Senior Researcher

Benjamin Allport

University of Oslo
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Benjamin Allport (b. 1991) defended his PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2018. His thesis studied the regional communities of Norway from c. 900–1050 using both archaeological and literary sources. From 2019 to 2021 he was a research fellow based at the University of Bergen and supported by the Leverhulme Trust. His project applied Social Network Analysis to Hákonar saga Hákonarsonar, an important narrative source for thirteenth-century Norwegian history, as a means of exploring the social structure depicted by the saga author.
Ben’s primary research interest is the creation and depiction of communities in medieval narrative sources, focusing on Iceland, Norway and Anglo-Saxon England. In particular, he examines the ways in which various members of the medieval elite drew upon and encouraged the concept of community as a means to legitimise their own positions in society. He is also interested in medieval literary networks and the spread and of exchange of motifs in the depiction of community. In addition, he is involved with the Borgund Kaupang Project, to which he contributes a historical perspective exploring the role of the medieval Møre community.
His recent publications include:
• ‘Home Thoughts of Abroad: Ohthere’s Voyage in its Anglo-Saxon Context’, Early Medieval Europe 28.2 (2020), pp. 256–88, for which he won the EME First Publication Prize
• ‘Norwegian or Northern: The Construction and Mythography of Háleygr Identity, c. 800–1050’, in S. Figenschow and M. Tveit (eds), Myth and Magic in the Medieval High North (Turnhout: Brepols, 2020), pp. 197–214
• ‘Unearthing St Edmund: A Source for Edmund’s Martyrdom in Íslendingabók’, Gripla 32 (2021), pp. 57–72
• ‘A Family Reunion: Hversu Noregr byggðist and the First Chapter of the Flateyjarbók Ættartölur as a Textual Unity’, Maal og Minne 113.2 (2021), pp. 45–73