Lecturer
English
Room 1.68
School of English
O'Rahilly Building
University College Cork

T: +353-021-490-2668
E: t.birkett@ucc.ie

I graduated with a BA in English from the University of Leeds and the University of Oslo, and an M.St. and D.Phil. in medieval literature from the University of Oxford. Since completing my doctorate on the use of the runic script in Old English and Old Norse manuscripts, I have lectured at Pembroke College, Oxford; worked as the Research Officer on the Woruldhord Project; served as ECR on the  AHRC-funded Orkney Viking Heritage Project; co-lead a research team investigating Viking heritage in Munster as part of the AHRC-funded project Languages, Myths and Finds: Translating Norse and Viking Cultures for the 21st Century; and co-organised an IRC-funded conference and network ('Eald to New') investigating the translation of early medieval poetry. I am currently the PI on the World-Tree Project, a large-scale community collection database in the field of Old Norse-Icelandic and Viking Studies, funded by an IRC 'New-Horizons' Starter Grant. I joined UCC as Temporary Lecturer in Old English in 2012, and was appointed to the permanent position in 2014. I teach on the undergraduate, MA and structured-PhD programmes, and occasionally spend my summers sailing with the crew of the Viking ship 'Sea Stallion from Glendalough'.

My research and teaching interests are broad and include Old English literature and language, Old Norse literature and language, palaeography and codicology, runology, theories of writing, the post-medieval translation and reception of Old English texts, and heritage engagement. I would be particularly interested in supervising PhDs in the field of early medieval textualities, Anglo-Scandinavian literary connections, and Old English poetry. 

http://www.worldtreeproject.org

http://languagesmythsfinds.ac.uk/Globe icon

http://www.orkneyproject.org/

http://ealdtonew.org/ 

Research Interests

My doctoral research was concerned with the use and representation of the runic script in Old English and Old Norse poetic manuscripts, using this particular writing system as a case study for early medieval responses to the written word. I was particularly interested in identifying the literary associations that the script carried and the rationale for its continued use in a period after the decline of runic epigraphy in Anglo-Saxon England, as well as differences between the treatment of the script in the distinct literary traditions of late Anglo-Saxon England and medieval Scandinavia. A monograph based on my doctoral thesis entitled Reading the Runes in Old English and Old Norse Poetry is due to be published in March 2017 with Routledge. 

My ongoing research continues to address the question of how writing and literacy impacted on society in a period prior to the ‘emerging bureaucracy’ of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and how the process of writing received expression in early medieval texts. I am particularly interested in the value accorded to different scripts and the role that alternative writing systems play in the interrogation of writing as a technology, issues that resonate with the wider discourse on textuality, metawriting and the interaction of writing and the visual arts. I am also continuing research into the post-medieval translation and reception of Old English and Old Norse, particularly twentieth-century abuses of the runic script, and have used this to inform my role as ECR on the 'Orkney Viking Heritage Project' and AHRC-funded collaborative skills development programme 'Languages, Myths and Finds: Translating Norse and Viking Cultures for the 21st Century.' 

In addition to my involvement in these collaborative research projects, I am also the Principle Investigator on the IRC-funded project 'From Eald to New: Translating Early Medieval Poetry for the 21st Century', which aims to share best practice and foster collaboration between academics and poets working with Old English, Old Norse and Old Irish poetry. A volume of collected essays edited with Dr Kirsty March arising from the conference in 2014 will be published with Boydell as Translating Early Medieval Poetry: Transformation, Reception, Interpretation in 2017. I have recently been awarded an IRC 'New Horizons' Starter Grant, for a project entitled The World Tree - An interactive Digital Archive for the Teaching and Study of the Vikings. This 15-month community-collection project aims to establish an interactive multimedia archive for the study and teaching of the Vikings in a European context. It will gather together for the first time resources on the Vikings from Ireland, the UK, Denmark and Iceland, creating a living collection of benefit to scholarly and public audiences across the European Research Area. 

My involvement with the Sea Stallion Viking Ship Guild (and experience sailing this replica ship as part of an international crew) continues to inform my research and outreach activities.

Research Grants

 ProjectFunding
Body
Start DateEnd DateAward
The World Tree - An interactive Digital Archive for the Teaching and Study of the Vikings.Irish Research Council01-NOV-1501-FEB-17€94,966.00
Vernacular Saints' Lives in England 900-1300 - Houmour Gender.Irish Research Council01-OCT-1530-SEP-17€48,000.00
From Eald to New: Translating Early Medieval Poetry for the 21st CenturyIrish Research Council01-JAN-1415-NOV-14€5,465.00

Books

YearPublication
(2017)Reading the Runes in Old English and Old Norse Poetry.
Birkett, Tom (2017) Reading the Runes in Old English and Old Norse Poetry. London: Routledge. [Details]

