SCAND 442 - The Icelandic Sagas: Vikings, Women, and Vengeance
Winter 2021, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: Scandinavian Studies (SCAND)
Department: LSA Germanic Languages & Literatures
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Upperclass standing or permission of instructor.
Other Course Info:
Taught in English.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


The Icelandic Sagas are unique literary documents from medieval Iceland. They inform us about the cultural, political, and religious currents of land in tumult and transition. Unlike many contemporary texts, these are not inherently moralistic or celebratory — instead they are dark, matter-of-fact inquiries into the way individuals respond to often unresolvable situations. In this course, we will encounter vindictive women, treacherous kings, heroes and anti-heroes, lawyers, berserkers, and poets.

Texts include Njál's Saga, Egil’s Saga, The Saga of Gísli the Outlaw, The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki, selections from Snorri Sturluson’s Heimskringla, and several shorter sagas such as Hrafnkel’s Saga and Thorstein Staff-Struck. Key themes engaged in the class include vengeance and feuds, magic and religion, conversion, and gender roles.

Course Requirements:

Discussion of the readings, short papers, presentations, and a term paper

Intended Audience:

This class is suitable for students interested in the Viking Age, Medieval studies, and History of World Literature.

Class Format:

The class is structured as a seminar. All texts are in English.

Instruction Mode: As a DC (Distance due to COVID) course, all aspects of this course will be fully compatible with remote online learning.

Learning Mode: The weekly lectures for this course will be recorded and made available asynchronously. We will also have discussion sessions that require synchronous participation. This course will use Canvas for all asynchronous online components. Synchronous meetings will be conducted though Zoom. Students should have access to a camera and microphone.


SCAND 442 - The Icelandic Sagas: Vikings, Women, and Vengeance
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
MWF 1:00PM - 2:00PM

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