Beck lecture series

The Beck lecture series at the University of Victoria focuses on various aspects of Icelandic literature and culture. The first "Richard and Margaret Beck Lecture on Icelandic Literature" took place on February 14, 1988. Since then, the University of Victoria has hosted over 80 lectures on a wide range of topics. You can find information about the past lectures in the Archive and other interesting information related to the Margaret Beck Fund under the tabs below.

In the fall of 2016, the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies at UVic is offering a Special Topics 1.5 units credit course on Island Literature with a focus on Icelandic Literature: GMST 369 A01, Course Registration Number  (CRN) 11867, on  Mondays and Thursdays, 10:00-11:20 am, in  CLE A207. Instructor Ástráður Eysteinsson (Department of Comparative Literature, University of Iceland).

The last public lecture by Dr. Eysteinsson “Searching for Iceland: A Literary Quest” will take place on Sunday, 20 November 2016, at 2:00 p.m. in Clearihue Building, Room A212.

The most promising areas of a pristine North Atlantic island had already been explored and claimed in the early 10th Century. However, the search for Iceland had only just begun, manifesting itself in narratives tracing various borders of social conduct and geo-historical destiny. This literary activity – exploring terrains between pioneership and insecurity, grandness and insularity – continues to the present day and can be seen as a driving force in some of the most important works of modern Icelandic literature.

Free and open to the public. Everyone is welcome.

The Endowment

Richard and Margaret Beck made provision in their wills for a special fund to be established at the University of Victoria to provide public lectures on Icelandic language and literature. Richard passed away on July 23, 1980, and Margaret on December 10, 1985.


Dr. Helga Thorson, University of Victoria (current)
Dr. John Tucker, University of Victoria (emeritus)
Dr. W. D. Valgardson, University of Victoria (emeritus)


, University of Victoria

Comments & Questions

Please the Beck Lecture Series.