Professor Rory McTurk

Professor Rory McTurk

Profile

I came to Leeds in 1978 from University College Dublin, where I had taught for nine years. Before that I had taught (from 1967–69) at the Universities of Lund and Copenhagen, having taken my undergraduate degree at Oxford (in 1963) and a further degree at the University of Iceland, Reykjavík (in 1965). While at U.C.D. I started working on my doctorate, which I was awarded by the National University of Ireland in 1985. At Leeds I became a Reader in 1994 and a Professor in 2006. I retired from teaching in 2007.

While in post at Leeds I varied my career by being for three calendar years (1986–88) the University's Adviser to Overseas Students, spending three months in Iceland in 1995 as the holder of a Snorri Sturluson Fellowship (awarded by the Sigurður Nordal Institute of the University of Iceland, Reykjavík), and spending the academic year 1998–99 as a Visiting Professor at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee. 

In December 2005 I became by invitation an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Scandinavian Studies, University College London, for a period of five years. This appointment has been renewed from 2010 onwards with the title Honorary Senior Research Associate. In the spring semester (January to May) of 2011 I held the post of Visiting International Scholar in Medieval Scandinavian Studies at the University of New Mexico.

Publications since 2007

Translated books:

  • Rory McTurk, trans. (from the Icelandic) with an Introduction, Bloodhoof: Blóðhófnir, by Gerður Kristný, pp. 133, Todmorden: Arc Publications, 2012. 
  • Rory McTurk, trans. (from the Icelandic), Yo-yo, by Steinunn Sigurðardóttir, pp. 190, London: World Editions, 2015. 
  • Rory McTurk, trans. (from the Icelandic), Drápa: the slaying. A Reykjavík murder mystery, by Gerður Kristný, with an introduction by Guðni Elísson and Alda Valdimarsdóttir, pp. 118, Todmorden: Arc Publications, 2018. 
  • Rory McTurk, trans. (from the Icelandic), Reykjavík requiem: Sálumessa, by Gerður Kristný, with an Introduction by Sigþrúður Gunnarsdóttir, pp. 101, Todmorden: Arc Publications, 2020.

Articles in books:

  • Rory McTurk, ‘Áslaug Granadóttir? Hvenær, hvar og hvernig var Áslaug getin?’, in Þórunn Sigurðardóttir, Guðrún Nordal and Guðrún Laufey Guðmundsdóttir, eds, Sturlaðar sögur sagðar Úlfari Bragasyni sextugum 22. apríl 2009, pp. 94–95, Reykjavík: Menningar- og minningarsjóður Mette Magnussen, 2009. (N.B.: this is a somewhat expanded version of the item listed below.)
  • Rory McTurk, ‘Áslaug Granadóttir? When, where and how was Áslaug conceived?’, in Agneta Ney, Henrik Williams, Fredrik Charpentier et al., eds, ‘Á austurvega’: saga and East Scandinavia. Preprint papers of The 14th International Saga Conference, Uppsala, 9th–15th August 2009 (= Papers from the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Gävle, vol. 14), 2 vols, vol. 2, p. 682, Gävle, Gävle University Press, 2009. 
  • Rory McTurk, ‘External prolepsis in Beowulf’, in Marcin Krygier and Liliana Sikorska, eds, Þe comoun peplis language, Medieval English Mirror, vol. 6, pp. 113–130, Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Publishing Group, 2010.
  • Rory McTurk, ‘Préface’, in Gérard Chinotti, trans., La Saga de Njáll le Brûlé, pp. v–viii, Québec, QC: Presses de l’Université Laval, 2010.
  • Rory McTurk, ‘Snorra Edda as Menippean satire’, in Daniel Anlezark, ed., Myths, legends, and heroes: essays on Old Norse and Old English literature in honour of John McKinnell, pp. 109–30, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011.
  • R.W. McTurk, ‘The household of “Ragnarr loðbrók”’, in Benjamin T. Hudson, ed., Familia and household in the medieval Atlantic world, Medieval and Renaissance texts and studies 392 (= Penn State medieval studies 3), pp.1–18, Tempe, Ariz.: ACMRS (Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies), 2011.
  • Rory McTurk, ‘An eye for an eye and a snake for a snake: stanza 8 of Ragnars saga’, in Tatjana N. Jackson and Elena A. Melnikova, eds, Skemmtiligastar lygisögur: studies in honour of Galina Glazyrina, pp. 111–21, Moscow: Dmitriy Pozharskiy University, 2012.
  • Rory McTurk, ‘Introduction’, in Gerður Kristný. Bloodhoof: Blóðhófnir, translated by Rory McTurk (see Translated books, 1, above), pp. 5–12, Todmorden: Arc Publications, 2012
  • Rory McTurk, ‘Badhbhscéal: Krákumál’, in Bo Almqvist, Críostóir Mac Cárthaigh, Liam Mac Mathúna, Séamus Mac Mathúna and Seosamh Watson, eds, Atlantic Currents: Essays on Lore, Literature and Language. Sruthanna an Aigéin Thiar: Aistí ar Sheanchas, ar Litríocht agus ar Theanga. Essays in honour of Séamas Ó Catháin on the occasion of his 70th birthday, 31.12.2012: Aistí in onóir do Shéamas Ó Catháin in aois a 70 bliain dó 31. 12. 2012, pp. 371–82, Dublin: University College Dublin Press. Preas Choláiste Ollscoile Bhaile Átha Cliath, 2012.
  • Rory McTurk, ‘La royauté scandinave à ľépoque des Vikings’, in Hervé Oudart, Jean-Michel Picard and Joëlle Quaghebeur, eds, Le Prince, son peuple et le bien commun, de l’antiquité tardive à la fin du Moyen Âge, pp. 421–30, Rennes: Collection ‘Histoire’, Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2013.
  • Rory McTurk, ‘Tolkien’s Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún: creative drama or scholarly exercise?’, in Joanna Kazik and Paulina Mirowska, eds, Reading subversion and transgression, Studies in English drama and poetry, vol. 3, pp. 151–65, Łódź: Wydawnictwo-Uniwersytetu-Łódzkiego (Łódź University Press), 2013.
  • Rory McTurk, ‘Rattus rattus as a beast of battle?’, in Martin Chase, ed., Eddic, skaldic, and beyond: poetic variety in medieval Iceland and Norway, pp. 102–13, 217–21, New York: Fordham University Press, 2014.
  • Rory McTurk, ‘Krákumál eða Bjarkamál?’, in Rosa Þorsteinsdóttir and Gunnvör S. Karlsdóttir, eds, Viskustykki undin Soffíu Guðnýju Guðmundsdóttur fimmtugri 4. apríl 2014, pp. 57–58. Reykjavík: Menningar- og minningarsjóður Mette Magnussen, 2014.
