Call for Papers: Special Section of Scandinavian-Canadian Studies:
“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 and abstracts of up to 250 words to Dustin Geeraert (Dustin.Geeraert@umanitoba.ca) by September 15, 2016. Full submissions are due by January 1, 2017. For more information about this special themed section, contact Dr. Geeraert (Guest Editor for this section and Research Affiliate at the University of Manitoba Institute for the Humanities). For any other questions pertaining to the journal, contact Helga Thorson (email@example.com), 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.