Modern Language Association
Viewing convention Program information from 2009

Session Details

Tuesday, 29 December

458. Magic and Gender

12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Congress A, Loews

Program arranged by the Discussion Group on Old Norse Language and Literature

Presiding: Kathryn A. Laity, Coll. of Saint Rose

1. “Conversion and Convergence: The Developing Roles of Women in Norse Myths and Later Icelandic Folktales,” Eric Bryan, Missouri Univ. of Science and Tech.

2. “The Foster Mother’s Body Charm in Old Icelandic Heroic Literature,” Robin Waugh, Wilfrid Laurier Univ.

3. “Magic, Miracles, and Murder: Sifting through Sinners and Saints in the Stories and Sites of Orkneyingasaga,” Christopher Fee, Gettysburg Coll.

Speaker's Annotation:
Drawing upon the interactive multimedia resource of the Medieval North Atlantic, one might explore the magic and miracles of Orkneyingasaga both through examining relevant episodes from the text and through surveying specific sites of import to some of those episodes. One’s multimedia itinerary might include a number of venues associated with Saint Magnus and his miracles, such as the great Cathedral dedicated to him in Kirkwall to which environs his body had earlier been translated from Birsay—which one might also visit—as a result of a miraculous vision. Miracles and healing powers seem to have followed the peregrinations of the saint’s relics, and thus numerous resting places thereof were venerated. One might also travel to the small church on the site of this saint’s Gethsemane on the islet of Egilsay, where the place of his death was miraculously transformed into a verdant meadow, as well as to the round church at Orphir built perhaps as penance for the martyrdom of the saint. Drawing together dozens of video clips, QTVR panoramas, static images, site reports, online quizzes, and Interactive Fiction games, the relevant sites from the Medieval North Atlantic could allow one to ground one’s literary discussion of the powers of miracles and the marvelous in Orkneyingasaga in the very soil from which some of the stories in the saga initially sprouted.

Though it remains a work in progress, anyone is invited to visit the Medieval North Atlantic project site:

http://public.gettysburg.edu/~cfee/MedievalNorthAtlantic/

Direct queries to: cfee@gettysburg.edu

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