Publications

NEW SERIES
MEMORY AND THE MEDIEVAL NORTH

Jürg Glauser, Pernille Hermann, Stephen A. Mitchell, and Lena Rohrbach (eds.)
De Gruyter
First volume forthcomming 2021
To read the flyer, please klick here: FLYER


Forthcoming

Simon Nygaard and Yoav Tirosh are in the process of editing some of the papers given at the sessions on Old Norse Studies and Collective Memory held at the IMC 2019 at Leeds University along with other constitutions in a thematic special issue of the journal Scandinavian-Canadian Studies / Études scandinaves au Canada on Old Norse Studies and Collective Memory slated for publication in 2021 as volume 28 of the journal. 


Published

Myth, Magic and Memory in Early Scandinavian Narrative Culture: Studies in Honour of Stephen A. Mitchell. Ed. by Jürg Glauser and Pernille Hermann, in collaboration with Stefan Brink and Joseph Harris. Turnhout: Brepols, 2021, 456 pp.

ABSTRACT: In this volume, several neighbouring disciplines, such as memory studies, literature, folklore studies, history of religion, medieval history, archaeology, oral history, and Old Norse studies intersect. The articles deal with similar questions and present illustrative case studies. Old Norse poems are analysed with regard to their mythological content; folktales, folklore, and other cultural phenomena are discussed with special foci on remembrance of the supernatural, witches, trolls, and others. One of the recurring questions is how we remember the past and how the past is created in memory.

Myth, magic, and memory have together formed important, and often intertwined, elements to recent studies in the narrative culture of Viking-Age and Medieval Scandinavica. Analytical approaches to myth (prominent in the fields of history of religion, archaeology, language, and literature, and central to studies of visual cultures up to modern times), magic (drawing on a wealth of Norse folkloric and supernatural material that derives from pre-modern times and continues to impact on recent practices of performance and ritual), and memory (the concept of how we remember and actively construe the past) together combine to shed light on how people perceived the world around them.

Taking the intersection between these diverse fields as its starting point, this volume draws together contributions from across a variety of disciplines to offer new insights into the importance of myth, magic, and memory in pre-modern Scandinavia. Covering a range of related topics, from supernatural beings to the importance of mythology in later national historiographies, the chapters gathered here are written to honour the work of Stephen A. Mitchell, professor of Scandinavian Studies and Folklore at Harvard University, whose research has heavily influenced this multi-faceted field.

CONTENTS: List of Illustrations 9; Stefan Brink, Jürg Glauser, Joseph Harris and Pernille Hermann, “Foreword” 13;
Part I. Myth and Legend — John Lindow, “Same Place, Different Time: Temporal Aspects of Imagined Landscapes in Some Northern Contexts” 19; Jens Peter Schjødt,”Jarl, Konr, and Óðinn in Rígsþula” 33; Carolyne Larrington and Judy Quinn, “‘I remember giants’: Mythological Remembering through Vǫluspá” 47; Joseph Harris, “On Rereading Oddrúnargrátr” 63; Lukas Rösli, “The Agency in Fǫr Scírnis — Subjects, Objects, and Différance. A Subversive Reading” 77; Richard Cole, “The Threat of Induced Desire in Skírnismál” 91;
Part II. Magic and Folklore — Maria Tatar, “Enchantments, Spells, and Curses: The Sorcery of Stories and the Magic in Them” 113; Merrill Kaplan, “Trolls in the Mill: The Supernatural Stakes of Waterpower” 129; Joseph Falaky Nagy, “A Prophylactic Pig, a Long-Lost Hunter, and the Recording of Oral Tradition” 145; Sarah Künzler, “A Male Cinderella and a Sea-Serpent’s Teeth: Scandinavian Echoes in an Orkney Folk-Tale” 159; Terry Gunnel, “Axe on the Water. A Unique Magical Ritual in Ljósvetningasaga” 175; Ane Ohrvik, “‘In the Name of the 7 fatherless devils…’: Pain, Fear, Anger and Revenge in Magical Practice” 185; Thomas A. Dubois, “Lessons in Magic: Making Use of Early Twentieth-Century Accounts of Magical Procedures in the Folklore Classroom” 201; Timothy R. Tangherlini, “A Conspiracy of Witches” 217;
Part III. Memory and Reception — Kate Heslop, “Metaphors for Forgetting and Forgetting as Metaphor in Old Norse Poetics” 237; Lena Rohrbach, “Olavifications. Spatial and Temporal Formations of Trondheim as a Memory Place” 255; Anne Bugge Amundsen, “The Middle Ages in the Construction of Nineteenth-Century Norway” 271; Agnes S. Arnórsdóttir, “History and Cultural Memory in the Icelandic Annals 1400–1800” 287; Shaun F. D. Hughes, “Assembling Memory: The Questionnaire of 1817 from Den kongelige Commission til Oldsagers Opbevaring and the Origins of Icelandic Romantic Nationalism” 301; Kimberley C. Patton, “The ‘Asgard’ Superphylum and Lokiarcheaota: Mythic Relapse in Evolutionary Biology” 321;
Part IV. Influence and Interaction — Stefan Brink, “OGu vergildi and Välde in Etelhem, Gotland” 339; Anders Andrén, “The Judensau in Uppsala” 351; Louise Nyholm Kallestrup, “The Devil is Awake. Pre-Reformation Church Murals in Post-Reformation Danish Churches” 371; Pernille Hermann, “A Female Job and a Witch. High and Low in Leonora Christina Ulfeldt’s Jammers minde” 389; Jürg Glauser “O’Brazile: The Short Textual Life of a Floating Island in Seventeenth-Century Scandinavian Book History” 409; Lars Lönnroth, “Geijer och Eddornas ‘sinnebildsspråk’” 431; List of Stephen A. Mitchell’s Selected Publications 441; Index 449

Minni and Muninn. Memory in Medival Nordic Culture. Ed. Pernille Hermann, Stephen A. Mitchell and Agnes S. Arnórsdóttir. Turnhout: Brepols, 2014, 254 pp.

