Alicia Maddalena is an Associate Lecturer in Medieval Literature with a specialism in Old Norse, and is a member of the interdisciplinary Centre for Medieval Studies at York. Her research focuses on Old Norse poetry, and looks specifically at how we might approach the corpus using a methodology guided by a semantic field.
Alicia did her undergraduate degree in Canada, at the University of Western Ontario, where she completed an Honours Specialisation in English and a Major in Classical Studies. She undertook her Masters degree in Medieval Studies at the Centre for Medieval Studies at York, where her dissertation explored the presentation of rings in Viking archaeology and the poetry of the konungasögur. Alicia returned to York to complete her PhD in the Department of English and Related Literature, focusing her research on wisdom adjectives in the Old Norse poetic corpus.
During her PhD, Alicia was the organiser of the Viking Studies Research Group, an interdisciplinary group of scholars who come together to discuss the Viking world. She was also involved in the vibrant community of the Centre for Medieval Studies by way of leading, at various points, both the Old Norse and Latin reading groups.
Alicia is interested in approaching Old Norse poetry at the level of the word, and is convinced of the benefits of conducting research using a methodology guided by a semantic field. Following her PhD research, Alicia is currently particularly interested in how wisdom adjectives are applied to women in the Old Norse poetic corpus. She believes that looking at the types of poetry in which these words are found in association with women, as well as how they are applied in other circumstances, can suggest a great deal about how women were considered alongside their male counterparts in the viking world.
Alicia is also looking at Old Norse poems that have been adapted from Latin, and is interested in how these poems compare to their Latin sources in terms of their language and structure. Specifically, she is focusing on Gunnlaugr Leifsson’s Merlínússpá, a translation of Geoffery of Monmouth's Prophetiae Merlini, and the wisdom poem Hugsvinnsmál, translated from the Latin Disticha Catonis. In particular, Alicia is investigating how poeticisms are preserved or created during the translation process, and how we might use these observations to consider the stability and importance of poetic structures.
This year, Alicia is teaching on Shock of the New: Medieval Literature, A World of Literature I: Classics and Cultural Translations, Approaches to Literature II: Other Worlds, and the World Literature module Old Norse Literature.
Alicia is also teaching on the Centre for Medieval Studies Beginners Latin skills module.