Inaugural lecture by Prof. Daniel Sävborg on Old Icelandic literature
The University of Tartu’s Inaugural Lectures Series continues with a presentation by Daniel Sävborg, UT Professor of Scandinavian Studies, on “The Unknown Sagas – Post-Classical Sagas and the Myth of Purity and Degeneration of Old Icelandic Literature“. The lecture will be held on Tuesday, 29 March 2011 at 4:15 pm at the University Assembly Hall.
Icelandic family sagas are known for their realism and their focus on everyday life and down-to-earth conflicts. Yet there are also many family sagas which do not fit this description. They tell of Icelanders who encounter trolls, dragons and undead mound-dwellers. These sagas have traditionally been labelled as “post-classical”. They are dated later than the canonical ones and have been regarded as degenerate and non-genuine, showing signs of influence by other literary genres.
Their peculiarities have been ascribed to an escapist trend motivated by events in Icelandic history. The lecture will contest this view, arguing that encounters with supernatural beings form a genuine part of Icelandic narrative tradition.
Professor Daniel Sävborg received a PhD in the history of literature from the University of Stockholm in 1997, and worked there as a researcher and teacher until 2001. Between 2002 and 2006 he was Associate Professor at the Department of Literature of the University of Uppsala and between 2007 and 2008 he held a research position at the Arnamagnæan Institute of the University of Iceland.
Before joining the University of Tartu in 2010, he held a research position at the Department of Scandinavian Languages of Uppsala University. He has also been invited as a guest lecturer to the University of Gävle and Aarhus University, and served as the chief editor of Tidskrift för litteraturvetenskap (2005–2006) and Scripta Islandica (2007–2010).
Professor Sävborg’s research interests lie in the field of Medieval Nordic literature, philology and folklore studies. He has written several monographs on topics such as grief in Old Norse poetry, love in Icelandic sagas, the origin of Old Germanic poetry, and the relationship between the manuscripts of Snorri Sturluson’s Edda.
Additional information: Ms Kady Sõstar, public relations specialist, tel. +372 737 5685, e-mail: kady.sostar [ät] ut.ee