Photo Credit: Eizoman


Wednesday, January 18   7:30 p.m.

The Army Officers’ Mess, 149 Somerset Street W. Ottawa (off Elgin St)

Céline Leduc, PhD.

Shamanism in the Icelandic Sagas: the case of seiðr

Scholars have long argued over the nature of seiðr, a set of rituals practised by the ancient Scandinavians at the time of the Vikings (9th to 11th centuries). Recent research shows that seiðr is clearly shamanic in nature.

Céline Leduc holds a Doctorate in Religious Studies from the University of Ottawa, where she currently teaches.  Her interests include Viking Age religions, contacts between the Vikings and the Saami, ritual studies and the anthropology of religion.


Information: https://www.facebook.com/canadiannordicsociety/events. or   (613) 733-1744

Ambassador Sigurjónsson will present a historical overview of Icelandic-Canadian relations over the past 1000 years, and will identify common interests of Iceland and Canada at the beginning of the 21st Century.

Everyone welcome

Admission: CNS Members; Friends of Iceland members – no charge: Non Members $5

Information: Tim Mark (613) 733-1744

“The Modern Reception of the Medieval Fóstbræðra saga”

The poetic soul has had to dwell, rather too long, within the conflict between medieval and modern times.
– Grímur Thomsen, “On the Character of the Old Northern Poetry.”

[T]he porous nature of the boundary between scholarly analysis and popular retelling should itself be leveraged as a source of understanding.
-Oren Falk, The Bare-Sarked Warrior.

The last three or four decades have seen considerable developments in the field of „medievalism studies?, a term which refers to the study of artistic responses to the Middle Ages. „Medievalism studies? is distinct from the more traditional field of „medieval studies?, which is concerned with the study of the cultures, histories, languages, and literatures of the European Middle Ages. However, although the former focuses on creative interpretations of medieval materials and the latter on scholarly interpretations, both are in some sense concerned with the reception of the products of medieval cultures. For example, in the nineteenth-century reception of Old Norse literature, contemporary scholarship and popular retellings often mirror one another?s concerns. Thus, it can sometimes be difficult to determine precisely where one ends and the other begins. When does scholarly engagement with a medieval text become imaginative interpretation? How do ideas such as nationalism, Romanticism, or even our ideas of what modernity itself is, affect our understanding of the saga heritage?

We invite titles and abstracts for a special themed section of Scandinavian-Canadian Studies, which will focus on the reception of Fóstbræðra saga (translated into English as The Saga of the Sworn Brothers). By discussing the saga itself alongside Halldór Laxness? modern retelling, Gerpla, it will combine papers in the field of „medieval studies? with others in „medievalism studies.? Thus, we invite for submission scholarly articles on any aspect of the reception of Fóstbræðra saga, including Gerpla and Laxness? engagement with the saga heritage more generally. We aim for the project to follow the publication of the first direct English-language translation of Gerpla: Philip Roughton?s Wayward Heroes, from Archipelago Books. How have modern scholars and authors approached the medieval Fóstbræðra saga? To what extent is it a satire? Which conventions of prose style, literary genre, and stock character type does it follow, and which does it reject? Is Laxness? retelling a simulation of a saga or a satire of a satire? How much imagination is involved in scholarly activities like editing or translating?

Please email titles/abstracts to Dustin Geeraert (Dustin.Geeraert@umanitoba.ca); the deadline has been extended to October 31, 2016. Full submissions are due by January 1, 2017. For more information about this special themed section, contact Dr. Geeraert (Guest Editor and Research Affiliate at the University of Manitoba Institute for the Humanities). For any other questions pertaining to the journal, contact Helga Thorson (helgat@uvic.ca), Editor of Scandinavian-Canadian Studies.

The special section emerges from a larger project entitled Medieval and Modern. Thus far, there have been two events (both held at the University of Manitoba: Medieval and Modern: An Interdisciplinary Symposium in March 2015, and Medieval and Modern II: Prophecies and Conjurations in March 2016) and a book publication is forthcoming. For more information about that project or if you are interested in contributing, write to the Medieval & Modern editors (Christopher Crocker, Dustin Geeraert, and Elizabeth-Anne Johnson) at medievalmoderneditors@gmail.com.

For information on Scandinavian-Canadian Studies, see The Association for the Advancement of Scandinavian Studies in Canada (http://aassc.com/category/journal/), or find the journal itself online at http://www.scancan.net/. For information on citation style and formatting, see Scandinavian-Canadian Studies? “Notes for Contributors” at http://www.scancan.net/pdf/notes_for_contributors.pdf. For information on Philip Roughton?s forthcoming translation of Gerpla, see Archipelago Books? web site at https://archipelagobooks.org/book/wayward-heroes/, and the web site Laxness in Translation at http://laxnessintranslation.blogspot.ca/2016/03/wayward-heroes.html.


