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Introduction to Norse Mythology

This is a 4-week virtual lecture series using the Zoom platform. A series of four lectures about Norse Mythology over a four-week period.

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Time & Location





This is a 4-week virtual lecture series using the Zoom platform.  Fridays: March 4, 11, 18, 25, 2-3 pm CST

Description of lectures

“Historical Background and Sources for Norse Mythology” This lecture provides an introduction to the history of religious belief in the Nordic region from the earliest evidence until the Viking Age. It also gives an overview of the various sources available to us—material and literary—for our understanding of religion in the Viking Age.

“Introduction to the Norse Pantheon and Cosmos” In this lecture, an introduction will be given to the various gods and goddesses, as well as other beings (such as giants and elves) in the Norse cosmos. This lecture also provides an explanation of how the world came to be, according to Norse mythology, and highlights some key myths surrounding the gods and goddesses.

“Ragnarok” Apocalypse according to Viking Age Norse belief is the topic of the third lecture. Here, we will learn about various concepts that are key to understanding the world’s end (such as fate and vengeance) and will discuss the events leading up to and then following the event often referred to as the “doom of the gods.”

“Modern Interpretations of Norse Mythology” This final lecture covers modern interpretations of Norse mythology, from literature to film and television. Here, we will discuss the appeal of Norse mythology in the 20th and 21st centuries, and will also focus on some of the ways in which the material has been historically misappropriated.

Instructor Natalie Van Deusen Natalie Van Deusen is the inaugural Henry Cabot and Linnea Lodge Professor of Scandinavian Studies at the University of Alberta, where she teaches a variety of courses on Scandinavian language, literature, and culture. Her research interests include Old Norse-Icelandic paleography and philology, manuscript culture, hagiography and religious literature, womenʼs and gender studies, and disability studies.

HND Value Statement

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this {article, book, exhibition, film, program, database, report, Web resource}, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or Humanities North Dakota.

However, in an increasingly polarized world, we at Humanities North Dakota believe that being open-minded is necessary to thinking critically and rationally.

Therefore, our programs and classes reflect our own open-mindedness in the inquiry, seeking, and acquiring of scholars to speak at our events and teach classes for our Public University.

To that end, we encourage our participants to join us in stepping outside our comfort zones and considering other perspectives and ideas by being open-minded while attending HND events featuring scholars who hold a variety of opinions, some being opposite of our own held beliefs.

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