IMC 2006: Sessions

Session 716: Monsters, Madness, and Violence in Old Norse and Irish Literatures

Tuesday 11 July 2006, 14.15-15.45

Organiser:Katja Ritari, Department of Comparative Religion, University of Helsinki
Moderator/Chair:Katja Ritari, Department of Comparative Religion, University of Helsinki
Paper 716-aFrom Shaman to Saint: Conceptions of the Madness of the Wildman in 20th-Century Scholarship
(Language: English)
Alexandra Bergholm, Department of Comparative Religion, University of Helsinki
Index terms: Historiography - Modern Scholarship, Language and Literature - Celtic, Pagan Religions
Paper 716-bBerserkers and Úlfheðnar: A More Widespread Motif?
(Language: English)
Arwen van Zanten, Independent Scholar, Amersfoort
Index terms: Language and Literature - Celtic, Language and Literature - Old English, Language and Literature - Scandinavian
Paper 716-cMonsters in the Family: Torture, Monstrosity, and Society
(Language: English)
Alistair McLennan, School of Critical Studies (English Literature), University of Glasgow
Index terms: Folk Studies, Language and Literature - Scandinavian
Abstract

The papers in this session will re-evaluate and re-interpret themes connected with madness and violence in Old Norse and Irish literatures. The papers will focus on monstrous beings, who represent kind of borderline cases in being liminal figures breaching the gap between humans and animals, humans and monsters, and this and the other world. The aim of the session is to re-interpret the function of madness and violence in these stories and to re-evaluate the scholarly discussions of these themes.