Institute for Medieval Research

Marjolein Stern: PhD in English


"Visual Communication on Viking-Age Runestones"


e-mail: aexms5@nottingham.ac.uk

Research Supervisors: Professor Juith Jesch and Dr Christina Lee

Primary Funding Source: Postgraduate Research Fellowship; Christine Fell Bursary (2007-8)


Research Summary

In my research into visual communication on Viking-Age runestones, I focus on the memorials decorated with figurative images, especially those with human figures, faces, certain animals, and ships. I am interested in the meaning of these decorations and their role in the context of visual and textual communication in the Viking Age.

Research Interests

  • Viking Age and Medieval communication, languages and visual culture
  • Viking Age and Medieval belief and religion
  • Runestones


  • “Zwolse boeken voor een markt zonder grenzen 1477-1523” (Printings from Zwolle for a market without boundaries 1477-1523). Visitors Catalogue for exhibition in Stedelijk Museum Zwolle, 2004.

Conference Papers & Presentations

  • “Visual Communication on Viking-Age Runestones” (poster presentation). The 16th Viking Congress. Iceland, 17-23 August 2009.
  • “Sigurðr Fáfnisbáni as a Commemorative Motif”. The 14th International Saga Conference: á austrvega, Saga and East Scandinavia. Uppsala (Sweden), 9-15 August 2009.
  • “From Serpents to Ships: Runestones and their Decoration”. Midlands Viking Symposium. University of Birmingham, 25 April 2009.
  • “Representations of Power in Viking-Age Runestone Decoration”. Old Norse and Viking field school and symposium: Power and Powerlessness. Balestrand (Norway), 17 April 2009.
  • “Visual Communication on Scandinavian Runestones”. Nottingham Postgraduate Conference in the Arts and Humanities: Sources in the Spotlight: Methodological Approaches to Understanding Historical Evidence. School of History, University of Nottingham, May 2008.
  • “Symbols of doom and prosperity. Working towards a re-interpretation of figural images on runestones”. Postgraduate Symposium, School of English, University of Nottingham, May 2008.
  • “Meaning in the eyes of the beholder: the public of runestones”. Graduate Student Conference: Community: Inside and Out. Balestrand (Norway), April 2008.

Additional Information

  • Part-time tutor on the Beginnings of English module (office hour Wednesday 10-11 in A104).
  • Organiser of the Institute for Medieval Research Postgraduate Conference 2009: Movements in the Medieval World
  • Member of the Postgraduate Staff-Student Feedback Committee of the School of English Studies 2008-2009.
  • Organiser of the weekly Postgraduate Seminars in the School of English Studies 2008-2009.
  • I have studied English Language and Literature and Medieval Studies at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, and Viking and Early Medieval Studies at the University of Uppsala, Sweden.

Institute for Medieval Research

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 4845
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 5924
email: medieval@nottingham.ac.uk