Back to Sturla, international conference...

Keynotes: Andersson, Theodore M. | Frank, Roberta  | Moore, R.I.         

Auður Magnúsdóttir | Ármann Jakobsson | Boulhosa, Patricia Pires | Einar Kárason | Gísli Sigurðsson | Guðrún Ása Grímsdóttir | Guðrún Nordal | Helgi Þorláksson | Hoefig, Verena | Jón Viðar Sigurðsson | Long, Ann Marie | Orning, Hans Jacob | Ricketts, Philadelphia | Rohrbach, Lena | Sverrir Jakobsson | Úlfar BragasonWærdahl, Randi Bjørshol


Theodore M. Andersson Theodore M. Andersson


Theodore M. Andersson studied Germanic philology and earned his degrees at Yale University (1956-61).  He taught  at Harvard University (1960-75), Stanford University (1975-95), and Indiana University (1995-1999).  His dissertation dealt with the problem of the origins of the Icelandic sagas.  Later he divided his time between medieval German literature (chiefly “heroic” poetry) and Icelandic literature (chiefly family sagas and kings’ sagas).  He has side interests in Þiðreks saga and Carolingian poetry.  In recent years he has focused on the kings’ sagas with translations of Morkinskinna (2000) and Oddr Snorrason’s Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar (2003), s study of  the development  of the sagas (2006), and a book of essays on the kings’ sagas (2012).  He is currently at work on an introduction to the kings’ sagas.

Sturla Þórðarson’s Narrative Personalities


Roberta Frank Roberta Frank


Roberta Frank taught Old English and Old Norse for many years at the University of Toronto; since 2000 she has been similarly occupied at Yale University. Her teaching and writing focus on early England and Scandinavia, but she also belongs to that crypto-group of poetry people attracted to verse of all periods and places. Her publications on skaldic poetry include Old Norse Court Poetry (1978), “Snorri and the Mead of Poetry” (1981), “Viking Atrocity and Skaldic Verse: The Rite of the Blood-Eagle” (1984), “Hand Tools and Power Tools in Eilífr’s Þórsdrápa” (1986), “Why Skalds Address Women” (1990), “When Poets Address Princes” (1994), “King Cnut in the Verse of his Skalds” (1994), “The Unbearable Lightness of Being a Philologist” (1997), “Sex, Lies, and Málsháttakvæði: A Norse Poem from Medieval Orkney” (2004), “The Lay of the Land in Skaldic Praise Poetry” (2007), “Marketing Odin’s Mead in a Strange Land” (2010), and “Like a Bridge of Stones” (2011).

The Storied Verse of Sturla Þórðarson


R.I. Moore


R. I Moore was born in Northern Ireland in 1941 and educated at Oxford University. Until his retirement in 2004 he taught medieval European, and occasionally World History at Sheffield and Newcastle Universities, and as a visitor at the University of Chicago and U C Berkeley.  His research has been centred on popular heresy in eleventh- and twelfth-century Europe, its persecution, which he has seen as an element of state formation, and hence the persecutors and the world they built, a theme pursued from The Origins of European Dissent (1977) through The Formation of a Persecuting Society (1987), The First European Revolution, c.970 – 1215 (2001) and The War on Heresy (2012). He is now preparing Foundations of the Modern World (c. 750 – 1250) for the multi-volume Blackwell History of the World, of which he is series editor.

New Worlds Emerging: History and Identity in Twelfth-Century Eurasia

Auður Magnúsdóttir Auður Magnúsdóttir


Auður Magnúsdóttir is senior lecturer in history, at The Department of Historical Studies, University of Gothenburg. She completed her PhD in history at the same university in 2001. Auður´s focus of research is medieval and gender history, more specifically questions related to marriage and cohabitation, political culture, inheritance, kinship and alliances.

Becoming visible: viewing women in Íslendingasaga

Ármann Jakobsson Ármann Jakobsson


Ármann Jakobsson is professor in Early Icelandic literature at the University of Iceland. He is the author of Í leit að konungi (1997), Staður í nýjum heimi (2002), Tolkien og Hringurinn (2003), Illa fenginn mjöður (2009), Nine Saga Studies (2013), Íslendingaþættir: saga hugmyndar (2014) and A Sense of Belonging (2014), also of a fair number of articles concerning various aspects of medieval Icelandic literature. Kings’ sagas are a particular interest and the subject of an impending monograph.

A personal account: the official and individual voice in Hákonar saga Hákonarsonar

Patricia Pires Boulhosa Patricia Pires Boulhosa


Patricia Pires Boulhosa a historian of the mediaeval history of Scandinavia, with a special interest in the Icelandic laws of the thirteenth century. Her analysis of the legal material aims to contextualize it within social, economic and historical circumstances, and also within its immediate material circumstance: the manuscript. Her objective is to understand the laws in this immediate material context and within the interpretative context of scribes and their readers. She is also involved in two interdisciplinary research projects - Investigating Norse Sagas, Environments and Archaeology: An Integrative Study of Long-Term Environmental Change (INSEA) and Trans-disciplinary Investigations of Marine Economy at Siglunes: From Early Icelandic Fisheries to North Atlantic Enterprise (TIMES).

