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portrait of Dr Jessica Hancock

Dr Jessica Hancock

Lecturer Educational Development

Learning Enhancement and Development

Contact Information


Visit Jessica Hancock

B315, University Building

Postal Address

City, University of London
Northampton Square
United Kingdom



My education research interests include: identity, compassion and emotion, particularly in relation to students, academics and PhD students who teach; academic writing and identities in writing. I am a member of the working group for Learn Higher:

My background is in literature, especially Old Norse literature and medievalism. My research interests in literature include identity (especially gender) and re-writings. My doctoral research examined gender identity in re-writings of the medieval Scandinavian Völsung legend (also the inspiration for Wagner's Ring Cycle operas). The texts analysed in my thesis included The Poetic Edda, Völsunga saga, William Morris' The Story of Sigurd the Volsung and the Fall of the Niblungs, J. R. R. Tolkien's The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún and Melvin Burgess' young-adult novels Bloodtide and Bloodsong.

My forthcoming book, co-edited with Gareth Lloyd Evans, Old Norse Masculinities, is a volume of essays which is the first to focus on masculinities in Old Norse-Icelandic literature to produce a broad and multifaceted understanding of what it means to be masculine in Old Norse-Icelandic texts. The book’s investigation of how masculinities are constructed and challenged within a unique literature is all the more vital in the current climate, in which Old Norse sources are weaponised to support far-right agendas and racist ideologies are intertwined with images of vikings as hypermasculine. The volume counters these troubling narratives of masculinity through explorations of Old Norse literature that demonstrate how masculinity is formed, how it is linked to violence and vulnerability, how it governs men’s relationships, and how toxic models of masculinity may be challenged.


  1. DPhil, University of Oxford, UK
  2. MA, Cardiff University, United Kingdom
  3. BA English literature, Cardiff University, United Kingdom
  4. PGCert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, Glasgow Caledonian University



  1. Hancock, J.C. (2019). Who’s Afraid of an Electric Torch? Reimagining Gender and the Viking World in Contemporary Picturebooks. The Vikings Reimagined Reception, Recovery, Engagement ISBN 978-1-5015-1815-7.

Conference papers and proceedings (31)