Book Chapters

YearPublication
(2017)'The Runes of Exeter, Cathedral Library, MS 3541: Scribal Recriation or Runic Edification?'
Birkett, Thomas (2017) 'The Runes of Exeter, Cathedral Library, MS 3541: Scribal Recriation or Runic Edification?' In: On Play: Some Medieval Aspects and Approaches. Medium Ævum Monographs (Forthcoming). Oxford: Society for Medieval Languages and Literature. [Details]
(2017)'‘Translating a Tradition: the Rune Poems of Anglo-Saxon England and Medieval Scandinavia’'
Tom Birkett (2017) '‘Translating a Tradition: the Rune Poems of Anglo-Saxon England and Medieval Scandinavia’' In: Carrie Griffin and Emer Purcell (eds). Text and Transmission in the European Middle Ages, 1000-1500. Turnhout: Brepols. [Details]
(2017)'Stitched Up? Cynewulf, Authorial Attribution and Textual Stasis in Anglo-Saxon England'
Tom Birkett (2017) 'Stitched Up? Cynewulf, Authorial Attribution and Textual Stasis in Anglo-Saxon England' In: M. J. D. Bintley, M. Locker, M. Symons, M. Wellesley (eds). Stasis in the Medieval West? Questioning Change and Continuity. London: Palgrave. [Details]
(2014)'Chapter 17: Old Norse'
Birkett, Thomas (2014) 'Chapter 17: Old Norse' In: Stuart Lee (eds). A Companion to J. R. R. Tolkien (Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture). Oxford: Wiley/Blackwell. [Details]

Edited Books

YearPublication
(2017)Translating Early Medieval Poetry: Transformation, Reception, Interpretation
Tom Birkett and Kirsty March-Lyons (Ed.). (2017) Translating Early Medieval Poetry: Transformation, Reception, Interpretation Cambridge: Boydell. [Details]
(2014)The Vikings in Munster (Languages, Myths and Finds - Volume 3)
Tom Birkett and Christina Lee (Ed.). (2014) The Vikings in Munster (Languages, Myths and Finds - Volume 3) The Vikings in Munster (Languages, Myths and Finds - Volume 3). Nottingham: University of Nottingham / Mitel Publishing. Globe icon [CORA Link] [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

YearPublication
(2016)'Gnýs ævintýr (critical edition and translation)'
Jeffrey S. Love, Beeke Stegmann and Tom Birkett (eds) (2016) 'Gnýs ævintýr (critical edition and translation)'. Opuscula, 14 :25-87 [Details]
(2015)'Unlocking Runes? Reading Anglo-Saxon Runic Abbreviations in Their Immediate Literary Context'
Birkett, Tom (2015) 'Unlocking Runes? Reading Anglo-Saxon Runic Abbreviations in Their Immediate Literary Context'. Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies, 5 :91-114 Globe icon [Details]
(2014)'Runes and Revelatio: Cynewulf’s Signatures Reconsidered'
Birkett, Tom (2014) 'Runes and Revelatio: Cynewulf’s Signatures Reconsidered'. Review Of English Studies, 65 (272):771-789 Globe icon [DOI] [Details]
(2014)'A Cautionary Tale: Reading the Runic Message in Atlamál in Groenlenzko'
Birkett, Tom (2014) 'A Cautionary Tale: Reading the Runic Message in Atlamál in Groenlenzko'. Viking and Medieval Scandinavia, 9 :1-18 [Details]
(2012)'Correcting Bede's Corrector? A Runic Note in the Margins of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge MS 41'
Birkett, Thomas (2012) 'Correcting Bede's Corrector? A Runic Note in the Margins of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge MS 41'. Notes and Queries, New Series, Vol. 59 (No. 4):465-470 [DOI] [Details]

Conference Publications

YearPublication
(2010)Preprints to the Seventh International Symposium on Runes and Runic Inscriptions: 'Runes in Context', Oslo, 2010
Birkett, Thomas (2010) 'The Alysendlecan Rune: Runic Abbreviations in their Immediate Literary Context' Preprints to the Seventh International Symposium on Runes and Runic Inscriptions: 'Runes in Context', Oslo, 2010 Globe icon [Details]

Published Reports

YearPublication
(2014)UCC Conferencing Report: From Eald to New: Translating Medieval Poetry for the 21st Century.
Tom Birkett and Kirsty March (2014) UCC Conferencing Report: From Eald to New: Translating Medieval Poetry for the 21st Century. UCC Conferencing Newsletter, Cork. Globe icon [Details]
(2014)N&N Report: From Eald to New: Translating Medieval Poetry for the 21st Century.
Tom Birkett and Kirsty March (2014) N&N Report: From Eald to New: Translating Medieval Poetry for the 21st Century. Networks and Neighbours, Leeds. Globe icon [Details]
(2014)TOEBI Report: From Eald to New: Translating Medieval Poetry for the 21st Century.
Tom Birkett and Kirsty March (2014) TOEBI Report: From Eald to New: Translating Medieval Poetry for the 21st Century. TOEBI Newsletter, Leicester. [Details]
(2014)Cuttings Report: From Eald to New: Translating Early Medieval Poetry for the 21st Century June 5-7, 2014, University College Cork.
Tom Birkett and Kirsty March (2014) Cuttings Report: From Eald to New: Translating Early Medieval Poetry for the 21st Century June 5-7, 2014, University College Cork. Cuttings: Newsletter of the Forum for Medieval and Renaissance Studies in Ireland, UCC. Globe icon [Details]
(2013)Feature: 'Sailing with the Sea Stallion from Glendalough'.
Tom Birkett (2013) Feature: 'Sailing with the Sea Stallion from Glendalough'. Cuttings: Newsletter of the Forum for Medieval and Renaissance Studies in Ireland, FMRSI. Globe icon [Details]

