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Personal profile

Education information

I earned my PhD in Scandinavian Studies from University College London in 2009. I graduated with a Cand.Mag. degree in Danish from the University of Copenhagen in 2005, following my B.A. in Danish and Russian in 2002. I graduated with a B.Ed. degree from Iceland University of Education (now Faculty of Education at the University of Iceland), with Danish and Mathematics as main subjects in 1997.

Description of research and teaching

My research has mostly focused on the literary relationship between Denmark and Iceland, early book production in Denmark and the continuing manuscript culture in Iceland in the 16th–20th centuries. I have studied the transmission of medieval literature into Danish and Icelandic and its subsequent development in early printed editions and post-medieval manuscripts (>1930s). My Cand.Mag. dissertation focused on Icelandic and Danish versions of the Patient Griselda story, while my PhD thesis examined the transmission and development of two further stories about ‘patient women’ in Icelandic and Danish, derived from La Belle Hèléne de Constantinople and story 3.9 in the Decameron (‘Giletta of Narbon’), respectively.

At the University of Helsinki I offer 4 courses on modern Icelandic language, as well as courses on Old and Modern Icelandic literature and culture. I also teach a course on how to teach literature for prospective teachers.

Curriculum vitae



Dr Reynir Þór (Thor) Eggertsson


20 November 1972, Reykjavík, Iceland


University Lecturer in Icelandic Language and Literature, University of Helsinki.


Ph.D., Scandinavian Studies, University College London, with a grant from RANNIS (The Icelandic Centre for Research). Programme started 1 April 2005. Degree awarded 28 November 2009, graduation 10 September 2010.

Cand.Mag. Danish, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Programme started 1 February 2002. Degree Awarded 17 March 2005.

B.A. in Danish and Russian, University of Copenhagen. Programme started 1 September 2000. Degree awarded in July 2002. Some merits transferred from previous studies at University of Iceland (1992–1993, 1999–2000) and University of Copenhagen (1993–1994).

B.Ed. in Teaching, Iceland University of Education, Reykjavík. Main subjects Danish, Mathematics and (partly) Icelandic. Programme started 1 September 1994. Degree awarded 7 June 1997.

Stúdentspróf (university immatriculation exam), from Menntaskólinn í Reykjavik (Junior College), Ancient Language Line. Programme started 1 September 1988. Graduation 28 May 1992.

I have participated in various courses for research students, teachers and union leaders, for instance, on negotiation techniques and the Administrative Procedures Act; most recently, two courses at Harvard Law School; Negotiation and Leadership, 11–13 April 2016, and Bargaining with the Devil, 14 April 2016.


During 2017 I worked free-lance as a curator of an exhibition of Icelandic record covers for the Iceland Museum of Design and Applied Art, October 2017 - March 2018.

Head of the Icelandic Department at Menntaskólinn í Kópavogi (MK, Kópavogur Institute of Education, http://mk.is/index.php/english), a junior college/high school in Kópavogur municipality, Iceland. H.o.D. since 1 August 2016. Permanent position as Icelandic and Danish Teacher since 1 August 2011, temporary position 1 August 2009–2010. Taught subjects: Danish, Icelandic and English, languages and literatures.

Negotiation Specialist, 50% position January–June 2015 and hourly paid since June 2014, The Icelandic Teachers’ Trade Union.

University Lecturer, Icelandic language and literature for foreigners, including Nordkurs, hourly paid, 9 months, 2012–2017, University of Iceland.

Two-time Organiser of a biennial course for teachers of Danish in Icelandic high schools, on behalf of the Icelandic Association of Danish Teachers, held in Denmark in June 2016 and August 2014.

Icelandic Teacher at annual weekend courses on spoken Icelandic for “Nordjobbers”, on behalf of the Nordic Society in Iceland, Norræna félagið, 2014–2017.

Proof reader, part-time, Danish translation of the website Handritin heima (http://handritinheima.is/dk/, The Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies, University of Iceland, 2014 and 2012.

University Lecturer (Teaching Fellow), Modern Icelandic, SELCS, University College London, full time 2010–2011, part-time along with PhD-studies 2006–2009.

Research Assistant, part-time, University of Newcastle, proof-reading readings of manuscript versions of Skaldic stanzas (http://skaldic.arts.usyd.edu.au/db.php), 2008–2010.

Modern Icelandic Teacher, UCL Language Centre, part-time, 2008–2009.

Modern Icelandic teacher, Communicaid, London, part-time, 3 months 2008.

Student Research Assistant, Department of Scandinavian Research, University of Copenhagen, part-time, 2002–2005.

Temporary manager, Institute of Linguistics, University of Iceland, Summer 2001.

Temporary positition at Námsmatsstofnun, marking the PISA-survey, Summer 2000.

School teacher, Húsaskóli, Reykjavik. Main subjects Danish and Icelandic, 1998–2000.

School teacher, Laugalækjarskóli, Reykjavík. Main subjects Mathematics, Sciences and Danish, 1997–1998.


I have twice co-organised a biennial course in Denmark for teachers of Danish at Icelandic high schools, held in June 2016 and August 2014, respectively. In that work I have applied for and been awarded the following grants on behalf of the Icelandic Association of Danish Teachers:

-          Icelandic Ministry of Education and Culture, 2.500.000 ISK (2016), 3.000.000 ISK (2014)

-          RANNIS, Icelandic Centre for Research, 2.014.000 ISK (2016), 1.625.000 ISK (2014).

-          Dansk-Islandsk Fond, 30.000 DKK (both years).

