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Centre for the Study of the Viking Age
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Christina Lee

Associate Professor in Viking Studies, Faculty of Arts

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Biography

Christina Lee is an Associate Professor in Viking Studies in the School of English, where she has been employed since 2001 (permanent since 2003). She has published on Food and Drink in Anglo-Saxon funerary rituals, Anglo-Saxon concepts of disability, health and disease and she is on the management committee of two Research Priority Areas: Life in Changing Environments and Health Humanities.

She is currently the Chair of 'Teachers of Old English in Britain and Ireland' and is the First Vice President for the Global head organisation of Anglo-Saxon Studies (ISAS). Until 2018 she has served as a Council Member of the Vikings Society for Northern Research, where she is also on the editorial board of Saga Book..

Since 2013 she has been working with a cross-disciplinary group of historians, philologist and microbiologists on medieval medical remedies. Our research focuses on the efficacy of medieval remedies.

Expertise Summary

My research encompasses both Viking and Anglo-Saxon Studies.

I have considered the relevance of food and drink in Anglo-Saxon funerary rites and I continue to be interested in the possibilities of comparing evidence from material culture with text-based sources.

My current research is on the position of the disabled and diseased in the early Middle Ages, as well as the impact of epidemics on medieval societies. I am working with colleagues in microbiology to test the efficacy of medieval remedies. Our paper on our pilot study can be found here: F.Harrison, Roberts, A., Rumbaugh, K., Lee, C. and S. Diggle, ' A 1000 year old antimicrobial remedy with anti-Staphylococcal activity', mBio. 6: 3 (2015), http://mbio.asm.org/content/6/4/e01129-15.full.

I am a founding member of the cross-disciplinary research network on 'Disease, Disability and Medicine in Early Medieval Europe', which meets annually and the general editor of Studies in Early Medicine.

Apart from feasting and disease I have written on medieval historiography, textiles as grave goods and perceptions of medieval myth. Between 2008 and 10 I led a research project on the Viking impact on the Irish Sea region, which included the study of genetics:

http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/~aezweb/conference/doku.php?id=genes:home

and I continue to be interested in the Vikings in the Irish Sea region.

In 2016 I organised a major research conference on the Viking World with Professor Judith Jesch: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/research/groups/csva/news-events/the-viking-world-2016/index.aspx

http://concept.ie/wip/viking/index.html

I am just stepping down as the director of the interdisciplinary Institute for Medieval Research, where I led a large group of medieval scholars at the University of Nottingham ://www.nottingham.ac.uk/medieval/index.aspx

I am also a member of the Homo Debilis research cluster at the University of Bremen, Germany http://www.mittelalter.uni-bremen.de/?page_id=69

I was one of the four collaborators on the Viking Identities Network (VIN http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/csva/research/viking-identities-network.aspx) and am involved in the Gender Histories Group. I am also a member of a cross-disciplinary research network on epidemic disease in the early Middle Ages.

I am a member of the editorial board of Nottingham Medieval Studies and Saga Book.

Outreach and Public Engagement:

I have given a number of public lectures on Vikings to various Heritage groups. As the Director of the Institute for Medivale Research I initiated a day school of paganism http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/medieval/index.aspx. I blog on all things medieval as part of Medieval@Nottingham http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/medieval/

For details of my most recent public engagement please consider the Public Engagement Page of the Centre for the Study of the Viking Age: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/csva/public-engagement/index.aspx

Teaching Summary

I teach on both Old English and Old Norse literature and culture. I have research interest in medieval health, gender and the Viking impact on Britain and Ireland which influence my specialised… read more

Research Summary

My main research interest is on concepts of health in the early medieval period - especially Anglo-Saxon England and the Viking World. What is considered to be 'healthy' at a time when there are… read more

Selected Publications

  • LEE, C., 2012. A useful great-grandmother: Edda receptions in post-medieval Germany. In: LEE, C. and MCLELLAND, N., eds., Germania remembered 1500-2009: commemorating and inventing a Germanic past Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. 99-119
  • LEE, C., 2012. Disability. In: STODNICK, J. and TRILLING, R.R., eds., A handbook of Anglo-Saxon studies Wiley-Blackwell. 23-38
  • LEE, CHRISTINA, 2014. Invisible enemies. In: CRAWFORD, SALLY and LEE, CHRISTINA, eds., Social Dimensions of Medieval Disease and Disability: Studies in Early Medicine 3 Archaeopress. 15-18
  • LEE, C., 2011. Body talks: disease and disability in Anglo-Saxon England. In: ROBERTS, J. and WEBSTER, L., eds., Anglo-Saxon traces Arizona Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. 145-164

PhD supervision: I welcome to proposals on aspects of Anglo-Saxon and Viking culture (especially the relationship between material culture and text), and any aspect of medieval disease, health care and disability studies.

