Beck Lecture series

The Beck Lecture series at the University of Victoria focuses on various aspects of Icelandic literature and culture. 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. 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. 

During the fall of 2023, we will once again be hosting a visiting professor from the University of Iceland. Dr. Hólmfríður Garðarsdóttir will be teaching a course on the depiction of women in Scandinavian Literature with a special focus on Icelandic writers and will also be providing three public lectures as part of the Richard and Margaret Beck Lecture Series on Icelandic Literature.

On account of Covid 19, we have not been able to host a visiting professor for several years. During that time, we sponsored several Icelandic films at the Victoria International Film Festival (most recently Hlynur Pálmason’s Godland in 2023) and also organized a zoom event with the acclaimed Icelandic writer Sjón. Dr. Peter Stenberg, an emeritus professor of Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies at UBC, “interviewed” Sjón in the form of a conversation.

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.


Dr. Helga Thorson, University of Victoria (2015-2019, current)

Dr. Megan Swift, University of Victoria (2019-2021)

Dr. John Tucker, University of Victoria (emeritus)

Dr. W. D. Valgardson, University of Victoria (emeritus)

Comments & Questions

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