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Conference speakers

Joep Leerssen is Professor of Modern European Literature in the Department of European Studies at the University of Amsterdam, and author of numerous authoritative studies on the relations between literature, historical consciousness and nationalism, including the influential National Thought in Europe: A Cultural History (2006). He is also the editor of the wide-ranging two-volume Encyclopedia of Romantic Nationalism in Europe (2018; also available on line at and a leading figure in the field of Digital Humanities.


Maria Tatar is the John L. Loeb Research Professor of Folklore & Mythology and Germanic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University and a Senior Fellow at Harvard’s Society of Fellows. She is the author of Classic Fairy Tales, Enchanted Hunters, The Annotated Brothers Grimm, The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen, Lustmord, and The Annotated African American Folktales, among other volumes. She has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies. A frequent contributor to National Public Radio, her work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and other media outlets.


Terry Gunnell is Professor of Folkloristics at the University of Iceland. He is author of The Origins of Drama in Scandinavia (1995); editor of Masks and Mumming in the Nordic Area (2007) and Legends and Landscape (2008); and joint editor of The Nordic Apocalypse: Approaches to Völuspá and Nordic Days of Judgement (with Annette Lassen, 2013); and Málarinn og menningarsköpun: Sigurður Guðmundsson og Kvöldfélagið (with Karl Aspelund, 2018). He has also written a wide range of articles on Old Norse religion, Nordic folk belief and legend, folk drama and performance, and is behind the creation of the on-line Sagnagrunnur database of Icelandic folk legends in print (


Júlíana Þóra Magnúsdóttir is pursuing a PhD in the Department of Folkloristics and Museum Studies at the University of Iceland and works as adjunct teacher in the same department. Her PhD thesis deals with legend traditions of Icelandic women born in the latter part of the nineteenth century and its relationship with women’s experiences, spaces, and social conditions.


Ane Ohrvik is an Associate professor of Cultural History at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo. She has a background in Folklore studies and received her PhD degree in cultural history at the University of Oslo in 2012. Ohrvik has written and co-edited seven books and written numerous articles within topics such as book and manuscript history, witchcraft and magic, ritual and tradition, history of medicine, and heritage studies by studying both early modern and contemporary material from the Nordic countries.


Fredrik Skott is an associate professor in Nordic folklore and a research archivist at The Institute for Language and Folklore, Gothenburg


Trausti Dagsson has a MA in folkloristics from The University of Iceland and is currently working as a software developer and project coordinator at The Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies in Reykjavík.


Timothy Tangherlini is a Professor in the Dept. of Asian Languages and Cultures, and in the Scandinavian Section. His research and teaching focus on folklore. He is the co-editor of Nationalism and the Construction of Korean Identity (1999 with Hyung-il Pai) and Sitings: Critical Approaches to Korean Geography (2008 with Sallie Yea). He is also the co-producer of Our Nation: A Korean Punk Rock Community (2002 with Stephen Epstein). He is the English language editor of the Encyclopedia of Korean Seasonal Customs (2010 with Ria Chae).


Rósa Þorsteinsdóttir is a research lecturer and archivist at the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies. She has studied fairy tales and storytellers and written a book about them, Sagan upp á hvern mann (2011). She has thaught courses on folkloristic and field work at the University of Iceland.


Pauline Greenhill is Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Her most recent books are Clever Maids, Fearless Jacks, and a Cat: Fairy Tales from a Living Oral Tradition (with Anita Best and Martin Lovelace, October 2019) and The Routledge Companion to Media and Fairy-Tale Studies (with Jill Terry Rudy, Naomi Hamer, and Lauren Bosc, 2018). Her other books include Fairy-Tale Films Beyond Disney: International Perspectives (with Jack Zipes and Kendra Magnus-Johnston, 2016); Channeling Wonder: Fairy Tales on Television (with Jill Terry Rudy, 2014); Transgressive Tales: Queering the Grimms (with Kay Turner, 2012); and Fairy Tale Films: Visions of Ambiguity (with Sidney Eve Matrix, 2010). She has fairy-tale research published in Feral Feminisms; Law, Culture and the Humanities; Marvels & Tales; Narrative Culture; Studies in European Cinema; and Theoretical Criminology among others.


Aðalheiður Guðmundsdóttir is a Professor in Medieval Icelandic literature at the University of Iceland ( Her research interests focus on Old Norse literature, Heroic legends, Manuscript studies, Folk tales, Ballads and rímur, the History of dance and the History of magic. Her publications include the monographs Úlfhams saga, 2001, and Strengleikar, 2006, as well as numerous articles, the most recent include „Some Heroic Motifs in Icelandic Art“, Scripta Islandica 68, 2017, „Under the cloak, between the lines: Trolls and the symbolism of their clothing in Old Norse tradition“, European journal of Scandinavian studies 47/2, 2017, and „Reflexes of the fornaldarsögur in Icelandic poetry“, The legendary legacy: Transmission and Reception of the Fornaldarsögur Norðurlanda, 2018.


Cristina Bacchilega is a Professor at the University of Hawai‘i-Mānoa where she teaches fairy tales and their adaptations, folklore and literature, and cultural studies. Her recent publications include the book Fairy Tales Transformed? 21st-Century Adaptations and the Politics of Wonder and essays in Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, the Routledge Companion to Fairy-Tale Cultures and Media, and The Fairy Tale World. With Anne Duggan, she co-edits Marvels & Tales: Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies. In 2019, Cristina is the co-editor with Anne Duggan of “Thinking with Stories in Times of Trouble,” a set of special issues of Journal of American Folklore, Marvels & Tales, and Narrative Culture; and The Penguin Book of Mermaids with Marie Alohalani Brown.


Éilís Dhuibhne Almqvist was born in Dublin, Ireland. She is a folklore scholar, fiction writer, literary critic, and lecturer in Creative Writing. She has written several books and won many awards for her work, including the Irish PEN Award 2015 for an Outstanding Contribution to Irish Literature. Her work includes many articles on folklore, and her speciality is the relationship of folklore and literature. Her latest books are Selected Stories (Dalkey Archive 2017) and Twelve Thousand Days (Blackstaff 2018). She is a member of Aosdana, the Irish academy of artists, and she is president of The Folklore of Ireland Society.


Sjón is an Icelandic poet, novelist, and lyricist. His pen name (meaning “sight”) is an abbreviation of his given name (Sigurjón). Sjón frequently collaborates with the singer Björk and has performed with The Sugarcubes as Johnny Triumph. His works have been translated into 30 languages.