Archive for September, 2009

Survey: Where’d you learn Old Norse that way?

The new academic year is kicking into gear now, and that means that all around the world a gratifying number of brand new students will be opening Old Norse textbooks for the first time, and getting stuck into the declensions. As ever, I’m feeling nervous about the prospect of facing an unknown class, full of people with radically different expectations and levels of experience–particularly in language-learning. I usually am very lucky with my classes, but I’m in the (probably very unusual position) of teaching in a department where Norse is a compulsory first-year course, so I always have some students who would rather be doing something else and for whom learning a dead language is difficult, boring, and superficially pointless. Not many, but one or two. Read more »

Aberdeen, UK: Myth and Theory in the Old Norse World

October 22, 2009toOctober 23, 2009

Myth and Theory in the Old Norse World

A conference at the University of Aberdeen, UK.

Further Details and Programme

Myth and Theory in the Old Norse World

News of another exciting conference, this time at the University of Aberdeen:

22-23 October 2009

Myth and Theory in the Old Norse World

Background to the Conference (from the conference website)

In 2005 Scandinavian scholars assembled in Aarhus, Denmark to discuss progress in the study of Old Norse mythology.  The reason for this gathering was a fresh interest in this field (and in particular in the reassessment of its theoretical-methodological foundations), which has recently resulted in new research projects, PhD theses and academic articles.  This has generated a new fascination for the topic amongst the general public, leading to several museum exhibitions and newspaper articles.  All this has taken scholars by surprise.  In response, leading academics have decided to meet and discuss methodological foundations, sources and current issutes in the field of Old Norse mythology at an annual conference.  The aim is to construct a new theoretical foundation for future study, through discussion of a vital aspect of Early Scandinavian culture, history and religion:  namely our pagan mythology.

In 2008 it was decided that the 2009 conference should take place in Aberdeen, organised by the Centre for Scandinavian Studies (  The theme for this conference in Aberdeen is Myth and Theory in the Old Norse World, with contributions from Literary Historians, Linguists, Historians, Historians of Religions, Archaeologists and Ethnologists.

Participant speakers will reassess and qualify current scholarly opinion, and papers are expected to provoke lively debate.  Speakers will include many leading international scholars as can bee seen in the programme.

It looks like another excellent conference in a series that has already produced some highly stimulating results.  Speakers will include Robert Segal, Margaret Clunies Ross, John Lindow, Terry Gunnell, Rudolf Simek, and many more…