Book Reviews

YearPublication
(2014)Review of EMILY V. THORNBURY. Becoming a Poet in Anglo-Saxon England. Pp. xii + 322 (Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014. Cloth, £65., 'Review of English Studies' (Advance Access published June 16, 2014).
Birkett, Tom (2014) Review of EMILY V. THORNBURY. Becoming a Poet in Anglo-Saxon England. Pp. xii + 322 (Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014. Cloth, £65., 'Review of English Studies' (Advance Access published June 16, 2014). Oxford: Book Reviews Globe icon [DOI] [Details]
(2014)Review of MICHAEL P BARNES, 'Runes: A Handbook' (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 2012), 'Saga-Book: The Journal of the Viking Society for Northern Research' (2014): 163-5.
Birkett, Tom (2014) Review of MICHAEL P BARNES, 'Runes: A Handbook' (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 2012), 'Saga-Book: The Journal of the Viking Society for Northern Research' (2014): 163-5. London: Book Reviews [Details]
(2014)Review of PAUL KINGSNORTH, 'The Wake' (Unbound, 2014), The Times Literary Supplement No. 5084 (June 2014).
Birkett, Tom (2014) Review of PAUL KINGSNORTH, 'The Wake' (Unbound, 2014), The Times Literary Supplement No. 5084 (June 2014). Book Reviews [Details]

Electronic Article

YearPublication
(2016)IRISH WORLD Write-Up: UCC world first to discover the impact of the Vikings.
Irish World (2016) IRISH WORLD Write-Up: UCC world first to discover the impact of the Vikings. Electronic Article Globe icon [Details]

Electronic Source

YearPublication
(2011)Detailed descriptions of artefacts and submissions to the Woruldhord Project.
T. Birkett, A. Caughey and S. Lee (2011) Detailed descriptions of artefacts and submissions to the Woruldhord Project. Oxford: Electronic Source Globe icon [Details]

Encyclopedia Entries

YearPublication
(2017)RUNES in The Encyclopedia of British Medieval Literature (1000 word entry).
Birkett, Tom (2017) RUNES in The Encyclopedia of British Medieval Literature (1000 word entry). Oxford:Wiley-Blackwell. Encyclopedia Entries. [Details]
(2017)RUNE POEM in The Encyclopedia of British Medieval Literature (1000 word entry).
Birkett, Tom (2017) RUNE POEM in The Encyclopedia of British Medieval Literature (1000 word entry). Wiley-Blackwell. Encyclopedia Entries. [Details]
(2017)CYNEWULF in The Encyclopedia of British Medieval Literature (3000 word entry).
Birkett, Tom (2017) CYNEWULF in The Encyclopedia of British Medieval Literature (3000 word entry). Oxford:Wiley-Blackwell. Encyclopedia Entries. [Details]

Generic

YearPublication
(2014)The Viking Facebook in 'The Verge' (Interview, quoted by the author).
Veronique Greenwood (2014) The Viking Facebook in 'The Verge' (Interview, quoted by the author). Generic Globe icon [Details]

Newspaper Articles

YearPublication
(2016)IRISH EXAMINER Write-Up 'University Compiling Viking Database'.
Sean O'Riordan (2016) IRISH EXAMINER Write-Up 'University Compiling Viking Database'. Newspaper Articles Globe icon [Details]
(2016)WEST CORK PEOPLE WRITE UP: UCC World First to Discover the Impact of the Vikings.
West Cork People (2016) WEST CORK PEOPLE WRITE UP: UCC World First to Discover the Impact of the Vikings. Clonakilty: Newspaper Articles [Details]
(2016)THE IRISH SUN, 'Did Vikings Love their Women?'.
Fiona Ellis using information supplied by Tom Birkett (2016) THE IRISH SUN, 'Did Vikings Love their Women?'. Newspaper Articles Globe icon [Details]
(2016)EVENING ECHO Write Up: UCC to Source Online Materials about the Vikings.
Evening Echo (2016) EVENING ECHO Write Up: UCC to Source Online Materials about the Vikings. Newspaper Articles [Details]
(2016)Person to Person Interview for the Evening Echo.
Tom Birkett (2016) Person to Person Interview for the Evening Echo. Newspaper Articles [Details]
(2016)SOUTHERN STAR Write-Up: Looking Norse - UCC Spearheads Research.
Southern Star (2016) SOUTHERN STAR Write-Up: Looking Norse - UCC Spearheads Research. Newspaper Articles [Details]
(2013)IRISH TIMES interview: 'A lecturer turns Viking: My colleagues thought I was quite mad'.
Colette Sheridan (2013) IRISH TIMES interview: 'A lecturer turns Viking: My colleagues thought I was quite mad'. Newspaper Articles Globe icon [Details]
(2014)EVENING ECHO Interview: Violent Vikings Stereotype is Long Way from the Truth.
Colette Sheridan (2014) EVENING ECHO Interview: Violent Vikings Stereotype is Long Way from the Truth. Cork: Newspaper Articles [Details]

