Beck lecture series celebrates 30 years

 Beck lectures

With lecture titles that include “Giants and trolls” and “Huldufolk” – Elves, Faeries,” there is no shortage of intriguing material to entertain and inform admirers of Icelandic culture.

Over 30 years, the Richard and Margaret Beck lecture series on Icelandic literature has brought 80 speakers to UVic to illuminate the writing and culture of the Nordic nation. Their disciplinary backgrounds have included writers, scholars and puppeteers.

Germanic and Slavic Studies chair Helga Thorson says for the past three years the University of Iceland has sent a guest professor to UVic for one semester each year under an agreement signed with UVic.

This year’s visiting professor Guðrún Björk Guðsteinsdóttir, who specializes in Icelandic Canadian literature, taught a third-year class in the fall on the legacy of Icelandic folklore.

She also gave three public lectures exploring Icelandic folklore, including the most recent on Nov. 25, which explored huldufólk and álfar, hidden people and faeries, which have captured the imagination of Icelanders and have become an important Icelandic Canadian identity theme.

Watch a video produced by Chorong Kim that celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Beck lectures.