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Jasmin Higgs

Languages and Literature, University of Nottingham

Thesis title:

Writing Runes: Determining Functional Variation in Early Runic Inscriptions

My research is interested in determining the functions of runic writing in the pre-Old English and early Old English runic corpus c.400-650AD. In particular, I am focused on adapting pragmaphilology, an approach from historical pragmatics, to fragmentary or small data sets. 

Research Area

  • Languages and Literature


Higgs, Jasmin (2017). 'Examine the value of place names as evidence for the history, landscape and,especially, language(s) of your chosen area: North Essex'. Innervate: Leading Undergraduate Work in English Studies 10, 79-90. 

Higgs, Jasmin. (forthcoming, 2021). 'Review: Anglo-Saxon Micro-texts (2019), eds. Lenker and Kornexl', TOEBI newsletter XXVIII


'The Function of Early Runic Inscriptions', New Voices in Medieval Studies: the Annual York CMS Postgraduate Conference, 27th June 2019. 

'Functions of the pre-Old English Runic Inscriptions', Medieval Research Centre Seminars, University of Leicester, 16th February 2021.

'Adapting pragmaphilology for runic data', Medieval Postgraduate Seminars, University of Nottingham, 25th Novemeber 2021.

Public Engagement & Impact

  • Object Handler (2017): object handler for the museum exhibit 'Vikings: Rediscover the Legend' (2017), where I developed basic skills in object handling and public engagement 
  • Curator (2019): curator for 'Vikings in the East Midlands: forming relationships, forging identities', where as part of a team I chose and researched the items for display; researched and wrote a catalogue and display pannels for each item; and physically installed the exhibit
  • Editor (2019- ongoing) I run www.earlyrunes.wordpress.com, a site aiming to make early runic inscriptions accessible to amateur linguists and historian, and I am also an Editor for the medieval postgraduate research blog 'The (Not So) Dark Ages'
  • Cataloguer/digitiser (2017- ongoing): I am a volunteer cataloguer and digitser in the archives and library of the National Justice Museum Nottingham as part of their Heritage Lottery Fund funded project 'Past & Present' 

Other Research Interests

  • historical linguistics, especially historical pragmatics
  • the history of orthography and writing systems
  • onomastics and place-names studies 
  • the use and appropriation of runes or rune-like symbols in folk horror films
  • Arthurian legend adaptions



2018 Alfred Oscroft Essay Prize.

2018-19 Christine Fell Award. 

2020-24 Midlands 4 Cities Funding. 

Training and further education.


2015-2018 BA (Hons) English, University of Nottingham - 1st Class

2018-2019 MA Viking & Anglo-Saxon Studies, University of Nottingham - Distinction 

2018 TQUK Level 5 Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (RQF), The TEFL Academy - Merit. 

Workshops, courses, etc. 

2021 Royal Literary Fund, 'Writing for First Years'

2021 Summer School in Languages and Linguistics, University of Leiden 

  • Historical linguistics 
  • Writing systems 

2021 The Language Hub, Nottingham 
  • Elementary German (A0)
  • Pre-Intermediate 1 German (A1)
  • Pre-Intermediate 2 German (A2)