Report from Luthien Cangemi (Research Support Fund)

I am very grateful to the Viking Society for Northern Research for co-funding my field trip in Copenhagen from 10th March to 16th April 2023, which allowed me to join the Arnamagnæan Institute as a visiting scholar. The experience I have gained at the Institute is invaluable. It allowed me to acquire first-hand experience with manuscripts, test my latest research results, carry out some bibliographical research, and extend my academic network.

Regarding the first point, the Arnamagnæan Institute houses three of four manuscripts I am researching for my PhD project and some manuscripts I would potentially work on during my postdoc. Here I had the opportunity to review only one of them in person and appreciate some codicological and palaeographical features that are not visible in the digital format that I will include in my dissertation. Unfortunately, the second and third manuscripts have developed severe damage over the last few decades, and therefore I could not work on them in person. The Institute has, however, provided an excellent digital version of one of the two damaged manuscripts available from their database for internal users only.

Secondly, the Institute seminar committee has invited me to give a talk on any aspect of my dissertation. The talk, which I titled “The Invasive Model of Illness in an Old-Norse Medical Miscellany: Two Case Studies of við trollriða and við álfavǫlkun” has been well received by both the Institute and the Dictionary of Old Norse Prose (ONP) members. I understand from the following discussions that some of my lexicography points have been taken onboard and used to change some lexicon categories.

Visiting Copenhagen has also given me the opportunity to explore Den Kongelige Bibliotek and the University-based Nordisk Samling, where I found valuable works in Danish, Norwegian and Icelandic unavailable in the UK, which deepened my knowledge of scholarly debates on Old Norse medical miscellanies.

Finally, I have developed a strong network of friends and colleagues in the Institute and at the ONP who have always warmly welcomed me, providing the space and the tools to work comfortably and efficiently, showing great interest and support for my current research and future projects.