Matthew Roby

Matthew H. Roby is a certified high school teacher from Gananoque, Ontario in Canada. His graduate work at Oxford focuses on medieval literature, specifically depictions of the monstrous, fantastical, and supernatural in Old Norse-Icelandic texts.

Before coming to Oxford, Matthew studied at Queen’s University in Canada, acquiring both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education degrees. He was awarded the Queen’s University Medal in English for achieving the highest average in the department.

He began his graduate studies at Oxford in 2014, reading for a Master of Studies in English (650-1550), for which he also received distinction and the highest average in his programme. His Master’s thesis focused on depictions of sexual assault in the Old Norse-Icelandic family sagas.

He began his D.Phil. in 2015, expanding the focus of his Master’s thesis to examine more broadly the norms and attitudes surrounding sexuality and gender in medieval Iceland, particularly as they are expressed in supernatural and monstrous depictions. This involves the symbolic analysis of saga episodes featuring – amongst other things – witches, revenants, shape-shifters, and uncanny meteorological phenomena.

His studies are funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and by Exeter College, Oxford.

About

Thesis Title: "Supernatural Sex: Exploring Sexual Deviance through Monstrous Depictions in Old Norse-Icelandic Literature" Supervisor: Heather O'Donoghue Programme: D.Phil. English Matthew Roby is a qualified high school teacher from Gananoque, Ontario in Canada. His graduate work at Oxford focuses on medieval literature, specifically the study of medieval depictions of the monstrous, fantastical, and supernatural in Old Norse-Icelandic texts. Before coming to Oxford, Matthew studied at Queen's University in Canada, acquiring both a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education, and being awarded the Queen's University Medal in English for achieving the highest average in the department. He began his graduate studies at Oxford in 2014, reading for a Master of Studies in English (650-1550), for which he also received distinction and the highest average in his programme. His Master's thesis focused on depictions of sexual violence and assault in the Old Norse-Icelandic family sagas. He began his D.Phil. in 2015, expanding the focus of his Master's thesis to examine more broadly the norms and attitudes surrounding sexuality and gender in medieval Iceland, particularly as they are expressed in supernatural and monstrous depictions. His recent work focuses on the intersections of sexuality and old age in both family sagas and legendary sagas.

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