Terry Gunnell

Opening the Gates of Valhöll: Performance Studies and Old Nordic Poetry with a Focus on “What’s Going On” in Eiríksmál and Hákonarmál

Terry Gunnell is a professor in professor in folkloristics at Hàskòli Ìslands/ the University of Iceland. He claims that we often forget that in pre-Christian times, Eddic and skaldic poetry was not composed in writing but in sound, and that rather than being read, it was heard, seen and experienced in a particular space – and designed to be received in that way. This means that poems about the world of the gods composed as first-person monologues or dialogues functioned much like dramas. In short: the poems brought to gods to life in front of their audiences. This lecture will discuss Eiriksmál and Hákonarmál, two dialogic works which lie somewhere between the Eddic and skáldic forms, considering how they might have been intended to work as performances.

Thursday 15th August 14:15–15:15
Large Auditorium @ Midgard Viking Center



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