I would be delighted to supervise students who are interested in medical medicine (texts, theories and practice), concepts of health and illness (texts and language), as well as interdisciplinary approaches (with contemporary research).

Areas of Research Supervision:

Disease, disability and the body in Anglo-Saxon and Viking Studies; concepts of 'otherness'; gender in the early medieval world; food and feasting; the interplay between Old English and other Germanic literatures. I am particularly interested in interdisciplinary approaches.

Current PhD students:

  • Jacob Runner: 'Contrastive Literature: A Study in Historical English and Japanese Polygraphy'
  • Lauren O'Brien: 'Family Structure in Old Norse family sagas'.
  • Jessie Yusek: 'Exploring Gender and Monstrosity in Medieval Icelandic and Middle English Literature and Society'
  • James Aitcheson: 'Writing the Middle Ages: a re-evaluation of the fantastical in historical fiction'
  • Robert Francis: 'Food for thought: An archaeobotanical and textual synthesis of diet, agriculture and foodways in Anglo-Saxon England.'
  • Rachel Evans: 'A wide-warp warns of slaughter…': Textiles, Gender and Identity in Old English and Old Norse Literature'

Past PhD students:

  • Erin Connelly: ' Bernhard of Gordon's Lily of Medicine' (PhD awarded 2016)
  • Stefani Künzel: 'The Conceptualization of Epidemic Disease in Anglo-Saxon England' (PhD awarded 2017)
  • Brent LaPadula: 'The Ontology of the Self in Anglo-Saxon in Anglo-Saxon England' (PhD awarded 2016)
  • Katrina Wlikins: 'A stylistic investigation of characterization in Ælfric's Esther' (PhD awarded 2018)
  • Marjolein Stern 'Visual Communication in the Viking Age' (PhD awarded 2013)
  • Teva Vidal: 'Domestic Life in the Viking Age' (PhD awarded in 2013)
  • John Quanrud: (PhD awarded 2013)

External supervision: Jaka Jark (University of Exeter)

I teach on both Old English and Old Norse literature and culture. I have research interest in medieval health, gender and the Viking impact on Britain and Ireland which influence my specialised teaching. Much of my research is interdisciplinary and therefore a lot of my teaching will look at texts, but also at the underlying culture (which can involve looking at things such as graves or objects).

UG modules taught: I teach on all levels of UG and MA modules. I convene and teach on the level 2 module 'Ice and Fire' and teach on the level 2 modules 'Old English Reflection and Lament' and the level 1 modules 'Beginnings of English', the level 3 module 'The Viking Mind'. I teach the interdisciplinary subsidiary 'The Viking World'.

PG modules taught: I teach on the MA in Viking and Anglo-Saxon and in 2018 will offer a new module on 'Conflict and Cohesion: Conversion in Early Medieval England and Viking Age Scandinavia'.

Current Research

My main research interest is on concepts of health in the early medieval period - especially Anglo-Saxon England and the Viking World. What is considered to be 'healthy' at a time when there are fewer methods of cure? I have written extensively on whether modern ideas of disability can be projected back to a medieval context.

I was a key member of a successful pilot study which tested an Anglo-Saxon medical remedy for itsantibacterial effectiveness, in which I work alongside microbiologists. The first results are published here: http://mbio.asm.org/content/6/4/e01129-15 This work is ongoing.

I am a founding member of the cross-disciplinary research network on 'Disease, Disability and Medicine in Early Medieval Europe', which meets regularly and the general editor of Studies in Early Medicine. I am also a research associate at the Homo Debilis project at the university of Bremen http://www.mittelalter.uni-bremen.de/?page_id=69

View my vodcast about Viking Studies.

Past Research

The most recent book which I have edited with Prof Wendy Turner looks at concepts of trauma in medieval societies (Trauma in Medieval Society, Brill 2018). My own contribution considers if certain texts which depict traumatic events could have had an impact on 'healing' people who have experienced traumatic events themselves.