Online Database

YearPublication
(2016)The World-Tree Project: An Interactive Digital Archive for the Teaching and Study of the Vikings.
Birkett, Tom and Dale, Roderick (2016) The World-Tree Project: An Interactive Digital Archive for the Teaching and Study of the Vikings. www.worldtreeproject.org: Online Database Globe icon [Details]

Web Page

YearPublication
(2012)www.orkneyproject.org.
Birkett, Tom (2012) www.orkneyproject.org. Web Page Globe icon [Details]
(2014)Website of 'Eald to New'.
Tom Birkett and Kirsty March (2014) Website of 'Eald to New'. Web Page Globe icon [Details]

Honours and Awards

 YearTitleAwarding Body
2015IRC New Horizons Starter Grant (€94,966) IRC
2016CACSSS Research Support Grant (€500) CACSSS
2014SSMLL Conference Support Grant (£500) Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature (SSMLL)
2014IRC New Foundations Grant (€5,465) Irish Research Council
2014Information Services Strategic Fund (€500) Information Services, UCC
2013CACSSS Research Support Grant (€500) CACSSS
2011Christopher Little Literary Agency (CLLA) Prize for Fiction (£1,500) CLLA / Exeter College, Oxford
2010Government of Iceland Travel Grant (£500) Faculty of English, University of Oxford
2010VSNR Research Grant (£200) Viking Society for Northern Research
2009St Cross College Research Grants (£600) St Cross College, Oxford
2009Meyerstein Grant (£500) Faculty of English, University of Oxford
2008AHRC Doctoral Award (three years, fully funded) AHRC

Professional Associations

 AssociationFunctionFrom / To
Forum for Medieval and Renaissance Studies in Ireland (FMRSI) Member/
Teachers of Old English in Britain and Ireland (TOEBI) Committee Member26-OCT-13 /
International Society of Anglo-Saxonists (ISAS) Member/
Viking Society for Northern Research (VSNR) Member/
Higher Education Academy (HEA) Associate Fellow/
Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature (SSMLL) Member/
Early English Text Society (EETS) Member/
Viking Ship Museum (Vikingeskibsmuseet) Guild Member01-JUN-13 /

