Verena Höfig, Assistant Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures, was recently interviewed on “Saga Thing,” a podcast hosted by medievalists Andrew Pfrengler, Visiting Assistant Professor of English at the University of Mississippi and John Sexton, Professor of English at Bridgewater State University. Pfrengler and Sexton have been reading and enjoying the Icelandic sagas for years. Their goal is to read and review these sagas, one at a time, in an epic quest to put the sagas of the Icelanders on trial and to celebrate the greatness of saga literature.
This particular podcast was the first in a series of special “Saga Briefs on Interpreting the Past,” a series that looks at modern interpretations and perceptions of the medieval.
In this episode, hosts John and Andy welcomed Verena Höfig, Assistant Professor in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Zachary Melton, a Ph.D. student at the University of Iceland.
The guests covered a range of topics, including the appeal of Viking Age culture and mythology to modern religious and political movements; the role of literature, history, and social media in the construction of individual and group identities; and the challenges that faced, both as scholars and as citizens of the world, coming to terms with the many differences of interpretation that divide devotees to this topic.
To access the podcast, click on: https://sagathingpodcast.wordpress.com/ and scroll down to the headline “Saga Brief 21 – Interpreting the Past (Part 1) – Modern Perceptions of the Viking Age with Verena Höfig and Zachary Melton.” [1:26.29]