My first book considered the relevance of food and drink in Anglo-Saxon funerary rites (published by Boydell & Brewer). My current research is on the position of the disabled and diseased in the early Middle Ages, as well as the impact of epidemics on medieval societies. I have published on leprosy in Anglo-Saxon England, as well as various articles on disability and disease in Anglo-Saxon England.I have published on female historiography, leprosy and disability in Anglo-Saxon England, textiles as markers of identity and the role of myth in creating national identities.

As part of the VIN (Viking Identities Network) research group I was involved in questions of identity and cultural hybridity in Viking-Age England and Scotland. With my co-organiser Dr Cathy Swift (Limerick) I have been working alongside scientists to look at potential research overlaps between arts and sciences in the AHRC/Irish Research Council - funded network 'Genes of the Gallgoidil' project: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/~aezweb/conference/doku.php?id=genes:home

Future Research

I am in the process of completing my monograph on Anglo-Saxon health and healing.

I am also involved in writing for a collection of papers for the New Feminist Renaissance in Anglo-Saxon Studies. In my essay I explore the importance of embroidered textiles: as artefacts made by women which exhibit a high level of literacy and cultural knowledge and which are underused in the study of the period.

Judith Jesch and I are also editing the Blackwell Encyclopedia of the Viking World, which will be published in 2016. I am contracted to writing a number of different essays on health and wellbeing, including a chapter on 'Trauma in Old English', but I am also contributing to the 'Old Norse Religion' project.

I welcome PhD applications in any area of Anglo-Saxon and Viking concepts of health, disease and disability studies.

