Chris Abram

Professor, English
Fellow of the Medieval Institute

Professor, English
219 Decio Faculty Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556


Areas of study

  • Environmental
  • Medieval


Ph.D., University of Cambridge
M.Phil., University of Cambridge
B.A., University of Cambridge

Research and teaching interests

Old English Literature, Old Norse Literature, poetry, ecocriticism, mythology


Chris Abram's research brings early medieval literature from Great Britain and Scandinavia into conversation with contemporary discourses on religion, poetics, and the environment. He regularly teaches Old English and Old Norse language and literature, and has published on the sagas, skaldic poetry, Old English verse, Beowulf, and the transmission of homiletic texts around the North Sea cultural zone. Norse mythology is perhaps the most important area of focus in his work, both in its historical settings and its lingering and often surprising reverberations in modern art and life. He is currently working on a monograph that is tentatively entitled Experiments with Beowulf, in which he proposes a number of new "post-philological" reading strategies for the Old English poem.

Representative publications

Evergreen Ash: Ecology and Catastrophe in Old Norse Myth and Literature. Under the Sign of Nature Series. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2019.

Myths of the Pagan North: The Gods of the Norsemen. London: Continuum, 2011.

At Home in the Fens with the Grendelkin.” In Dating Beowulf: Studies in Intimacy, ed. Erica Weaver and Daniel Remein, 120–44. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2020.

Kennings and Things: Towards an Object-Oriented Skaldic Poetics.” In The Shapes of Early English Poetry, ed. Irina Dumitrescu and Erik Weiscott, 161–88. Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 2019.

Modeling Religious Experience in Old Norse Conversion Narratives: the Case of Óláfr Tryggvason and Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld.” Speculum 90 (2015): 114-57.