Molly Jacobs is interested in the interaction of literature, culture, and identity in the Middle Ages, in particular the transmission and adaptation of texts and ideas between Scandinavia and Christian Europe. Her dissertation, “’A Most Splendid Tree’: Hákon Hákonarson and the Norwegian Royal Court as a Site of Literary Production,” examined the development of the concept of the royal court in native and translated literature during a crucial period of Norwegian state formation. Other research has dealt with vision and the senses, gender, female sanctity, and representations of Vikings in modern media. Her current project looks at Marian devotion and theology in Iceland, particularly as expressed through skaldic poetry.
Jacobs has taught the upper-division Viking and Medieval Scandinavia course at Berkeley, as well as composition courses on a variety of topics, including heroic and legendary literature, medieval romance in Scandinavia, outlaws in Old Norse and Middle English literature, and fantastic voyages in texts spanning the medieval through contemporary periods.