Járnsíða and the Evidence of Laws and Sagas


Einar Kárason Einar Kárason


Einar Kárason


Gísli Sigurðsson Gísli Sigurðsson


Gísli Sigurðsson is a Research Professor and Head of the Folklore Department at the Árni Magnússon Institute in Icelandic Studies and teaches in the Department of Folklore at the University of Iceland. Gisli has worked on Canadian-Icelandic (language and folklore), written a book on Gaelic Influence in Iceland, published a complete annotated edition of the Eddaic Poems, a book on Orality and the Sagas, Medieval Icelandic Saga and Oral Tradition; A Discourse on Method, a book with Icelandic-Canadian/American settlement-lore (Sögur úr Vesturheimi 2012), a book on the sagas and their cultural role (Leiftur á horfinni öld 2013), in addition to a variety of articles, lectures and editions, focusing on the Vikings and the Vinland voyages (Introduction and notes in The Vinland Sagas: The Icelandic Sagas about the First Documented Voyages across the North Atlantic. Penguin Books 2008), Eddas, Sagas and Icelandic folklore in Iceland and in Canada.

The concept of outlawry and Sturla‘s Book of Settlements


Guðrún Ása Grímsdóttir. Ljósmyndari: Jóhanna Ólafsdóttir Guðrún Ása Grímsdóttir


Guðrún Ása Grímsdóttir is Research Professor at the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies.

The manuscript preservation of Sturla Þórðarson's works

Guðrún Nordal Guðrún Nordal


Guðrún Nordal is the director of the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies and professor at the University of Iceland. She is one of the editors of the new edition, Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middles Ages (Brepols: volumes 1, 2 and 7 are out, others are forthcoming). She has published extensively on Sturlunga saga and skaldic poetry, as well as on other narratives from the 13th and 14th centuries and on the textual culture. Among her publications are, Ethics and Action in Thirteenth-Century Iceland (Odense UP 1998) and Tools of Literacy: the Role of Skaldic Verse in Icelandic Textual Culture of the Thirteenth Century (University of Toronto Press). 

Sturla: the poet and the creator of prosimetrum


Helgi Þorláksson Helgi Þorláksson


Helgi Þorláksson, professor of history at the Univeristy of Iceland. Main field, economic, political and cultural history of Iceland, 900-1700. Works in progress are an extensive chapter in the final volume, REX INSULARUM,  for the international project “Norgesveldet” (The realm of Norway and its dependencies as a political system, c. 1100- c. 1450), ed. Imsen. Secondly, chapters in the final volume for the international  Reykholt project, titled SNORRI STULUSON AND REYKHOLT  (co-editor).  In the third place  the period 900-1600 in a major project on the general history of the foreign trade of Iceland, which will be completed in the months to come. And finally an article, “Snorri í Odda”, appearing in Skírnir this autumn.

Sturla Þórðarson, a biased historian?


Verena Hoefig Verena Hoefig


Verena Hoefig is a lecturer in Old Norse and Swedish in the Scandinavian Department at UC Berkeley. Her research centers on the intersection of literature, material culture, and social history in Scandinavia from the Viking Age until today. Her 2014 dissertation Finding a Founding Father: Memory, Identity, and the Icelandic 'landnám' examines representations of the figure of the first Icelander, Ingólfur Arnarson, in the context of (national) identity and memory formation from the first literary texts in the vernacular until the present time. Past projects and publications have explored the political history of early Iceland in the context of overseas migration, discussed the sagas as frontier narratives, or focused on the representation of birds, horses, squirrels, and other animals in Norse mythology.

Foundational Memory in Sturlubók


Jón Viðar Sigurðsson Jón Viðar Sigurðsson

Jón Viðar Sigurðsson is a Professor at Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History, University of Oslo. His main research interests are political and religious history in Iceland and Norway in the period c. 900-1400. Among his publications are: Frá goðorðum til ríkja. Þróun goðavalds á 12. og 13. öld. Reykja­vík 1989; 1999, Chieftains and Power in the Icelandic Commonwealth. Transl. Jean Lundskær-Nielsen, Odense 1999; Frå høvdingmakt til konge- og kyrkjemakt. Norsk historie 800-1300. Oslo 1999; Kristninga i Norden 750-1200, Utsyn og innsikt, Oslo 2003; Det norrøne samfunnet. Vikingen, kongen, erkebiskopen og bonden, Oslo 2008; Den vennlige vikingen. Vennskapets makt i Norge og på Island ca. 900-1300. Oslo 2010; and Anne Irene Riisøy, Norsk historie 800-1536: Frå krigerske bønder til lydige undersåttar, Oslo 2011.

