Spring has sprung and I am looking forward to our upcoming AASSC Conference in Calgary May 29 – June 2, 2016. Highlights include distinguished keynote speaker (and Grammy award nominee) James Leary, who will be presenting on “Finnish Contributions to North America’s Folksongs”. James Leary is an Emeritus Professor in Scandinavian Studies, Department of Scandinavian Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison. This year the AASSC will also host a joint session with the Canadian Society of Medievalists “The Cat Among the Pigeons: The Significance of Medieval Icelandic Saga Writing in an International Context” and a working lunch where we still discuss and exchange ideas within the topic of “Teaching Scandinavian Studies” in North America lead by John Eason (University of Alberta) and Erin McGuire (University of Victoria). A big thanks goes to programming chair Natalie van Deusen for putting together such an exciting program. I am also very thankful for CINS at the University of Alberta for once again supporting the costs to our keynote speaker and graduate students.
A brief update on the past year’s activities include transferring the AASSC archives to The University of Alberta in order to secure and preserve the history of our organization. We have also received the first essay submission for The AASSC Gurli Aagaard Woods Undergraduate Publication Award, and our journal “Scandinavian-Canadian Studies” is under way with a themed issue “Nordic Responses to the Holocaust and WWII” (Vol. 23). Volume 22 of the journal came out in 2015, including several articles on Nordic Crime Fiction and interviews with prominent Icelandic crime fictions writers Yrsa Sigurðardóttir and Arnaldur Indriðason. The articles from this volume are accessible online here: http://scancan.net/contents.htm?type=article
Our organization is in very good shape and I am looking forward to meeting all the conference participants in Calgary!
Mads Bunch, President AASSC.