  • Rory McTurk, ‘Aicill in Piers Plowman?’, in Nicolas Jacobs and Gerald Morgan, eds., ‘“Truthe is the beste”: A Festschrift in honour of A.V.C. Schmidt, pp. 127–36, Court cultures of the Middle ages and Renaissance: Publications of the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Trinity College Dublin 1, Oxford, Bern, etc., Peter Lang, 2014.
  • Rory McTurk, ‘Beowulf and Njáls saga: a Trinitarian approach’, in John Lindow and George Clark, eds, Frederic Amory in memoriam: Old Norse-Icelandic studies, The Wildcat Canyon advanced seminars: occasional monograph series 2, pp. 213–49, Berkeley, Los Angeles: North Pinehurst Press, 2015.
  • Rory McTurk, ‘Wavering heroes in the Icelandic sagas’, in Matthieu Boyd, ed., Ollam: studies in Gaelic and related traditions in honor of Tomás Ó Cathasaigh, pp. 79–93, Madison & Teaneck, N.J., Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2016.
  • Rory McTurk, ‘Facing Beowulf in translation’, in Maria Grazia Cammarota and Roberta Bassi, eds, Riscrittura e attualizzazione dei testi germanici medievali (= Biblioteca di Linguistica e Filologia, vol. 5), pp. 237–61, Bergamo, Bergamo University Press, 2017.
  • Rory McTurk, ‘“Let Beowulf now be a book from Ireland”: what would Henryson or Tolkien say?’, in Tom Birkett and Kirsty March-Lyons, eds, Translating early medieval poetry: transformation, reception, interpretation (= Medievalism, vol. XI), pp. 75–91, Cambridge, D.S. Brewer, 2017.
  • Rory McTurk, ed. and trans., ‘[The verses of] Ragnars saga loðbrókar’, in Margaret Clunies Ross, ed., Poetry in fornaldarsǫgur, parts 1–2 (= Skaldic poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages, vol. VIII), part 2, pp. 617–706, Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols Publishers n.v., 2017. 
  • Rory McTurk, ed. and trans., ‘Krákumál’, in Margaret Clunies Ross, ed., Poetry in fornaldarsǫgur, parts 1–2 (= Skaldic poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages, vol. VIII), part 2, pp. 707–777, Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols Publishers n.v., 2017.
  • Rory McTurk, ed. and trans., ‘[The verses of] Ragnars sona þáttr’, in Margaret Clunies Ross, ed., Poetry in fornaldarsǫgur, parts 1–2 (= Skaldic poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages, vol. VIII), part 2, pp. 778–81, Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols Publishers n.v., 2017.
  • Rory McTurk, ed. and trans., ‘[The verse passage in] Sǫrla þáttr’, in Margaret Clunies Ross, ed., Poetry in fornaldarsǫgur, parts 1–2 (= Skaldic poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages, vol. VIII), part 2, pp. 786–90, Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols Publishers n.v., 2017.
  • Rory McTurk, ‘Contrapuntal alliteration in Piers Plowman and skaldic poetry’, in Aisling Byrne and Victoria Flood, eds, Crossing borders in the insular Middle Ages, Medieval texts and cultures of Northern Europe, vol. 30, pp. 113–32, Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols Publishers n.v., 2019.
  • Rory McTurk, ‘La saga islandaise de saint Martin de Tours’, in Bruno Judic, Robert Beck, Christine Bousquet-Labouérie & Elisabeth Lorans, eds, Un nouveau Martin : Essor et renouveaux de la figure de Saint Martin ive- xxie siėcle, pp. 285–94, Tours :  Collection « Perspectives historiques », Presses Universitaires François - Rabelais, 2019.
  • Rory McTurk, ‘Campbell’s “art of parallelism” in Old English poetry: a reappraisal’, in Hans Sauer and Piotr P. Chruszczewski, eds, Mostly medieval: in memory of Jacek Fisiak, Beyond language, vol. 5, pp. 97–113, San Diego, Ca.: Æ Academic Publishing, 2020.