Conference Contributions

YearPublication
(2016)Rediscovering the Vikings: Reception, Recovery, Engagement,
Tom Birkett (2016) The World-Tree Project Launch (Presentation). [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Rediscovering the Vikings: Reception, Recovery, Engagement, UCC , 25-NOV-16 - 26-NOV-16. [Details]
(2016)Rediscovering the Vikings: Reception, Recovery, Engagement,
Tom Birkett (2016) Opening and Closing Address. [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], Rediscovering the Vikings: Reception, Recovery, Engagement, UCC , 25-NOV-16 - 26-NOV-16. [Details]
(2016)28th International Conference of the Spanish Society for Medieval English Language and Literature (SELIM),
Tom Birkett (2016) Crowdsourcing Old Norse Texts and Culture: The Challenge of International Community Collection. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], 28th International Conference of the Spanish Society for Medieval English Language and Literature (SELIM), Vigo, Spain , 15-SEP-16 - 17-SEP-16. [Details]
(2016)Old Norse Poetry in Performance,
Birkett, Tom (2016) Teaching Performance through the World-Tree Project’s Interactive Archive. [Invited Oral Presentation], Old Norse Poetry in Performance, University of Oxford , 24-JUN-16 - 25-JUN-16. [Details]
(2016)IASIL 2016,
Tom Birkett (2016) Chair and Organiser of the Session 'Digital Ireland: Transforming the Medieval Past'. [Chair Sessions at Symposia], IASIL 2016, UCC , 26-JUL-16 - 26-JUL-16. [Details]
(2016)51st International Congress on Medieval Studies,
Thomas Birkett (2016) Riding the Blue Animal of the Billows: Sailing Viking Ships in Poetry and Practice. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], 51st International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI , 11-MAY-16 - 22-MAY-16. [Details]
(2016)9th Conference of the ISFNR International Committee for Charms, Charmers and Charming,
Thomas Birkett (2016) Chair of the Session Charms in Manuscripts - Anglo-Saxon, German and English Charms. [Chair Sessions at Symposia], 9th Conference of the ISFNR International Committee for Charms, Charmers and Charming, UCC , 06-MAY-16 - 07-MAY-16. [Details]
(2016)Midland's Viking Symposium,
Thomas Birkett and Roderick Dale (2016) Presentation of the World-Tree Project, display banners, exhibition stand and publicity materials. [Poster Presentation], Midland's Viking Symposium, Nottingham , 30-APR-16 - 30-APR-16. [Details]
(2016)Digital Britain: New Approaches to the Early Middle Ages,
Tom Birkett (2016) 'The Old Norse World-Tree Project: A New Approach to Community Collection in Britain and Beyond'. [Oral Presentation], Digital Britain: New Approaches to the Early Middle Ages, Harvard University , 25-MAR-16 - 26-MAR-16. [Details]
(2016)MEMORI Seminar,
Birkett, Tom (2016) “With the prow the capable woman carves the hollow wave” (Einarr Skúlason): Sailing Viking Ships in Poetry and Practice. [Invited Seminars/Guest Lectures], MEMORI Seminar, Cardiff University , 11-FEB-16 - 11-FEB-16. [Details]
(2016)Dublin Old English Study Day,
Birkett, Tom (2016) World-Trees: The Value of Community Collection in Anglo-Saxon and Old Norse Studies. [Invited Seminars/Guest Lectures], Dublin Old English Study Day, UCD , 08-FEB-16 - 08-FEB-16. [Details]
(2016)Coláiste Choilm Eigse,
Birkett, Tom (2016) Reading of Norse Poetry. [Invited Lectures (Workshops)], Coláiste Choilm Eigse, Coláiste Choilm, Ballincolig , 12-FEB-16 - 12-FEB-16. [Details]
(2015)Medieval Cultures Seminar,
Birkett, Tom (2015) Inscription and Inheritance in Old English Poetry. [Invited Seminars/Guest Lectures], Medieval Cultures Seminar, Queen's University Belfast , 10-DEC-15 - 10-DEC-15. [Details]
(2015)School of English Research Seminar, UCC,
Birkett, Tom (2015) From Viking Ships to Reading Lists: Connecting Cultures with the World-Tree Project. [Oral Presentation], School of English Research Seminar, UCC, Cork , 18-NOV-15 - 18-NOV-15. [Details]
(2015)Teachers of Old English in Britain and Ireland (TOEBI) 2015,
Birkett, Tom (2015) 'The Value of Runes in Late Anglo-Saxon England'. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Teachers of Old English in Britain and Ireland (TOEBI) 2015, Trinity College Dublin , 10-OCT-15 - 10-OCT-15. [Details]
(2015)After the Book: The New Production of Texts,
Birkett, Tom (2015) A hero covered me with protecting boards, stretched skin over me; adorned me with gold. (Riddle 26, 'The Book') Presenting the (Exeter) Book: Then and Now. [Invited Lectures (Workshops)], After the Book: The New Production of Texts, University College Cork , 30-JAN-15 - 30-JAN-15. [Details]
(2015)Leeds International Medieval Congress,
Birkett, Tom (2015) All were scraped off, that were carved on: Rescripting the Past in the Poetic Edda. [Oral Presentation], Leeds International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds , 09-JUL-15 - 09-JUL-15. [Details]
(2015)Leeds International Medieval Congress,
Birkett, Tom (2015) Chair of the panel 'Runic Reform: Manuscripts and Epigraphy, II'. [Chair Sessions at Symposia], Leeds International Medieval Congress, Leeds , 08-JUL-15 - 08-JUL-15. [Details]
(2015)Leeds International medieval Congress,
Birkett, Tom (2015) Chair of the Panel 'Network Analysis and Medieval Sources'. [Chair Sessions at Symposia], Leeds International medieval Congress, University of Leeds , 08-JUL-15 - 08-JUL-15. [Details]
(2014)Languages, Myths and Finds Preparatory Master Classes, ASNAC, Cambridge,
Birkett, Tom (2014) ‘Introduction to Viking heritage in Munster’. [Oral Presentation], Languages, Myths and Finds Preparatory Master Classes, ASNAC, Cambridge, ASNAC, Cambridge , 06-JAN-14 - 09-JAN-14. [Details]
(2014)Cork Culture Night: Ten Minute Tales,
Birkett, Tom (2014) The Vikings: Early Rebels in Cork. [Oral Presentation], Cork Culture Night: Ten Minute Tales, UCC , 19-SEP-14 - 19-SEP-14. [Details]
(2014)Guest Speaker, Coláiste Choilm School, Ballincollig,
Birkett, Tom (2014) ‘Sailing with the Sea Stallion from Glendalough’. [Invited Lectures (Workshops)], Guest Speaker, Coláiste Choilm School, Ballincollig, Ballincollig , 05-MAR-14 - 05-MAR-14. [Details]
(2014)Leeds International Medieval Congress,
Birkett, Tom (2014) Viking 'proto-empires' and their heritage in the British Isles. [Chair Sessions at Symposia], Leeds International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds , 08-JUL-14 - 08-JUL-14. [Details]
(2014)Leeds International Medieval Congress,
Birkett, Tom (2014) 'The writing’s on the wall: Daniel, Beowulf, and the limits of runic knowledge in Old English poetry'. [Oral Presentation], Leeds International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds , 09-JUL-14 - 09-JUL-14. [Details]