Personally, I have been awarded the following grants and awards:

The Arnamagnæan State Stipend, at the Arnamagnæan Institute, University of Copenhagen. 3 months awarded for 2020, but used in  June, July and December 2022, DKK 75,000.

The Arnamagnæan Stipend, at the Arnamagnæan Institute, University of Copenhagen. A grant of 16,000 DKK, March 2006.

The RANNIS-grant, from the Icelandic Centre for Research. 1,600,000 ISK paid in monthly sums over 3 years, 2005–2008.

Danish Government Scholarship. A monthly stipend of 5,000 DKK for 4.5 months, 2003–2004.

A grant of 7,500 DKK from Svend Grundtvigs & Axel Olriks fond, Institute of Nordic Philology, University of Copenhagen, November 2003.

The A.P. Moller fond for Icelandic students in Copenhagen. A 20,000 DKK grant, April 2002.

Nýsköpunarsjóður námsmanna, Iceland. A 280,000 ISK project grant, along with Jóna Björk Sigurjónsdóttir. Also sponsored by Samtokin 78, the Gay and Lesbian Organisation in Iceland, June–July 1997.

Prize for the best B.Ed.-dissertation, co-written with Jóna Björk Sigurjónsdóttir, at graduation from Iceland University of Education, 7 June 1997. Dissertation later published.

Nordplus exchange program, A 21,000 DKK exchange grant as a guest student at University of Copenhagen, 1992–1993.

Prizes for best results in Latin and Mathematics at graduation from Menntaskolinn i Reykjavik (Junior College), 28 May 1992.


Editor of Málfríður, a biannual journal for teachers of foreign languages in Iceland, published by STÍL, the Association of Icelandic Teachers of Foreign Languages, since autumn 2015.


Board Member, Félag dönskukennara (Association of Danish Teachers in Iceland), since 2016.

Board Member, Félag íslenskra fræða (Association for Icelandic Studies), 2012–2015.


I am currently supervising two doctoral students, as well as the responsible academic for the third, here at the University of Helsinki. As Teaching Fellow at UCL, I part-time supervised two MA-students, during Dr Haki Antonsson’s sabbatical, spring term 2010.


A member of the organising team for the 18th International Saga Conference: Sagas and the Circum-Baltic Arena, Helsinki and Tallinn, 7–14 August 2022.

I organised a two-part symposium on the Icelandic sagas and gender, Sagalitteraturen i genusperspektiv, sponsored by SNU and Letterstedtska föreningen, 26 November 2021 and 21 November 2022. In the first part I gave the paper 'Når en kvinde mister sit navn: Boccaccios Giletta af Narbon bliver til Bertrams saga greifa.'

Secretary of the executive board of Félag framhaldsskólakennara (the Association of Icelandic High School teachers), a part of the Icelandic Teachers’ Trade Union, since March 2014. I resigned due to career change on 1 August 2017.

‘Rakið upp og stoppað í göt. Af lausnum íslenskra handritaskrifara, rímnaskálda og þýðenda við ýmsum vanda.’ Lecture on manuscript scribes, ‘rímur’ poets and translators, for Félag íslenskra fræða (Association of Icelandic Studies), 17 October 2012.

‘A Medieval Lady in a Post-Medieval Era – The Development of the Religious Aspects of “Helena the One-Handed” in its Transmission to Denmark and Iceland.’ Paper given at the 15th International Saga Conference, Sagas and the Use of the Past, in Aarhus, Denmark, 5–11 August 2012.

‘Helena einhenta og Giletta nafnlausa — Hvernig missa persónur nöfn, hendur og fleira í gömlum bókum.’ Workshop on Icelandic manuscripts, Rannsóknarsetur Háskóla Íslands, Skagaströnd, 8 October 2011.

‘Speeding Up the Slowest Game of Chinese Whispers: The Medieval Manuscript Tradition in 50 Minutes.’ Rush Hour Lecture, UCL, 15 April 2011.

‘Secrets of the Ash.’ Main organiser and host of a Nordic Noir evening on crime fiction, UCL, with special guest Yrsa Sigurðardóttir. 17 March 2011.

‘The Beautiful Helena: A Journey from France to Iceland.’ Pecha-kucha presentation at Blue Socks evening, UCL, 20 January 2011.

‘Sex in the Sagas.’ Stand-up comedy on sex in medieval literature at Bright Club, The Thinking Person’s Variety Night, ‘Lust’, Wilmington Arms Pub, London, May 2009.

The Griselda Story: The Transformation from ‘the Patient Griselda’to ‘Gríshildur the Good’ in the Icelandic Tradition.’ Paper given at the 13th International Saga Conference, The fantastic in Old Norse/Icelandic Literature: Sagas and the British Isles, in Durham & York, 6–12 August 2006.

‘ “If I Could Die for You, My Young Blood!”: The Portrayal of the Heroine's Emotions in the Icelandic Versions of the Griselda Story.’ Paper given at the International Medieval Congress in Leeds, 13 July 2006.

‘De islandske fortællinger om Gríshildur den gode.’ Lecture given at the University of Copenhagen, 23 February 2005.

Chairman of FÍSK, the Icelandic Students’ Organisation in Copenhagen, 2000–2003.

Vice Chairman (1996/1998) and Board member (1995/1996) of BN (Students’ Building Society), 1995–1998.

Vice Chairman (1996/1997) and Secretary (1995/1996) of BÍSN (an organisation of Icelandic students), 1995–1997.

Chairman of the Student Union and member of the Executive Board of the Iceland University of Education, 1995–1996.

Fields of Science

  • 6121 Languages
  • 6122 Literature studies