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Our Cultural Presentation
By Dr Lilla Kopár, an Associate Professor of English
“Gods and Myths of the Viking World: An Introduction to Norse Mythology”
The fascinating stories of the Norse gods have long captured the imagination of people from the medieval period to modern days. Odin, Thor, Loki, and their companions inspired the world of Tolkien, the operas of Wagner, movies of the Marvel universe, and more. But what do we actually know about these deities, their cults, and the myths and legends that brought them to life? This richly illustrated talk will provide an overview of Norse mythology and the religious practices of the Viking world, with the help of literary sources and the material evidence of art and archeology. We will discuss the history of the world from its creation to the dramatic events of Ragnarök, meet the main deities of the Norse universe, and explore aspects of lived religion through rituals and religious objects.
Dr Lilla Kopár is Associate Professor of English, Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Studies, and Director of the Center for Medieval and Byzantine Studies at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Her research focuses on the visual culture of early medieval England, in particular on stone sculpture, on the iconography of myth and heroic legend, on visual storytelling, and on inscribed objects in early medieval northern Europe. Her publications include Gods and Settlers: The Iconography of Norse Mythology in Anglo-Scandinavian Sculpture (2012) and articles on early medieval art and iconography of the British Isles, Scandinavia, and Greenland, on English and Scandinavian literary connections, and on runic inscriptions. She is also involved in digital humanities and serves as co-director of the NEH-funded Project Andvari: A Digital Portal to the Visual World of Early Medieval Northern Europe and of the Andvari Iconography Thesaurus project.
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