ABSTRACT: Building on and applying the theoretical debates developed in Memory and Remembering: Past Awareness in the Medieval North, ed. Pernille Hermann and Stephen A. Mitchell, a special issue of Scandinavian Studies, 85:3 (2013), the articles in this volume deal with the vocabulary, concepts, and functions of memory in medieval Norse texts (e.g., sagas, myths, skaldic poems, laws, runic inscriptions, historiographical writings), with reference to international memory studies. Drawing on these emerging theoretical tools for studying—and conceptualizing—memory, the collection looks at new ways of understanding medieval cultures and such issues as transmission and media, preservation and storage, forgetting and erasure, and authenticity and falsity. Despite its interdisciplinary and comparative basis, the volume remains grounded in empirical studies of memory and memory-dependent issues as these took form in the Nordic world.

CONTENTS: Jürg Glauser, “Foreword” vii; Pernille Hermann, Stephen A. Mitchell, and Agnes S. Arnórsdóttir, “Introduction: Minni and Muninn — Memory in Medieval Nordic Culture” 1; Part I. Memory and Narration — Pernille Hermann, “Key Aspects of Memory and Remembering in Old Norse-Icelandic Literature” 13; John Lindow, “Memory and Old Norse Mythology” 41; Margaret Clunies Ross, “Authentication of Poetic Memory in Old Norse Skaldic Verse” 59; Kate Heslop, “Minni and the Rhetoric of Memory in Eddic, Skaldic, and Runic Texts” 75; Russell Poole, “Autobiographical Memory in Medieval Scandinavia and amongst the Kievan Rus’” 109; Part II. Memory and History — Rudolf Simek, “Memoria Normannica” 133; Stephen A. Mitchell, “The Mythologized Past: Memory in Medieval and Early Modern Gotland” 155; Gísli Sigurðsson, “Constructing a Past to Suit the Present: Sturla Þórðarson on Conflicts and Alliances with King Haraldr hárfagri” 175; Stefan Brink, “Minnunga mæn: The Usage of Old Knowledgeable Men in Legal Cases” 197; Agnes S. Arnórsdóttir, “Legal Culture and Historical Memory in Medieval and Early Modern Iceland” 211; Index 231

Memory and Remembering: Past Awareness in the Medieval North, Ed. Pernille Hermann and Stephen Mitchell. Special issue of Scandinavian Studies, 85:3, 2013, 149 pp.

ABSTRACT: The 2012 Radcliffe Seminar, “The Ambiguities of Memory Construction in Medieval Texts: The Nordic Case,” inspired a series of theoretically-oriented essays which appeared as Memory and Remembering: Past Awareness in the Medieval North. The authors of the essays in this special issue of Scandinavian Studies examine how a focus on memory, in combination with the various other methodologies and approaches that fill the intellectual kit bags of Scandinavian medievalists, alters our understanding of the Old Norse world and the cultural goods deriving from it. With a consideration of how Memory Studies can and should intersect with the diverse theories scholars use in cultural analysis, these essays examine memory’s crucial role in the construction of, and society’s preoccupation with, the past in the Nordic Middle Ages. Importantly, the discussions do not focus on problems of historicity, that is, what actually happened at some point in the past, but rather on how the past was constructed, valorized, recontextualized, re-enacted, and otherwise placed by each succeeding generation into a changed “contemporary” framework that gave the past meaning. With their focus on memory, the discussions in these essays challenge some of the most complicated debates in the study of the Nordic Middle Ages.

CONTENTS: Pernille Hermann and Stephen Mitchell, “Constructing the Past. Introductory Remarks,” 261-66; Anders Andrén, “Places, Monuments and Objects. The Past in Ancient Scandinavia,” 267-81; Stephen Mitchell, “Memory, Mediality, and the ‘Performative Turn’: Recontextualizing Remembering in Medieval Scandinavia,” 282-305; Thomas A. DuBois, “Ethnomemory: Ethnographic and Culture-Centered Approaches to the Study of Memory,” 306-31; Pernille Hermann, “Saga Literature, Cultural Memory and Storage,” 332-54; Bjørn Bandlien, “Hegemonic Memory, Counter-Memory and Struggles for Royal Power: The Rhetoric of the Past in the Age of King Sverrir Sigurðsson of Norway,” 355-77; Agnes S. Arnórsdóttir, “Cultural Memory and Gender in Iceland from Medieval to Early Modern Time,” 378-99; and Gísli Sigurðsson, “Past Awareness in Christian Environments: Source-Critical Ideas about Memories of the Pagan Past,” 400-10.