Guest Editor: Marit Ann Barkve

Special Themed Section Title: Migration, Exile, and Diaspora in the Nordic Region

Special Themed Section Description:

Although migration to and from the Nordic region is no new phenomenon, recent waves of immigration to the Nordic region, particularly from non-Western nations, has dominated popular culture and political discourse, has been perceived of as an economic problem, and has been the subject of art and literature. This special themed section of Scandinavian-Canadian Studies seeks a variety of articles regarding migration, exile, and diaspora in the Nordic region. As the journal of Scandinavian-Canadian Studies is interdisciplinary, this special themed section is interested in a broad range of fields: literary studies, cultural studies, political science, sociology, linguistics, performance studies, fine art, translation studies, folklore, etc.

Please submit papers to Marit Ann Barkve (Barkve@wisc.edu), Guest Editor for this special themed section. For any other questions pertaining to the journal, contact Helga Thorson (helgat@uvic.ca), Editor of Scandinavian-Canadian Studies.


  • August 22, 2016 – Call for Papers
  • November 15, 2016 – Titles and Abstracts Due
  • January 1, 2017 – Submissions Due (Submissions go through Scandinavian-Canadian Studies’ standard double blind peer review process)

This might interest AASSC members in the Ottawa region:

Céline Leduc is giving a 40 min. lecture on the Aska pendant (in French) at the Museum of History next Thursday, and Gunnar Andersson from the Statens Historiska Museum of Stockholm will be there on April 14 to speak about new Viking-Age archaeological discoveries (in English).

Click for information in English and French.

Roger Greenwald’s Guarding the Air: Selected Poems of Gunnar Harding (Black Widow Press, 2014) has won the HAROLD MORTON LANDON TRANSLATION AWARD. Founded in 1976, this $1,000 prize recognizes a published translation of poetry from any language into English that demonstrates literary excellence. This year’s judge was Bill Johnston.

Roger Greenwald is the author of two books of poems: Slow Mountain Train (Tiger Bark Press, 2015) and Connecting Flight (Williams-Wallace, 1993). Greenwald has translated numerous books of poetry, most recently Guarding the Air: Selected Poems of Gunnar Harding (Black Widow Press, 2014) and Meditations on Georges de La Tour, by Paal-Helge Haugen (BookThug, 2013). He has also translated two novels from the Swedish. His honors include Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Literary Awards for poetry and travel literature and two National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowships. He lives in Toronto.

Judge Bill Johnston said of Roger Greenwald’s winning translation: “Roger Greenwald’s rendering of the selected poems of Swedish poet Gunnar Harding is an accomplishment to be relished by any reader and envied by any literary translator. Greenwald’s translations are superb. They read like what they are — magnificent poems in the English language. The freshness of imagery and turn of phrase are never accompanied by the awkwardness that so often marks poetry in translation — rather, they arise from the originality of the poet’s voice, which Greenwald has brilliantly captured in English.”

More information, sample poems, video, and ordering links can be found at: http://homes.chass.utoronto.ca/~roger/guarding.html

The Department of Art and Media Studies (Institutt for kunst- og medievitenskap) at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and Cinema Scandinavia invite proposals for presentations at its forthcoming two-day symposium on Arctic Cinema, to be held between the 21st and 22nd of November 2016 at The Faculty of Humanities, Trondheim, Norway.

Please send us your proposals to luis.antunes@ntnu.no and emma@cinemascandinavia.com, including the following details:

1. Name, institutional affiliation, and email address
2. Title and abstract, with at least three literature references
3. Brief biographical statement.

Please note: The deadline for proposals is midnight (GMT) 31st June, 2016. Please visit website for more details and information.


Film and literature scholars Anna Westerståhl Stenport (University of Illinois, USA) and Scott MacKenzie (Queen’s University, Canada) have recently authored and edited several publications where they bring forth an innovative and original concept of Arctic Cinema. In their work, they trace the historical context of Arctic Cinema and map down different cinematic approaches with the unifying element of the Arctic. Especially in their edited volumes entitled Films on Ice: Cinemas of the Arctic (Edinburgh University Press, 2014) and Arctic Environmental Modernities: From the Age of Polar Exploration to the Era of the Anthropocene (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016; Lill-Ann Körber, Scott MacKenzie & Anna W. Stenport, eds. ), but also in their co-authored chapter entitled “All That’s Frozen Melts Into Air – Arctic Cinemas at the End of the World”, the two scholars reveal fascinating connections between Nordic film and how the ecology of the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions have found expression in cinema through periods of history such as the Cold War period and also how the so called Arctic Cinema constitutes a cinematic imprint of the geography, climate and culture of the Nordic regions associated with Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Greenland.

This two-day symposium seeks to take advantage of this extremely timely topic of research. Our goal is to gather scholars with research interests connected to Nordic forms of cinema with the aim of promoting a discussion and presenting this idea of Arctic Cinema in relation to an ecologic ethnography of the Nordic regions. The Arctic has recently been subject of interest within scientific fields. It has not received the same degree of attention from film studies. This is, however, changing, as the works mentioned above show, and we believe it is imperative to include film studies in the academic discussions leading to a deeper understanding of the Arctic, since it is our conviction that film has a potential to make use of its aesthetic and experiential qualities to trace the identity of the Arctic in angles that can appeal to film scholars, anthropologists, literature scholars and other fields of cultural studies.

