Dr. John Tucker

Dr. John Tucker

BA.: Toronto, B.Litt.: Oxford MA. and PhD.: Toronto

Area of expertise

Scandinavian studies; Medieval studies

John Tucker came to UVic in 1979 after three years teaching at the University of Toronto. During his time at UVic he was the founding director of the Medieval Studies Program and served a term as chair of the English Department. He instigated the Department's Writer's Guide and was one of the original co-authors.

He completed his B.A. in English Language and Literature at St. Michael's College, University of Toronto, and then began his graduate work at Oxford University, where he went on to complete a B.Litt in Old Icelandic in 1974, writing a thesis entitled "A Study of the Placitus Saga, Including an Edition, and of its Relation to the Placitus Drapa." During the course of writing this thesis he did an M.A. at the University of Toronto, where he also completed a Ph.D. in 1976, with a thesis entitled "A Reading of Ezra Pound's Criticism, 1910-1920: the Fulcrums of Revolution."

With the creation of Medieval Studies Program his teaching in the English Department shifted to the medieval period, which had remained his area of special interest: thus he now teaches Old English, Old Icelandic, Chaucer, History of the Language, and rather infrequently films set in the Middle Ages. His scholarship tends to focus on the language of literature and the relationship between literary art and related contemporary art forms. The challenges of teaching medieval languages remain an abiding preoccupation.

He is the past president of the Association for the Advancement of Scandinavian Studies in Canada and is presently the editor of the association's journal Scandinavian-Canadian Studies, which has recently become an Open Access online journal available at scancan.net. He is the trustee of the Beck Trust, which seeks to enhance a knowledge of Iceland and Icelandic culture at the University and in the wider community chiefly by bringing speakers here.

Scandinavian - Canadian studies

Scandinavian-Canadian Studies, volume 19

University of Victoria, 2010

Special Issue on Scandinavian Cinema

Bjorn AEgir Nordfjord, "Adapting a Literary Nation to Film: National Identify, Neoromannticism and the Anxiety of Influence"

Agust Gudmundsson, "Land og synir: An Interview with Agust Gudmundsson"

Arne Lund, "Op med hodet: Tancred Ibsen's 1933 Experiment in Cinematic Modernism"

Peter G. Christensen, "Liv Ullmann's Handling of Religious Themes in Her Adaptation of Sigrid Undset's The Wreath"

Ellen Rees, "Norwave: Norwegian Cinema 1997-2006"

Isak Thorsen, "'We had to be careful': The Self-imposed Regulations, Alterations and Censorship Strategies of Nordisk Films Kompagni 1911-1928"

Morten Egholm, "From Working Class Drama to Academic Showdown: On Carl Th. Dreyer's Use of His Literary Sources in Tva Manniskor [Two People] (1945)"

Mads Bunch, "Behind Idealism: The Discrepancy between Philosophy and Reality in The Cinema of Lars von Trier"

Marilyn Johns Blackwell, "Modes of Representation in Ingmar Bergman's Gycklarnas afton"

Paul Coates, "Doubling and Redoubling Bergman: Notes on the Dialectic of Disgrace and Disappearance"

Ursula Lindqvist, "Roy Andersson's Cinematic Poetry and the Spectre of Cesa Vallejo"

Lawrence D. Smith, "Readymades, Rejects, and the Ready-to-Hand: Found Objects in the Films of Aki Kaurismaki"

Pietari Kaapa, "Imaginaries of a Global FinlandPatterns Globalization in Finnish National Cinema"


Scandinavian-Canadian Studies, volume 18

University of Victoria, 2009

William Sayers, "Snorri's Trollwives"

Kristine Kastberg, "'Dressed up in the body of an old woman': Gothic Conventions in Ingemann, Andersen, Blixen and Hoeg"

Errol Durbach, "Ibsen's Evangelical Detective: Evidence and Proof in The Wild Duck"

Natalie M. Van Deusen, "Colours, Colour Symbolism, and Social Critique in Halldor Laxness's Salka Valka"

Poul Houe, "Face as Facts of Fiction"

Vesteinn Olason, "Modernism in the Post-war Icelandic Novel up to 1990"

Reviews by Michael Jasinski, Bill Holm, Natalie M. Van Deusen, Monika Zagar, W.D.Valgardson, Kyle E. Frackman, William Urban, Jon Karl Helgason, P.A.Baer, and Linda Olson


Scandinavian-Canadian Studies, Volume 17

University of Victoria, 2008

Bernadine McCreesh, "Saint-Making in Early Iceland"

Jon Karl Helgason, "The Mystery of Vinarterta: In Search of Icelandic Ethnic Identity"

Daisy L. Neimann, "'Girl Interrupting': History and Art as Clairvoyance in the Fiction of Vigdis Grimsdottir"

Mika Roinila, "Erhard J. Alm, Inventor and Entrepreneur"

Kristin Adalsteinsdottir, Gudmundur Engilbertsson, Ragnheidur Gunnbjornsdottir, "And Exploration of Teachers' Pedagogy and Perceptions of their Cultural Diverse Learers in Manitoba (Canada), Norway and Iceland"

Reviews by Colleen Batey, Erin-Lee Halstad McGuire, W.D.Valgardson, and Kristin M. Johannsdottir


Scandinavian-Canadian Studies, Volume 16


University of Victoria, 2007

Erin Lee Halstad McGuire, "Archaeology in Iceland: Recent Developments"

Richard L. Harris, "The Proverbial Heart of Hrafnkels saga freysgoda: Mer thykkir thar heimskum manni at duga, sem thu ert"

Henning Howlid Waerp, "Knut Hamsun as a Travel Writer: In Wonderland"

Per Anders Rudling, "'A Paper for the Scandinavians in Edmonton': The Norwegian Immigrant Experience in Alberta as Recorded in the Norwegian-Language Paper Vikingen"

Penny Farfan, "Postcolonial Ibsen: Judith Thompson's Hedda Gabler"

Milda Ostrauskaite, "Hotel Pro Forma: Nomadic Theatre Without Borders?"

