Archive for March, 2009

Visiting Scholar in Old Norse Studies at the University of New Mexico

A message from Helen Damico, via the Old Norse Net mailing-list:

Visiting Scholar in Old Norse Studies for Spring 2010

The Department of English and The Institute for Medieval Studies at the University of New Mexico have sponsored an annual stipend for a visiting Scholar in Medieval Scandinavian Studies for some years.

The Visiting Scholar in Medieval Scandinavian Studies is open to scholars who have published in Old Norse language and literature. The position carries with it visiting scholar status at the University of New Mexico and a stipend of $10,000. The successful candidate will teach a class in Scandinavian Mythology. We are seeking candidates for this position for Spring 2010. Please reply by May 1, 2009.

Those interested may apply to:

Professor Helen Damico

UNM Presidential Teaching Fellow

Director, Medieval Graduate Studies in English
Department of English Language and Literature

MSC 03 2170
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-000l


Old Norse Texts Online

Some time ago I announced our plans to ‘publish a directory of all Old Norse texts available on the Web’. It’s fair to say that this has taken longer to accomplish than I thought it would. But anyway, this list is now available at our new site:

At present, it simply takes the form of an alphabetical list of texts, drawn from the Dictionary of Old Norse Prose, with links to all the online editions and translations that I’ve found of each. At some point in the future, I hope to convert this data into a properly searchable format. It excludes poetry, pretty much all of which is available at the Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages project website.

The list will grow over time; at present I can’t pretend it’s anything like comprehensive, but I hope people will find it useful to have a one-stop central location to help them find the texts and translations they need to consult.

Do let me know what you think … all suggestions gratefully received. And, of course, I’ll be particularly pleased to hear about any online texts that are currently missing from the directory.

Norse and Newsworthy

A couple of quick links to recent Norse-related stories from the international press:

1. The Vikings: it wasn’t all raping and pillaging
From The Independent (UK) — quite a long feature in connection with last weekend’s Cambridge conference ‘Between The Islands’ (which I hear was a great success). The Vikings: Raiders or Traders? issue is revisited.

[Update: The Cambridge publicity machine was obviously in full swing over this conference. Medieval News also notes pieces on the conference in The TelegraphRampaging hordes — or darlings of the Dark Ages? — and The AustralianHistorical rethink portrays Vikings as model migrants.]

2. Review of Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America (2007)
From The New York Times — A review of an intriguing-sounding new independent film about the Norse presence in America: featuring dialogue in Old Norse, no less! It hasn’t been widely released yet, but if any North American readers get a chance to see it, Old Norse News would love to do a review.

Medieval Scandinavia at SASS and the Medieval Academy

Part II of our series of summer 2009 Conference Previews.

It didn’t take very long to find the Scandinavian content in the programme for the 2009 Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America, which will be in Chicago from 26-29 March. It looks like there’s just one paper:

16.15 on Friday: Marianne Kalinke, ‘The Arthurian Legend in Breta sögur: Historiography on the Cusp of Romance’

The Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Studies’ meeting in Madison, Wisconsin (30 April-2 May) unsurprisingly has a stronger medieval Scandinavian component. It looks like being a strong strand in the programme this year: Read more »

Learn Old Norse — The Alaric Way

Alaric Hall, the benefactor to society whose ‘Magic Sheet‘ of Old Norse paradigms has been one of the most popular links on Old Norse News, wrote a while back to advertise some more teaching materials that he’s put on line for the benefit of beginners in Old Norse language. Most excitingly, you can watch videos of Alaric explaining the Magic Sheet in person! There are also some texts to read, and some lectures on the cultural background to the subject. Enjoy!

Scandinavian Studies at Kalamazoo 2009

The arrival of the programmes for the big summer conferences is one of the surest signs that spring is upon us. As a service to you, the reader, Old Norse News brings you a summary digest of the Scandinavian-interest sessions and papers at the biggest of them all: the International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo, Michigan (7-9 May). We’ll follow this up by looking at the Medieval Academy, SASS, and Leeds over the coming weeks.

It looks like being a fairly good year: I count ten sessions devoted solely to the Norse world, and a total of 49 papers on Scandinavian topics. It’s still perhaps not enough, considering that there are over 1500 papers delivered each year at Kalamazoo, but it’s a healthy number. Also encouraging is the interesting spread of sub-disciplines between the papers. Literature predominates, but people are talking about an interesting range of texts, including some less commonly studied ones: the session on biskupa sögur and the two papers on Tristans saga stand out, for example. There isn’t, however, very much on poetry this year. As usual, medieval Scandinavian history — even the Vikings — is a bit thin on the ground, although the titles of the individual history papers sound very interesting. It’s a shame there aren’t any sessions devoted entirely to Scandinavian history, though. There’s also a sprinkling of archaeology, and even some linguistic topics. It also looks as there are none of the major clashes between Norse sessions that annoyed some of us so much last year.

Alas, I can’t make it to Kalamazoo this year, but I shall be trying to persuade people to update Old Norse News  on what’s going on. In the meantime, there follows the digest of Scandinavian Studies sessions and papers at Kalamazoo this year; you’ll see that it will almost be possible to go to every session of the conference and only to hear papers on Scandinavia! Apologies if I’ve missed anything out. Read more »

Two Edda Commentaries

Quite a lot of interesting new publications seem to be in the offing at the moment. Katja Schultz sends details of volume 6 of the Frankfurt Edda Commentary–unquestionably one of the most important and useful projects in the field in recent years, which together with volumes 4-5 covers the eddic heroic poems:

Klaus von See, Beatrice La Farge, Eve Picard, Katja Schulz und Matthias Teichert, Kommentar zu den Liedern der Edda. Bd. 6: Heldenlieder (Brot af Sigurðarkviðo, Guðrúnarkviða I, Sigurðarkviða in skamma, Dráp Niflunga, Helreið Brynhildar, Guðrúnarkviða II, Guðrúnarkviða III, Oddrúnar­grátr, Strophenbruchstücke aus der Völsunga saga) Read more »

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