“Contextualizing Our Heritage: The History of the Norwegian Language and Its Use in Genealogical Research”
March 14 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pmFree
Language is a powerful tool that not only allows us to communicate thoughts and events, but that inherently transmits the context and world within which each letter, document, or record was produced. Genealogical research is not simply about identifying dates and names, but about building a relationship with those who have gone before. By understanding the nuances of the language used to record this information, we are given a glimpse into the times in which our ancestors lived, breathing life once more into a world long past. This presentation will walk through the history of Norwegian from the earliest times to the present day, exploring the overarching context of each stage in the history of the Norwegian language. Ultimately, it will conclude by looking at ways and tips that we as researchers can use to both more fully make sense of the records we read and more vividly contextualize the information the records contain.
Our speaker, Michael Knudson is a Ph.D. candidate in Scandinavian Studies–Philology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in the Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic. Michael received his B.A. in European Studies from Brigham Young University with an emphasis on Old Norse and Old English language, literature, and interaction. Following his B.A., Michael received his M.Litt in Viking and Medieval Scandinavian studies from the University of Aberdeen focusing on Norse and Celtic relations. The M.Litt. culminated in a dissertation on the perception and interpretation of the Christian term Guðníðingr (apostate) in a native saga context. Michael’s research interests lie in the sphere of cultural interaction and the adaptation and interpretation of cross-cultural interaction. His current research explores the nature and degree of monastic influence present in medieval Icelandic literature.