(2014)TOEBI 2014,
Birkett, Tom (2014) Chairing the session 'Unlocking the Wordhoard: Opportunities for Old English outside the Academy'. [Chair Sessions at Symposia], TOEBI 2014, University of Nottingham , 18-OCT-14 - 18-OCT-14. [Details]
(2014)School of English Research Seminar,
Tom Birkett (2014) The Vikings in Cork and Heritage in Motion. [Oral Presentation], School of English Research Seminar, UCC , 17-SEP-14 - 17-SEP-14. [Details]
(2014)From Eald to New: Translating Early Medieval Poetry for the 21st Century,
Birkett, Tom (2014) Opening Address. [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], From Eald to New: Translating Early Medieval Poetry for the 21st Century, University College Cork , 05-JUN-14 - 07-JUN-14. [Details]
(2013)Palaeography and Manuscript-based Research: Intensive Postgraduate Workshop,
Birkett, Tom (2013) Marginalia in Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts. [Invited Lectures (Workshops)], Palaeography and Manuscript-based Research: Intensive Postgraduate Workshop, UCC , 09-SEP-13 - 09-SEP-13. [Details]
(2013)Maths Meets Myth Workshop, Coventry University,
Birkett, Tom (2013) 'Social Networks in the Sagas of Icelanders'. [Invited Lectures (Workshops)], Maths Meets Myth Workshop, Coventry University, Coventry University , 25-JUL-13 - 27-JUL-13. [Details]
(2013)Stasis in the Medieval World Conference, Institute of Medieval Archaeology, UCL,
Birkett, Tom (2013) 'Stitched up? Cynewulf and Poetic Stasis'. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Stasis in the Medieval World Conference, Institute of Medieval Archaeology, UCL, Institute of Medieval Archaeology, UCL , 13-APR-13 - 14-APR-13. [Details]
(2013)Medieval and Renaissance Society Lecture, UCC,
Birkett, Tom (2013) ‘How to sail a Viking ship’. [Invited Oral Presentation], Medieval and Renaissance Society Lecture, UCC, University College Cork , 07-OCT-13 - 07-OCT-13. [Details]
(2013)Teachers of Old English in Britain and Ireland (TOEBI) Annual Conference,
Birkett, T. (2013) 'The Clontarf Effect: Teaching Old English in the Year of the Vikings'. [Oral Presentation], Teachers of Old English in Britain and Ireland (TOEBI) Annual Conference, Queen's University, Belfast , 26-OCT-13 - 26-OCT-13. [Details]
(2013)Old Norse Evening Lecture Series, UCC,
Birkett, Tom (2013) 'Gods and monsters: Old Norse mythology'. [Oral Presentation], Old Norse Evening Lecture Series, UCC, University College Cork , 22-JAN-13 - 22-JAN-13. [Details]
(2013)School of English Research Seminar, UCC,
Birkett, Tom (2013) ‘Runes and Revelation: A Reconsideration of Cynewulf’s Signatures’. [Oral Presentation], School of English Research Seminar, UCC, UCC , 06-MAR-13 - 06-MAR-13. [Details]
(2013)Midlands Viking Symposium, University of Nottingham,
Birkett, Tom (2013) The Orkney Viking Heritage Project. [Conference Organising Committee Member], Midlands Viking Symposium, University of Nottingham, University of Nottingham , 27-APR-13 - 27-APR-13. [Details]
(2012)Old Norse Evening Lecture Series, UCC,
Birkett, Tom (2012) ‘An introduction to Old Norse-Icelandic literature’. [Oral Presentation], Old Norse Evening Lecture Series, UCC, University College Cork , 05-DEC-12 - 05-DEC-12. [Details]
(2012)Oxbridge Academic Program Guest Lectures,
Birkett, Tom (2012) 'A Brief History of Oxford: From the Vikings to the Present Day'. [Invited Seminars/Guest Lectures], Oxbridge Academic Program Guest Lectures, The Oxford Union, University of Oxford , 10-JUL-12 - 10-JUL-12. [Details]
(2011)The Woruldhord Project, Public Launch,
Birkett, Tom; Caughey, Anna; Lee, Stuart (2011) 'Project Woruldhord'. [Invited Oral Presentation], The Woruldhord Project, Public Launch, Oxford University Computing Services , 09-MAR-11 - 09-MAR-11. [Details]
(2011)International Medieval Congress (IMC) Leeds,
Birkett, Tom (2011) ‘Correcting the corrector? A runic note in the margins of the Old English Bede'. [Oral Presentation], International Medieval Congress (IMC) Leeds, Leeds , 11-JUL-11 - 14-JUL-11. [Details]
(2011)Old Norse at Oxford Research Seminar (ONORS),
Birkett, Tom (2011) ‘A shapely script: Ornamental textuality in the Norwegian Rune Poem’. [Invited Seminars/Guest Lectures], Old Norse at Oxford Research Seminar (ONORS), University of Oxford , 14-JUN-11 - 07-JUN-11. [Details]
(2010)Old Norse Masterclass and Conference,
Birkett, Tom (2010) ‘Re-scripting the past: The Runes of Sigrdrífumál’. [Oral Presentation], Old Norse Masterclass and Conference, Selje, Norway , 11-APR-10 - 15-APR-10. [Details]
(2010)Faculty of English Graduate Conference, University of Oxford,
Birkett, Tom (2010) ‘An abundance of errors: Modern abuses of the runic script’. [Oral Presentation], Faculty of English Graduate Conference, University of Oxford, University of Oxford , 05-JUN-09 - 05-JUN-09. [Details]
(2010)Medieval English Research Seminar, University of Oxford,
Birkett, Tom (2010) ‘Runic abbreviations and the alysendlic rune: Unlocking Anglo-Saxon runic practice through Bede’s story of Imma.’. [Invited Seminars/Guest Lectures], Medieval English Research Seminar, University of Oxford, Faculty of English, University of Oxford , 27-JAN-10 - 27-JAN-10. [Details]
(2010)International Symposium on Runes and Runic Inscriptions, 'Runes in Context',
Birkett, Tom (2010) ‘The ‘alysendlecan’ rune: Runic abbreviations in their immediate literary context. [Oral Presentation], International Symposium on Runes and Runic Inscriptions, 'Runes in Context', Oslo , 09-AUG-10 - 13-AUG-10. [Details]
(2009)St Cross Colloquium: Advancing Global Conversations,
Birkett, Tom (2009) ‘The Misappropriation of the Runic Script’. [Invited Seminars/Guest Lectures], St Cross Colloquium: Advancing Global Conversations, St Cross College, Oxford , 05-MAY-09 - 05-MAY-09. [Details]
(2009)Aspects and Approaches, Medium Ævum / SSMLL Conference,
Birkett, Tom (2009) 'Fooling around with runes: Scribal antics or runic edification in the Exeter Book?'. [Oral Presentation], Aspects and Approaches, Medium Ævum / SSMLL Conference, Oxford , 03-APR-09 - 03-APR-09. [Details]
(2009)AHRC-funded Masterclass and Conference,
Birkett, Tom (2009) 'Manipulating Script: The Power of Runes in the Sagas'. [Oral Presentation], AHRC-funded Masterclass and Conference, Balestrand , 08-APR-09 - 11-APR-09. [Details]
(2009)‘Advancing Global Conversations’, St Cross, Oxford,
Birkett, Tom (2009) Convenor and co-chair of an interdisciplinary lecture series. [Chair Sessions at Symposia], ‘Advancing Global Conversations’, St Cross, Oxford, St Cross College, Oxford , 15-SEP-08 - 15-JUL-10. [Details]