Seija Paddon, "Dysfunction and Its Effect in Literary Translation"

Marie-Noelle Godin, "Urban Youth Language in Multicultural Sweden"


Birgitta Steene, Ingmar Bergman: A Reference Guide (Brian McIlroy)

Jorgen Heman, Lars Ahlander, Runo: Historien om svenskon i Rigabukten (Per Anders Rudling)

Tanya Thresher, Cecilie Loveid: Engendering a Dramatic Tradition (Gurli Woods)


Scandinavian-Canadian Studies, Volume 15

University of Victoria, 2006


Thea Bowering, "A New Ontology for the Female Subject: The Rise of the Flat Character in Stories by Solvej Balle and Kirsten Thorup"

Peter G. Christensen, "The Unstable Kierkegaardian Framework of Henrik Stangerup's Novel Trilogy"

Michael Jaaskelainen, "Foreign Camp Ground: On Translation of Camp and Postcolonial Allusions"

Per Anders Rudling, "Ukrainian Swedes in Canada: Gammalsvenskby in the Swedish-Canadian Press 1929-1931"

Review Articles:

Russell Poole, "'Ord eftir ord,' 'Ord eftir ordi': The Progress of the Dictionary of Old Norse Prose"

Gurli Woods, "A Milestone in Brogger Scholarship: Marina Allemano's 'Introduction' to Suzanne Brogger's Symbolic and Philosophical Universe"


Vilhelm Moberg, A History of the Swedish People (Per Anders Rudling)


Placidus Saga, Editiones Arnamagnaeanae, series B, vol. 31

Copenhagen: C.A.Reitzels Forlag, 1998

This edition and study of the Placidus saga also includes an edition of the Placitus drapa by Jonna Louis Jensen.


Glossary to the Poetic Edda, with Beatrice La Farge

Heidelberg: Carl Winter, 1992

This glossary is based on Hans Kuhn's earlier German glossary.


Concise Icelandic-English Dictionary, with Sverrir Holmarsson and Christopher Sanders

Reykjavik: Idunn, 1989

This dictionary is available FREE on line from the University of Wisconsin at the url hidden under the button misleadingly named "purchase here."

Purchase Here


Sagas of the Icelanders: A Book of Essays

New York, Garland: 1989

This edited collection includes essays by Hermann Palsson, Theodore M. Andersson, Lars Lonnroth, Jenny Jochens, Margaret Clunies Ross, Preben Meulengracht Sorensen, Russell Poole, Jesse Byock, Ursula Dronke, robert Cook, John Lindow, Oskar Halldorsson, Constance B. Hieatt, Carol J. Clover, and William Ian Miller.



Chaos and Love: the Philosophy of the Icelandic Family Sagas, by Thomas Bredsdorff

Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, University of Copenhagen, 2001

Thomas Bredsdorff's monograph, of which this is a translation, is entitled Kaos og Kaerlighed.


Saga and Society: An Introduction to Old Norse Literature, by Preben Meulengracht Srensen, Studia Borealia/Nordic Studies, vol. 1

Odense: Odense University Press, 1994

Preben Meulengracht Sorensen's monograph, of which this is a translation, is entitled Saga og Samfund


"Olkofri's Saga" and "The Saga of the People of Vopnafjord" in The Complete Sagas of Icelanders ed. Vidar Hreinsson et al.

Rekjavik: Leifur Erksson, 1997

The translations appear respectively in volume V, 231-37, and volume IV, 313-34.

"All my literate life I have been looking for more English translations of the Sagas. To have them all, in this superb five-volume edition, is a dream come true." Ted Hughes

"The English is wonderfully accessible to this modern reader. Only now can I fully appreciate my own deep debt as a story-teller to Icelandic writers of long ago." Kurt Vonnegut.

Selected articles

"George Johnston's The Saga of Gisli, Malahat Review 78 (March 1987) 83-91. Reprinted in Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism 71.


"The Waste Land, Order and Myth," Craft and Tradition: Essays in Honour of William Blissett, ed. Hans de Groot and Alexander Leggatt, (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 1990), pp. 217-27.


"Poetry or Doubletalk: Pound and Modernist Poetics," Critical Quarterly, 27 (Summer 1985) 39-48. Reprinted abridged in Contemporary Literature 48.


"William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying: Working out the 'Cubistic Bugs'," Texas Studies in Literature and Language, 27 (Winter 1984) 388-404.


"Pound, Vorticism and the New Esthetic," Mosaic, 16 (1983) 83-96.


"William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying: Toward a Structuralist Reading," Modern Language Quarterly, 43 (June 1982) 128-55.