  1. Hancock, J.C. Compassionate identities through student play: creative approaches to contesting the harms of HE. Playful Learning 2019.
  2. Hancock, J.C. GTAs and compassion as a professional behaviour. GTA Developers' Forum 2019.
  3. Hancock, J.C. Compassion, identity and training for PhD students who teach. SEDA Spring conference 2019.
  4. Hancock, J.C. Standing on Top to Watch Over: Identity and Postgraduate Student Transitions to Good Academic Practice. European Educational Research Association 2018.
  5. Hancock, J.C. Good academic practice: a student identities approach. ALDinHE 2018: The Learning Development Conference.
  6. Hancock, J.C. 'It Engraves in Your Head Better’: International Students, Academics and Critical Writing. Association of Learning Development in Higher Education: April 2017.
  7. Hancock, J.C., Marciniak, R. and Peschken, T. Enhancing the Student Experience of Culturally Diverse Groups. Higher Education Institutional Research conference, Robert Gordon University: September 2017.
  8. Hancock, J.C. ‘Professor Please Read and Tell Me What I Should Be Doing?’: How International Students Navigate the Requirement to Write Critically. European Association for Teaching Academic Writing, Royal Holloway University, June 2017.
  9. Hancock, J.C. ‘Widen My Horizon’ or a ‘Bitter Experience’?: Group Writing and Cultural Diversity. Writing Development in HE Biennial Conference, Plymouth University: June 2016.
  10. Hancock, J.C., Marciniak, R. and Peschken, T. An Exploration of Group Work and Peer Assessment: A Case Study of Culturally Diverse Groups. CABS Learning, Teaching and Student Experience Conference, Aston University, April 2016.
  11. Hancock, J.C. ‘Share the Good Way for Learning’: International Students’ Social Interpretation of the Learning Experience. Annual conference of the Association of Learning Development in Higher Education [ALDinHE], Heriot Watt University: March 2016.
  12. Hancock, J.C. and Fernandes, M. Towards a Stronger Partnership: Working with Students with BTEC Entry Qualifications in HE. ALDinHE annual conference, Solent University: March 2015.
  13. Hancock, J.C. You Can’t Always Do What You Want: The Practicalities of Non-subject-specific Academic Support. ALDinHE annual conference, University of Huddersfield: March 2014.
  14. Hancock, J.C. Helga, it was really nothing: gender and illicit love in the skáldasögur. 17th International Saga Conference 2018.
  15. Hancock, J.C. ‘Hjarta Högna, bróður míns, blóðugt’: Male Familial Relationships in the Poetic Edda and Völsunga saga. International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds: July 2017.
  16. Hancock, J.C. Girls and Boys: Gendered Re-imaginings of the Norse World in Children’s Literature. Rediscovering the Vikings, University of Cork: November 2016.
  17. Hancock, J.C. How to Mechanise Your Dragon: Technology in Rewritings of the Völsung Legend. Viking Society Annual Conference, University of Birmingham: February 2016.
  18. Hancock, J.C. Gender and the Supernatural in Snorri’s Völsung Legend. Colsonoel, University of Oxford, May 2014.
  19. Hancock, J.C. The Male Body and Performance in William Morris’ Sigurd the Volsung. London 19th Century Conference, UCL: 2014.
  20. Hancock, J.C. ‘But You Are a Girl’: Gender and Technology in Melvin Burgess’ Bloodtide and Bloodsong. The Middle Ages in the Modern World, University of St Andrews: June 2013.
  21. Hancock, J.C. ‘A Saddlebag Full of Science’: Technologies of Identity in Melvin Burgess’ Bloodtide. Child and the Book 2013, University of Padua, Italy: March 2013.
  22. Hancock, J.C. “Valði hon þeim stórar brynjur”: Ideologies of Femininity in Völsunga saga. Student Symposium, Aarhus University, Denmark: March 2013.
  23. Hancock, J.C. No longer ‘as little as a leaf’: Völsunga saga’s alternative construction of Guðrún. CCASNC, University of Cambridge, February 2013.
  24. Hancock, J.C. ‘Ekki fellr oss þat ór minni’: Völsunga saga as a Memory of the Heroic Poetic Edda. International Saga Conference, Aarhus University, Denmark: August 2012.
  25. Hancock, J.C. The Poetic Edda Transformed: Shape-shifting in Völsunga saga. MEMSA, University of Durham: July 2012.
  26. Hancock, J.C. Traumatic Identities in Sigurd the Volsung. Narratives of Victorian and Neo-Victorian Trauma, University of Portsmouth: June 2012.
  27. Hancock, J.C. Poetics and Performance: Morris’ Politics of Identity in Sigurd the Volsung. English Faculty Graduate Conference, University of Oxford: June 2012.
  28. Hancock, J.C. ‘Sigurðr Norðan’: Echoes of the Volsung Legends in the Fornaldarsögur. ONORS, University of Oxford: May 2012.
  29. Hancock, J.C. The Courtly Dragon-Slayer: Heroic and Chivalric Masculinities in Völsunga saga. Interactions and Identity, University of Southampton: March 2012.
  30. Hancock, J.C. ‘Ónýtom orðom at bregða’: Insults and Identity in the Heroic Poetic Edda. COLSONOEL, University of Oxford: May 2011.
  31. Hancock, J.C. Performing Marriage: the Legends of the Virgin Spouses in Ælfric’s Lives of Saints. Medieval Symposium, University of Cardiff: June 2009.

Journal article

  1. Hancock, J.C. (2018). Engaging With Liminalities and Combating Toxicity: A Compassionate Approach to Developing Professional Identities for
    PhD Students Who Teach.
    Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, 6(3), pp. 66–74. doi:10.14297/jpaap.v6i3.380.


  1. Hancock, J.C. Beyond sorrow and swords: gender in the Old Norse Völsung legend and its British rewritings. (PhD Thesis)