Committees

 CommitteeFunctionFrom / To
TOEBI (Teachers of Old English in Britain and Ireland) Elected committee member2013 /
MA Medieval to Renaissance Sub-committee Member2012 /
English First Arts Reform Group 2013 /
English Second Arts Committee Member2012 /
The Old English Poetry Project (OEPP) Editorial Board2014 /

Employment

 EmployerPositionFrom / To
University College Cork Temporary (Full time) Lecturer in English01-SEP-12 / 01-MAY-14
Pembroke College, Oxford Non-Stipendiary Lecturer in Old English01-DEC-11 / 30-JUN-12
Faculty of English, University of Oxford Research Assistant (to Prof. Heather O’Donoghue)01-JUN-10 / 01-JUN-12
Oxford Academic Program Teaching Faculty01-JUL-12 / 01-AUG-12
Oxford University Computing Services, Oxford Research Officer (The Old English Woruldhord Project)01-OCT-10 / 30-MAR-11
Faculty of English, University of Oxford Old Norse Tutor01-DEC-10 / 30-MAR-11
Various Constituent Colleges of the University of Oxford Tutor of Medieval English01-SEP-09 / 01-DEC-11
Faculty of English, University of Oxford Editor / Digital Text Developer (Early Medieval English Coursepack)09-SEP-11 / 01-JUN-12

Education

 YearInstitutionQualificationSubject
2011University of Oxford D.PhEnglish
2008University of Oxford MASTERSM.St. English (650-1550)
2007University of Leeds BA (Hons)English Language and Literature

Languages

 LanguageReadingWritingSpeaking
Old English

Outreach Activities

 Description

Early Career Researcher on the AHRC-funded Languages, Myths and Finds Project.