Taking on Stenport and MacKenzie’s work, we could say that Arctic Cinema gives expression to an eco-ethnography that represents, through different film genres and modes, how local and regional cultures but also geography and climate have been depicted by film and translated into film aesthetics. Some directors, such as Jan Troell and Knut Erik Jensen, have revealed the Arctic in captivating new ways, showing that the Arctic is not about snow and ice alone but about how local cultures relate to those sensory elements. Moreover, the Arctic has a history that is not exclusively environmental but is cultural and ethnographic too. There are numerous aspects why Arctic Cinema is such a strong and emergent line of research on the fields of film and ethnographic studies. The main reason is that it results from a confluence of elements that function in two ways. One one hand, the Arctic Cinema serves as an ethnographic investigation of its local communities. One the other hand, it projects those cultural and ethnographic elements onto a global context. Film is a privileged medium to record many of the experiential aspects of the Arctic and it is through the authorial language of some of the directors from the Arctic Cinema that those experiential aspects find a global projection and reach audiences that may never have been acquainted with the Arctic but are nevertheless exposed to it in its cinematic form.

Due to the privileged geographical position that NTNU, as an institution, occupies within the Nordic context, we have managed to establish a number of contacts and expand a considerable network with scholars that have been dealing with films made above the Arctic circle. We believe this event will be an opportunity to bring them together and have them share ideas so that new and stimulating projects may potentially arise from this event, such as the publication of a special journal issue at Cinema Scandinavia. One of those opportunities is the pursuit of further publications within the topic, where the ethnographic and cultural details of the Arctic Cinema can be sketched down in deeper and more thorough ways. We are hoping to have one guest speaker from each of the Nordic regions of Iceland, Norway, Greenland, Finland and Sweden. Keynote speakers Anna Stenport and Scott MacKenzie have their presence confirmed in the symposium.

Click here to find out more: http://luisantunes4.wix.com/arctic-cinema

AASSC Treasurer Birgitta Wallace was the recipient of the 2015 Canadian Archaeological Association’s Smith Wintemberg Award for “Outstanding Contributions to Canadian Archaeology.”  She is the first female archaeologist to receive it and is seen here (on the right) with the President of the Canadian Archaeological Association, Dr. Lisa Rankin (left), displaying the award.  Dr. Rankin is the first female to hold that office. AASSC Treasurer Birgitta Wallace was the recipient of the 2015 Canadian Archaeological Association’s Smith Wintemberg Award for “Outstanding Contributions to Canadian Archaeology.”  She is the first female archaeologist to receive it and is seen here (on the right) with the President of the Canadian Archaeological Association, Dr. Lisa Rankin (left), displaying the award.  Dr. Rankin is the first female to hold that office.

By Elswedesincaninor Barr

University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2015

Since 1776, more than 100,000 Swedish-speaking immigrants have arrived in Canada from Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Ukraine, and the United States. Elinor Barr’s Swedes in Canada is the definitive history of that immigrant experience. Active in almost every aspect of Canadian life, Swedish individuals and companies are responsible for the CN Tower, ships on the Great Lakes, and log buildings in Riding Mountain National Park. They have built railways and grain elevators all across the country, as well as churches and old folks’ homes in their communities. At the national level, the introduction of cross-country skiing and the success of ParticipACTION can be attributed to Swedes.

Despite this long list of accomplishments, Swedish ethnic consciousness in Canada has often been very low. Using extensive archival and demographic research, Barr explores both the impressive Swedish legacy in Canada and the reasons for their invisibility as an immigrant community.


The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (University of Basel) and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (University of Zurich) invite applications for the position of a Professor in Scandinavian Studies. The position should be filled as soon as possible.

More details here.

Marina bookPrinsesse Sukkergodt med barberblad. Læsninger i Dorrit Willumsens forfatterskab (Princess Sugar with Razor Blade. Readings in the Works of Dorrit Willumsen, Gyldendal 2015) is Marina Allemano’s third monograph written in Danish on contemporary Danish women writers, the others being on Suzanne Brøgger (2004) og Hanne Marie Svendsen (2010). Willumsen’s writing career spans fifty years, so far, and although the writer is best known for her novels – her historical novel Marie about Madame Tussaud being the most popular – she is also a dramatist, short story writer and poet. In her readings, Marina Allemano draws attention to the writer’s phenomenological approach to the female subject and the perceived connection between body, consciousness and identity. The title of the book refers to an epithet given the writer on her 40th birthday by a reviewer who wished to acknowledge the special kind of empathy that runs throughout Willumsen’s works, waves of warmheartedness accompanied by swift little cuts and slashes that threaten to disrupt the feelings of tranquility.