merkelbach and A. Wilson 2022. Þáttasyrpa – Studien zu Literatur, Kultur und Sprache in Nordeuropa. Tübingen: Narr-Francke-Attempto.

Goodison, N. and A. Wilson 2015. On the Fringes: Outsiders and Otherness in the Medieval and Early Modern Worlds. Durham: IMEMS.

Articles and book chapters

Wilson, A., forthcoming. Desire (girnd). In Saga Emotions: A Handbook, edited by C. Larrington, G.L. Evans and B. Þorgeirsdóttir. Forthcoming with Manchester University Press.

Wilson, A., forthcoming. Intrusive Dreams and Converging Worlds in the Íslendingasögur. In Storyworlds and World-Building in Medieval Northern European Literature, edited by R. Merkelbach. Forthcoming with Brepols.

Wilson, A., forthcoming. The Transposition of Hyper-Masculine Gender Roles in Pálnatóki's Jómsvíkingalǫg. In Essays on Jómsvíkinga saga, edited by A. Finlay and J. Morawiec. Forthcoming with VSNR.

Wilson, A. and N. Goodison, forthcoming. Sa vesteüre ala saisir / Par tant la cuide retenir: Clothing and Coercion in the Bathing Scenes of Medieval Romance. In Re-considering Consent and Coercion in Medieval Literature, edited by J. Bonsall and H. Piercy. Forthcoming with Brepols.

B. Þorgeirsdóttir, S. Gropper, J. Quinn, T. Wills and A. Wilson 2022. Investigating the Íslendingasögur as Prosimetrum: A New Methodology. Viking and Medieval Scandinavia 18: 51–81.

Wilson, A. 2022. Dissonant Voices in the Prosimetrum of Heiðarvíga saga. In Þáttasyrpa – Studien zu Literatur, Kultur und Sprache in Nordeuropa, edited by A.K. Heiniger, R. Merkelbach and A. Wilson. Tübingen: Narr-Francke-Attempto.

Wilson, A. 2021. Let the Right Skald In: Unwanted Guests in Sagas of Poets. In Unwanted: Neglected Approaches, Characters and Texts in Old Norse–Icelandic Studies, edited by A. Schmidt and D. Hahn. München: Utz.

Wilson, A. 2019. The Unfamiliar Other: Distortions of Social Cognition through Disguise in Two Íslendingasögur. In Social Norms in Medieval Scandinavia, edited by J. Morawiec, A. Jochymek and G. Bartusik. Leeds: Arc Humanities Press.

Wilson, A. 2016. Ef eigi kœmi troll milli húss ok heima: Monstrousness and the Communication of Power in Sverris saga. Quaestio Insularis 16: 117–142.

Wilson, A. 2014. The Vikings in Munster. In The Vikings in Munster, edited by T. Birkett and C. Lee. Nottingham: CSVA.


At Durham University and Universität Tübingen, I designed and taught modules on a wide range of subjects, including: Old Norse, Old English and Middle English literature; medieval European romance; literary and cultural theory; the history of the English language; and outlaw traditions in the medieval North.

In the SAAH, I contribute teaching to the third-year module AR3092 Bodies and Beings of the Viking World.

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