 

Cork has been chosen as one of five locations across the UK and Ireland to be investigated as part of an exciting AHRC-funded skills development programme, 

Languages, Myths and Finds: Translating Norse and Viking Cultures for the 21st Century

. I will be working alongside Dr Christina Lee from Nottingham University and a group of PhD students to foster partnerships with local museums, schools, community groups and tourism officers, and to develop community-specific heritage resources (including a website and information booklet for museums in the Munster area). Not only is the Project linked with the 2014 Viking Exhibition in the British Museum, but it also coincides with the 1000 year anniversary of the Battle of Clontarf.

 

http://languagesmythsfinds.ac.uk/ 

Early Career Researcher on the Orkney Viking Heritage Project.

Ongoing responsibility for developing and maintaining the website for this AHRC-funded project, which aims to extend academic research about the Viking diaspora and its tangible and non-tangible heritage in the British Isles. The travelling exhibition came to UCC in September 2013.

 Orkney Project Website


Co-ordinator: Old Norse Evening Lecture Series, University College Cork (2012/2013) A series of public lectures on Old Norse mythology and literature at UCC.

Text Developer on the Online Early Medieval English (EME) Coursepack, producing hypertext editions of the core texts studied for Moderations exams at Oxford.

https://weblearn.ox.ac.uk/access/content/group/5425519f-7550-410e-a7e7-521279f5bffa/maldon.html                                                 

Research Officer on the Woruldhord Project, hosted by Oxford University Computing Services.

This is the first web-based community collection database dedicated to the medieval (and specifically Anglo-Saxon) period, providing publicly-accessible resources for teaching and learning.

http://projects.oucs.ox.ac.uk/woruldhord/

The Sea Stallion Viking Ship. I joined the crew of the Viking ship 'Sea Stallion' in the summer of 2013 on their Scandinavian sailing and heritage tour, organised by the Roskilde Viking Ship Museum and National Museum. This not only gave me a great insight into how a Viking ship was sailed and life onboard conducted, but it also gave me direct experience of heritage engagement at an international level. I had an interview published in the Irish Times about this experience, and have conducted several invited lectures on Viking ships in the past year. I plan to continue my association with the Sea Stallion Guild and the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde. http://www.vikingeskibsmuseet.dk/index.php?id=1246&L=1

School Workshops, Coláiste Choilm, Ballincollig. During 2014 I visited the school twice, once as an invited speaker talking about Viking ships, and once as part of the LMF team, giving workshops on the Vikings in Ireland.

Contributor to 'Ten Minute Tales', the School of English initiative for Culture Night (organised by Dr Edel Semple).

Other Activities

 Description

Organising the international IRC-funded conference and network 'From Eald to New: Translating Early Medieval Poetry for the 21st Century', College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, UCC

Invited member of the Leverhulme-funded 'Maths Meets Myth' network, collaborating with colleagues in Coventry on an investigation of social networks in the Icelandic Sagas and the broader application of mathematics to the study of literature.

Elected member of the TOEBI (Teachers of Old English in Britain and Ireland) Business Committee, representing UCC within this interantional organisation.

Teaching Interests

I am currently teaching on the following courses:
 
EN1002: Literature and Society: Medieval to Renaissance (Old English)

EN1101: Contexts: The Production and Reception of Literature and Film (co-ordinator)

EN2006: Beyond Beowulf 
 
EN2012: Unlocking the Wordhoard: Old English Language (co-ordinator)

EN3015: Of Monsters and Men: Old and Early English Literature (co-ordinator)

EN3006: Poetry of the Vikings

EN6053: MA Text and Context: Medieval to Renaissance (Old English Literature to c. 1200)  

I also convene the Old English Reading Group every Monday evening.

I completed the Developing Teaching and Learning (DLT) training at the University of Oxford, gaining recognition as an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and I have CELTA certification for teaching English as a foreign language to adult learners.

Recent Postgraduates

 Graduation YearStudent NameInstitutionDegree TypeThesis Title
2013Dave Scanlon UCCViolent Humour in and around the Beowulf Manuscript (MA Thesis)
2013Maik Hildebrandt UCCApollonius in its Contexts (MA Thesis)
2014Patricia O'Connor UCCThe Thematic and Contextual Affinities between the Old English Bede and its Old English Marginalia in Cambridge Corpus Christi College, 41 (MA Thesis)

Current Postgraduate Students

 StudentDegree Type
Kehoe-Rouchy Niamh Bridget Doctoral Degree
O Connor Patricia Doctoral Degree (Structured)

Internal Collaborators

 NameInstituteCountry
Dr Roderick Dale UCCIRELAND

External Collaborators

 NameOrganisation / InstituteCountry
Dr Christina Lee University of NottinghamUNITED KINGDOM