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Norse Myth in Academia

A roundup of UCLA’s conference on Norse mythology — which was nothing like Pantheacon, but fascinating all the same.

By Steven T. Abell

I spent four days last week at UCLA attending a conference on Norse mythology. The High Powers of academia from all over the world were in attendance. It was interesting to meet the people behind the names on the spines of many of the books on my shelf, and then to meet many others, too. Rudolf Simek is a really fun guy, and Merrill Kaplan is positively captivating.

Keep in mind: these people are professors. They study the myths, and the language, culture, and religion associated with them. And somebody pays them to do it! None of the people on the program appear to actually be Heathen: they just like to read about historical Heathenry in the original documents.

It was, to put it plainly, nothing like Pantheacon.

Still, there was much of interest to modern Heathens, and several beside myself were in attendance. Here are some of the talks that interested me:

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