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 »