New publication: “Narrating Blindness and Seeing Ocularcentrism in Þorsteins saga hvíta”

A new article of mine titled “Narrating Blindness and Seeing Ocularcentrism in Þorsteins saga hvíta” appears in the latest issue of the journal Gripla. This article explores Þorsteins saga hvíta using a disability studies approach and consider how the saga makes use of Þorsteinn’s vision loss and subsequent blindness to confront the hegemony of vision in connection with both knowledge and narrative. Click here to read the article, which is published open access by the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies.

New publication: “What We Talk about When We Talk about Vínland: History, Whiteness, Indigenous Erasure, and the Early Norse Presence in Newfoundland”

A new article of mine titled “What We Talk about When We Talk about Vínland: History, Whiteness, Indigenous Erasure, and the Early Norse Presence in Newfoundland” appears in the latest issue of the Canadian Journal of History. The article traces the persistence of a narrative that has privileged the ephemeral, pre-colonial Norse presence in Newfoundland while simultaneously marginalizing or obscuring Newfoundland’s pre-colonial Indigenous histories. Click here to read the article, pending your institutional access to the journal.

New publication: Theodóra Thoroddsen/Jón Thoroddsen, Rigmarole and Flies

hink916532My translation of Icelandic poets Theodóra Thoroddsen’s Þulur (1916) [Rigmarole] and Jón Thoroddsen’s Flugur (1922) [Flies], featuring a foreword by Ármann Jakobsson and collected in one volume, is now available in print from Hin kindin. In her Þulur (Rigmarole), Theodóra rejuvenated an important traditional Icelandic verse form. Bearing qualities similar to those often associated with nursery rhymes, her poems blend folk stories and pastoral imagery using economic yet unruly and fresh metrical forms. They are, however, also essentially rebellious, focusing on unfulfilled desires and longings that achieve release in fantasy. Her son Jón’s Flugur (Flies), published a few years before his untimely death, has been considered the first collection of prose poems published in Icelandic. Seen as a profound departure from Icelandic poetic traditions, his poems can be regarded as a precursor to Icelandic modernism, addressing the ambiguities inherent in language and life itself. Together they offer an opportunity to appreciate more fully each poet’s unique contribution to the vast and varied history of Icelandic literature.

At present, the book can be ordered online from the Icelandic bookseller Eymundsson by clicking here.

New publication: “Even a Henchman Can Dream: Dreaming at the Margins in Brennu-Njáls saga”

A new book chapter of mine titled “Even a Henchman Can Dream: Dreaming at the margins in Brennu-Njáls saga” appears in the recently published volume Paranormal Encounters in Iceland 1150-1400, edited by Ármann Jakobsson and Miriam Mayburd. The chapter deals with dreams that appear at the social and/or narratological margins of the thirteenth-century Brennu-Njáls saga and examines how such dreams are used to bring different kinds of meaning to the narrative. The chapter is now available both in print and online.

New publication: “Guardian of Memory: Halldor Laxness, Saga Editor”

2019-12-02 17.48.08A new article of mine titled “Guardian of Memory: Halldór Laxness, Saga Editor” appears in the latest volume of the journal Scandinavian-Canadian Studies, published by the Association for the Advancement of Scandinavia Studies in Canada. The article explores Icelandic Nobel prize-winning author Halldór Laxness’ changing attitude towards the medieval saga heritage through the early part of his career, culminating in an important and controversial editorial project in the 1940s. The article is now available both in print and in open access online (click here for a paginated pdf version of the article).

 

Upcoming talk: “Mental Health and Norway’s Medieval Royal Court”

Chris-Crocker-Poster2Later this week I’ll be delivering a talk as a part of the University of Manitoba’s Institute for the Humanities regular Arts of Conversation series. The talk is titled “Mental Health and Norway’s medieval royal court” and will consist of an examination of how mental health crises or mental illnesses were narrated in the context of Norway’s medieval royal court using a number of examples from the Icelandic Kings’ saga Morkinskinna [Mouldy parchment] (c. 1220). Rather than attempting to apply retroactive diagnoses based on modern medical criteria, several instances of what might today be broadly identified as mental health crises or mental illnesses will be explored as social facts. Thus, the primary focus will be placed on the reactions and responses these mental health crises or mental illnesses elicit within the context of the royal court and on how they are used to create meaning within the saga’s narrative. The talk emerges from my post-doctoral research within the Disability before disability project.

New publication: “Disability and Dreams in the Medieval Icelandic Sagas”

A new 2019-10-25 09.57.45article of mine titled “Disability and Dreams in the Medieval Icelandic Sagas” appears in the latest volume of the journal Saga-Book, published by the Viking Society for Northern Research. The article emerges from my post-doctoral research in the Disability before disability project and examines several examples in a variety of sagas in which dreams seem to bear some connection to onset of physical impairments. The article then explores how such phenomena may provide insight towards the premise of disability in the context of medieval Iceland.