The education of Sturla Þórðarson (and the Icelandic elite)


Ann-Marie Long Ann-Marie Long


Ann-Marie Long has just been awarded her PhD from University College Dublin where she was a researcher at the Humanities Institute of Ireland and an Ad Astra Scholar. She is currently attached to the Department of History at the University of Notre Dame where she is revising her dissertation, ‘The Relationship between Iceland and Norway, c. 870 – c. 1100’, for publication. Her work seeks both to place medieval Icelandic historiography within its socio-political contexts and examine how medieval Icelanders conceived, constructed and perceived the past and their place in the world.  She is also pursuing a parallel project on early Icelandic ethnogenesis.

Sturlubók and Cultural Memory

Hans Jacob Orning Hans Jacob Orning



Hans Jacob Orning is professor of medieval history at University of Oslo, and adjunct professor at University College of Volda. His main research interests are in two fields. One concerns political history in high medieval Scandinavia, where he has advocated a perspective inspired by legal anthropology and dispute studies. His second main field of research is devoted to late medieval Icelandic manuscripts, where he has combined a New Philological approach with a historical contextualization in terms of world views and mentalities. Currently he is working on a project on Scandinavian elites, investigating their material, sociopolitical and ideological resources in the transitional period between the first and second phase of state formation, c 1050-1250. During the last five years, Orning has written two monographs, c twenty scientific articles, co-edited four international anthologies, and been main editor of a four-volume Norwegian history.

Sturla Þórðarson’s differing perspectives on 13th century history: royal chronicler vs. Icelandic chieftain

Philadelphia Ricketts Philadelphia Ricketts


Philadelphia Ricketts works as an independent scholar on the demographics of medieval Icelandic marriage. She also works as a translator / copy-editor of academic texts and as a manorial rights researcher. Her academic research has ranged from familial identity in Northern Europe in the Middle Ages to women’s legal position in Commonwealth Iceland, from the patronage of Anglo-Norman widows to the power and agency of medieval English heiresses. Her thesis, published in 2010 by Brill as High-Ranking Widows in Medieval Iceland and Yorkshire: Property, Power, Marriage and Identity in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries uses a comparative approach to highlight that which is common to aristocratic widows within two very different cultures while also revealing differences dependent on personal, social and political circumstances. She has also published articles on grandmothers and religious patronage.

Power, Protection and Pleasure: The Marital and Extra-marital Relationships of the Women in Sturla Þórðarson’s Life


Lena Rohrbach Lena Rohrbach


Lena Rohrbach is junior professor of Old Norse studies at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Her field of research are medieval and post-medieval Scandinavian and Icelandic manuscript culture, with a special focus on the contemporary sagas and pragmatic literacy. Her interests in the Old Norse tradition are based on literary anthropological approaches, as well as mediality and literacy studies. She has published the monograph Der tierische Blick. Mensch-Tier-Relationen in der Sagaliteratur (2009) and a number of articles on the use of literacy in medieval Iceland and the late medieval transmission of legal texts in the North. She is currently working on a book on new textual and paratextual forms in the late medieval legal tradition in the North.

Of Letters and Laws: Narrative Negotiations of Literacy Practices in Íslendinga saga

Sverrir Jakobsson Sverrir Jakobsson


Sverrir Jakobsson is a professor in medieval history at the University of Iceland in Reykjavík. His research interests include Icelandic and West Scandinavian World View in the middle ages, Medieval Thought Systems and the History of Space. He has written the book Við og veröldin. Heimsmynd Íslendinga 1100-1400 (2005), as well as several articles on Scandinavian Medieval History. He is currently leading a research project study on the region of Breiðafjörður in Western Iceland, and its peculiarities as a marine environment shaped by the sea to a greater extent than most other regions of Iceland.

Sturlubók as a Manifestation of the Medieval Icelandic World View


Úlfar Bragason Úlfar Bragason


Úlfar Bragason is Research Professor at the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies and the Head of the International Department of the Institute. His main fields of research are medieval Icelandic sagas and the Icelandic emigration to America in the 19th and early 20th centuries. He has published extensively on Sturlunga saga (contemporary sagas), Icelandic family sagas, Vínland sagas, the historians Snorri Sturluson and Sturla Þórðarson, Icelandic literature in the 19th and 20th centuries, Icelandic culture, Icelandic emigration to the US and Canada in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the teaching of Icelandic as a second and foreign language. Among his publications is: Ætt og saga: Um frásagnarfræði Sturlungu eða Íslendinga sögu hinnar miklu (2010).

Reykjaholt Revisited

Randi Bjørshol Wærdahl Randi Bjørshol Wærdahl


Randi Bjørshol Wærdahl is an Associate Professor at the department of Historical Studies, Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Her field of expertise is Norwegian and (west) Nordic medieval history with currently two main fields of research: noblewomen and power in late medieval Norway and the relationship between Norway and the rest of the Norse world. Research interest is predominantly political history. Ph.D. 2006, Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Doctoral dissertation published as The incorporation and integration of the king's tributary lands into the Norwegian realm c. 1195-1397, in series The Northern World, by Brill Publishers 2011.

Rejection and admission. Sturla Þórðarson and his countrymen at court in 13th century Norway