  • CHRISTINA LEE, 2018. Healing words: St Guthlac and the trauma of war. In: WENDY TURNER and CHRISTINA LEE, eds., Trauma in the Medieval Ages Brill. 251-73
  • TURNER, WENDY and LEE, CHRISTINA, eds., 2018. Trauma in Medieval Society Brill.
  • LEE, CHRISTINA, 2016. Memoire des Mythes. In: PIERRE BADUIN and DAVID BATES, eds., Penser les mondes normandes medievaux Presses Universitaires Caen. 73- 86
  • LEE, CHRISTINA, 2016. Threads and Needles: The Use of Textiles for Medical Purposes. In: CLEGG-HYER, MAREN and FREDERICK, JILL, eds., Textiles, Text, Intertext Boydell & Brewer.
  • HARRISON, F., ROBERTS, AEL, RUMBAUGH, KP, LEE, C and DIGGLE, SP, 2015. A 1000 year old antimicrobial remedy with anti-Staphylococcal activity mBio. 6(3),
  • LEE, CHRISTINA, 2015. 'Crossing the Irish Sea'. In: HOWARD B. CLARKE & RUTH JOHNSON, ed., The Vikings in Ireland and beyond Before and after the battle of Clontarf Four Courts. 284-96
  • LEE, CHRISTINA, 2015. Viking Age Women. In: S. HARDING, D. GRIFFTHS and E. ROYLE, eds., In Search of Vikings: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Scandinavian heritage of North-West England 61-70
  • LEE, CHRISTINA, 2015. Offerings and Grave Goods. In: KAREN B METHENY and MARY C BEAUDRY, eds., Archaeology of Food: An Encyclopedia 2. Rowman & Littlefield. 345-47
  • LEE, CHRISTINA, 2014. Invisible enemies. In: CRAWFORD, SALLY and LEE, CHRISTINA, eds., Social Dimensions of Medieval Disease and Disability: Studies in Early Medicine 3 Archaeopress. 15-18
  • CRAWFORD, SALLY and LEE, CHRISTINA, eds., 2014. Social Dimensions of Medieval Disease and Disability BAR International Series.
  • BIRKETT, TOM and LEE, CHRISTINA, eds., 2014. The Vikings In Munster Centre for the Study of the Viking Age.
  • LEE, CHRISTINA, 2014. Abled, disabled, enabled: An attempt to define disability in Anglo-Saxon England Werkstatt Geschichte. 65, 41-54
  • LEE, CHRISTINA, 2013. The Measure of Man: Krankheit und Behinderung bei den Angelsachsen. In: NOLTE, CORDULA, ed., Phänomene der ‘Behinderung’ im Alltag Didymos. 293- 305
  • LEE, CHRISTINA AND NICOLA MCLELLAND, ed., 2012. Germania Remembered: The post-medieval reception of the Germanic past MRTS.
  • LEE, C., 2012. A useful great-grandmother: Edda receptions in post-medieval Germany. In: LEE, C. and MCLELLAND, N., eds., Germania remembered 1500-2009: commemorating and inventing a Germanic past Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. 99-119
  • LEE, C., 2012. Disability. In: STODNICK, J. and TRILLING, R.R., eds., A handbook of Anglo-Saxon studies Wiley-Blackwell. 23-38
  • LEE, C., 2012. Reluctant appetites: Anglo-Saxon attitudes towards fasting. In: MCWILLIAMS, S., ed., Saints and scholars: new perspectives on Anglo-Saxon literature and culture in honour of Hugh Magennis D.S. Brewer. 164-186
  • LEE, CHRISTINA, 2011. Earth's treasure: food and drink in Anglo-Saxon England. In: CLEGG-HYER, M. AND G. OWEN-CROCKER, ed., Daily Living in Anglo-Saxon England Exeter UP. 142- 156
  • LEE, CHRISTINA, 2011. Body and soul: disease and impairment in Anglo-Saxon England'. In: CLEGG-HYER, MAREN AND G. OWEN-CROCKER, ed., Daily Living in Anglo-Saxon England Exeter UP. 293-309
  • LEE, C., 2011. Body talks: disease and disability in Anglo-Saxon England. In: ROBERTS, J. and WEBSTER, L., eds., Anglo-Saxon traces Arizona Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. 145-164
  • LEE, CHRISTINA, 2011. Disease. In: HAMEROW, H. and HINTON, D AND S. CRAWFORD, eds., Oxford Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Archaeology OUP. 704-723
  • CRAWFORD, SALLY and LEE, CHRISTINA, eds., 2010. Bodies of knowledge: cultural interpretations of illness and medicine in medieval Europe BAR/ Archaeopress. (In Press.)
  • LEE, CHRISTINA, 2010. Introduction to select proceedings from the VIN 2 workshop Viking and Medieval Scandinavia. 5, 251- 2
  • CRAWFORD, SALLY AND CHRISTINA LEE, 2010. Introduction. In: CRAWFORD, SALLY AND CHRISTINA LEE, ed., Bodies of Knowledge: Cultural Interpretations of Illness and Medicine in Medieval Europe BAR/ Archaeopress. 1- 4
  • LEE, CHRISTINA, 2010. Virtual Vikings: Delivering an Interdisciplinary Y2 module. In: MILLS, ROSIE and COLBERT BENJAMIN ET AL, eds., Online Discussion in English Studies: A Good practice Guide 21. English Subject Centre. 13-14
  • LEE, C., 2008. Forever Young: Child burial in Anglo-Saxon England. In: LEWIS-SIMPSON, SHANNON, ed., Viking Age: Perspectives on Youth and Age in the Medieval North Brill. 17-36 (In Press.)
  • LEE, C., 2007. Feasting the Dead: food and drink in the burial rituals of the Anglo-Saxons Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer.
  • LEE, C., 2007. Children of darkness: Arminius/Siegfried in Germany. In: GLOSECKI, S., ed., Myth in early northwest Europe Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. 281-306
  • LEE, C., 2007. þær wæs symbla cyst: food in the funerary rites of the Anglo-Saxons. In: VITULLIO, J. and THOMASIK, T., eds., At the Table: Metaphorical and material cultures of food in medieval and early modern Europe Turnhout : Brepols. 125-144
  • J. CARROLL and C. LEE, 2007. Introduction/ Selected Papers in Memory of Christine Fell Nottingham Medieval Studies. 51, 201-5
  • LEE, C., 2006. Changing faces: leprosy in Anglo-Saxon England. In: KARKOV, C and HOWE, N., eds., Conversion and colonization in Anglo-Saxon England Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. 59-81
  • LEE, C., 2004. Grave matters: Anglo-Saxon textiles and their cultural significance Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester. 86(2), 203-221
  • LEE, C., 2003. 'Eclectic Memories: In Search of Eadgyth' Offa. 58, 277-285
  • LEE, C., 1998. 'Straight from the Harlot's Mouth', a comparison of Mary of Egypt with the Old English Frauenlieder ManuScript. 3(2), 19-32

Centre for the Study of the Viking Age

Trent Building
The University of Nottingham
University Park

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5900
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 5924
email: csva@nottingham.ac.uk