Kayla Kemhadjian


After graduating Magna Cum Laude in English at California State University Long Beach (2017), I went on to complete my Masters at the University of Nottingham (2018) with funding from the USA Masters Scholarship. I subsequently began my PhD at the University of Leeds. 

I am a member of MEARCSTAPA (Monsters: The Experimental Association For The Research Of Cryptozoology Through Scholarly Theory And Practical Application) and the Network for the Study of Glossing. 

My conference activities include: 

Organising a session panel entitled Monsters and Mental Health for the 2019 Leeds IMC. (July 1-4th 2019).

Fionda Niosian: Deconstructing the Old English Fiend” for Words, Origins, and Traditions in Earlier Medieval English Texts at the 2018 Leeds IMC. (July 2-5th 2018).

“Rethinking mdsefa: Comitatus-Related PTSD in Old English Heroic Narratives” for Getting Down with Anglo-Saxons: Depression and Related Conditions before the Conquest at the 2018 IMC Kalamazoo. (May 10th -13th 2018).

“In the Eyes of God: Acceptable Versus Unacceptable Incest in Medieval Nordic Conversion Narratives” for the 2018 Aarhus Student Symposium. (April 25th - 26th 2018). 

“Perceiving the ‘Monstrous’ in The Nowell Codex” for the Cambridge Colloquium in 2018. (February 10th 2018). 

“Wulfas to Geferan: Community in Wulf and Eadwacer.” EGSA ReInventions 2017 conference. Long Beach, CA. (April 7th 2017). 

Research interests

I am primarily interested in the history of emotions and mental health in early medieval England. Intersections between negative mental states or conditions and the supernatural are another point of interest, given that medicine and health sat at a nexus between magic, religion, and science. I completed my masters dissertation at the University of Nottingham on Fiend Theory: Reading the Monstrous in the Nowell Codex, which focused on the cognitive and linguistic framework for the Old English concept of the monster. Drawing on that literary and linguistic methodlogy, I am interested in the ways in which Old English words and phrases highlight specific temporal, geographic, and cultural constructions and understandings of other abstract concepts, such as states of mind. 


  • MA in Viking and Anglo-Saxon Studies at the University of Nottingham
  • BA in English, Creative Writing with a minor in Film at California State University Long Beach