Difference between revisions of "PhD Research Proposal"

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====Why? So What?====
====Why? So What?====
*To understand our own culture
====Why Me? Why Aberdeen?====
====Why Me? Why Aberdeen?====

Revision as of 20:37, 6 January 2020

Personal Transformation in Medieval Scandinavian Literature: Three Case Studies

The literature of early medieval Scandinavia reflects a world in transition: Oral culture is giving way to written; regional autonomy to nations governed by kings; and widespread conversion to Christianity, to name just a few. These are macro-level transitions, but underlying and contributing to them are myriad stories of individual and personal transformation.

My proposed thesis will take a micro-level, case study approach to explore the theme of transformation in medieval Scandinavian literature, focusing on three different types of personal transformation that occur with some degree of frequency in the sagas, and potentially in other types of tangential literature.

Becoming an Adult

  • a near universal transformation.
  • Primary Sources: Family Sagas (Grettir, Laxdaela, Njal), Auðun, Volsunga
  • Secondary Sources: Danielli, Haggerty, Larrington, Schjodt, Hansen
  • Historiography:
  • Research Questions:
  • Limitations:

Becoming a Monarch

  • a selective transformation experienced by a relative few.
  • Primary Sources: Heimskringla, Volsunga,
  • Secondary Sources:
  • Historiography:
  • Research Questions:
  • Limitations:

Becoming a Christian

  • a progressive transformation, experienced selectively at first, and then by increasing numbers of individuals.
  • Primary Sources: Njal, Hallfreðr, Heimskringla
  • Secondary Sources: Abram, Antonsson,
  • Historiography:
  • Research Questions:
  • Limitations:

Why? So What?

Why Me? Why Aberdeen?

  • My background in Literature and Theology (which is about individual transformation)
  • Why Aberdeen and Dr. Burrows? Her familiarity with the intersection of literature and religion/mythology, interest in Norse language, culture & society. Also familiarity with skaldic poetry and legal sources, which I would like to explore. Aberdeen's interdisciplinary approach, unique focus on early medieval Scandinavian/Northern culture, language, literature, etc.

From the Aberdeen Website

Applicants must submit a detailed research proposal. The full proposal, preferably between 1,000 and 1,500 words, should include at least the following elements:

  • a clear description of the proposed thesis topic, indicating the research problem and expected scope of the investigation;
  • a description of how the proposed topic fits into the existing field;

an indication of how the research is to be carried out (e.g. study of written sources, social surveys, fieldwork);

  • an indication of why the University of Aberdeen is suited to the proposed research (e.g. staff expertise, library or archival resources).

“I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.” – Lewis Carroll from Alice in Wonderland

"Most people in America, when they are exposed to the Christian faith, are not being transformed. They take one step into the door, and the journey ends . . . Yet in many ways a focus on spiritual formation fits what a new generation is really seeking. Transformation is a process, a journey, not a one-time decision.” ― David Kinnaman, unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity... and Why It Matters

"few things have more transformative power than people and stories.” ― Shane Claiborne