Journal articles;

  • Rory McTurk, ‘Redemption through iambic reversal? The case of Henryson’s Cresseid’, Leeds studies in English, new series 41 (= Janet Burton, William Marx, and Veronica O’Mara, eds, Essays in honour of Oliver Pickering), pp. 134–45, 2010.

Reviews;

  • Rory McTurk, review of Carl Phelpstead, Holy Vikings: saints’ lives in the Old Icelandic kings’ sagas (Tempe, Ariz., 2007), Saga-Book (Viking Society for Northern Research), 33, pp. 108–12, 2009.
  • Rory McTurk, review of Earl R. Anderson, Understanding ‘Beowulf’ as an Indo-European epic: a study in comparative mythology (Lampeter, 2010),  Leeds studies in English, new series 43, pp. 121–24, 2012.
  • Rory McTurk, review of Ármann Jakobsson, Illa fenginn mjöður. Lesið í miðaldatexta (Reykjavík, 2009), Saga-Book (Viking Society for Northern Research), 36, pp. 158–61, 2012.
  • Rory McTurk, review of Elizabeth Ashman Rowe, Vikings in the west. The legend of Ragnarr loðbrók and his sons (Vienna, 2012), Saga-Book (Viking Society for Northern Research), 37, pp. 94–99, 2013.
  • Rory McTurk, review of Joanna A. Skórzewska, Constructing a cult: the life and veneration of Guðmundr Arason (1161-1237) in the Icelandic written sources (Leiden, 2011), European review of history – Revue européenne d’histoire, 20, no. 5, pp. 908–10, 2013.
  • Rory McTurk, review of Birna Bjarnadóttir, Recesses of the mind: aesthetics in the work of Guðbergur Bergsson (Montreal & Kingston, 2012), University of Toronto quarterly, 83, no. 2, pp. 567–68, 2014.
  • Rory McTurk, ‘Britain and Ireland begin’, review of Barry Cunliffe, Britain Begins (Oxford, 2012) and of J.P. Mallory, The Origins of the Irish (London, 2012), Dublin review of books, September 2014.
  • Rory McTurk, review of Annette Lassen, Agneta Ney, and Ármann Jakobsson, eds., The legendary sagas. Origins and development (Reykjavík, 2012), Saga-Book (Viking Society for Northern Research), 39, pp. 112–15, 2015.
  • Rory McTurk, review of Ármann Jakobsson, A sense of belonging: Morkinskinna and Icelandic identity, c. 1220 (Odense, 2014), Scandinavica. An international journal of Scandinavian studies, 54, no. 2, pp. 158–60, 2015.
  • Rory McTurk, review of Jónas Kristjánsson, Sagnalíf. Sextán greinar um fornar bókmenntir, ed. by Þórður Ingi Guðjónsson (Reykjavík, 2015), Saga-Book (Viking Society for Northern Research), 41, pp. 178–80, 2017.
  • Rory McTurk, review of Marianne Kalinke, ed., The Arthur of the North. The Arthurian legend in the Norse and Rusʼ realms (Cardiff, 2015; rpt of 1st ed., 2011), Scandinavica. An international journal of Scandinavian studies, 56, no. 2, pp. 102–104, 2017.
  • Rory McTurk, review of Jackson Crawford, trans., The saga of the Volsungs with the saga of Ragnar Lothbrok (Indianapolis, Ind., 2017), Saga-Book (Viking Society for Northern Research), 42, pp. Saga-Book (Viking Society for Northern Research), 42, pp. 180–84, 2018.
  • Rory McTurk, review of Thomas Williams, Viking Britain: an exploration (London, 2017), Saga-Book (Viking Society for Northern Research), 42, pp. 199–201, 2018 (also reviewed more briefly by McTurk in CoScan Magazine 2017/2, pp. 23–24).
  • Rory McTurk, review of Sif Rikhardsdottir, Emotion in Old Norse literature: translations, voices, contexts (Cambridge, 2017), Scandinavica. An international journal of Scandinavian studies, 57, no. 2, pp. 86–87, 2018.
  • Rory McTurk, review of Anatoly Liberman, In prayer and laughter: essays on medieval Scandinavian and Germanic mythology (Moscow, 2016), Scandinavica. An international journal of Scandinavian studies, 57, no. 2, pp. 90–94, 2018.
  • Rory McTurk, review of Sally Magnusson, The sealwoman’s gift (London, 2018), CoScan Magazine 2018/2, p. 27.
  • Rory McTurk, review of Siân E. Grønlie, The Saint and the saga hero. Hagiography and early Icelandic literature (Cambridge, 2017) and Haki Antonsson, Damnation and salvation in Old Norse literature (Cambridge, 2018), Scandinavica. An international journal of Scandinavian studies, 58, no. 1, pp. 141–45, 2019.
  • Rory McTurk, ‘Not so insular’, review of Marion Turner, Chaucer: A European Life (Princeton, N.J., 2019), Dublin review of books, September 2019.
  • Rory McTurk, review of Ármann Jakobsson and Sverrir Jakobsson, eds, The Routledge research companion to the medieval Icelandic sagas (London and New York, 2017), Saga-Book (Viking Society for Northern Research), 44, pp. 196–98, 2020 (also reviewed more briefly by McTurk in CoScan Magazine 2019/2, pp. 26–27.
  • Rory McTurk, review of Steinunn Sigurðardóttir, Gæðakonur: skáldsaga [Women of quality: a novel] (Reykjavík, 2014], CoScan Magazine 2020/1, pp. 19–21.
  • Rory McTurk, review of Massimiliano Bampi, Carolyne Larrington, and Sif Rikhardsdottir, eds, A Critical Companion to Old Norse Literary Genre (Cambridge 2020), Scandinavica. An international journal of Scandinavian studies, 59, no. 2 (Issue Reviews 2020)
  • Rory McTurk, review of Jürg Glauser, Pernille Hermann, Stephen A. Mitchell, eds, Handbook of Pre-Modern Nordic Memory Studies. Interdisciplinary approaches (Berlin and Boston, Mass., 2018), 2 vols, Scandinavica. An international journal of Scandinavian studies, 59, no. 2 (Issue Reviews 2020)
  • Rory McTurk, review of Carl Phelpstead, An introduction to the sagas of Icelanders (Gainesville, Fla., 2020), CoScan Magazine 2021/1, pp. 24–26.

Research interests

I have research interests in Old and Modern Icelandic language and literature, Old and Middle English language and literature, Irish (Gaelic) language and literature, Old Norse mythology, Viking history, and literary theory.                                                                

In addition to my two authored books, Studies in Ragnars saga loðbrókar and its major Scandinavian analogues (Oxford, 1991), and Chaucer and the Norse and Celtic worlds (Aldershot, 2005), I edited while in post at Leeds the Blackwell Companion to Old Norse-Icelandic literature and culture (Oxford, 2005). Since retiring from teaching in 2007 I have published translations from Modern Icelandic of three book-length narrative poems and a novel, and editions and translations of Old Norse poetry related to the Icelandic Ragnars saga, the subject of my book of 1991. I continue to publish numerous articles and book reviews reflecting in one way or another my research interests as listed above.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>