Welcome

My name is Jan Alexander van Nahl, and I am a scholar specialized in medieval (Icelandic) literature and culture, the history of 20th-century (German) scholarship, and the digital humanities. This is my university blog where you can find up-to-date information on my academic activities. Scroll down for my most recent posts, have a look at the archives, or check out the categories above. Thanks for your interest!

Hugvísindaþing 2022: Hending og óvissa í fornsögunum

Breytingar og byltingar áttu sér stað í samfélagi, trúarbrögðum, vísindum og heimspeki allsstaðar í Evrópu fr.o.m. 12. öld. Bókmenntir á þjóðtungum hófust á sama tímabili í Mið- og Norður-Evrópu og óhætt er að segja að þróun þeirra sé tengd þeim breytingum. Staðan manneskjunnar í heiminum sýndist ekki lengur óbreytanleg, heldur voru nýir möguleikar fyrir hendi, en á sama tíma fólu þessar breytingar mikla óvissu í sér. Virðast bókmenntir hafa verið ein leið til að velta þeirri óvissu fyrir sér. Í málstofunni verður fjallað um mismunandi fornsögur í ljósi þeirrar áskorunar.

https://hugvisindathing.hi.is/malstofur/hending-og-ovissa-i-fornsogunum/

New publication: "A waste of effort"? Towards a Reassessment of the Old Norse Kings’ Sagas

Jan Alexander van Nahl 2021: »A waste of effort«? Towards a Reassessment of the Old Norse Kings’ Sagas (With a Comment on a ›Living Handbook of Old Norse Studies‹). In: Andreas Schmidt, Daniela Hahn (eds.): Unwanted Neglected Approaches, Characters, and Texts in Old Norse-Icelandic Saga Studies (Münchner Nordistische Studien 50). München, pp. 272-307. (open access)

New book

After seven years of reading, researching, and writing, my book on the role of contingency and chance in the Old Icelandic Kings' sagas has been published with de Gruyter!

Opening lecture

On Wednesday, October 20th, 16:30 GMT, I give the opening address at the lecture series "Flucht, Verfolgung, Diskriminierung und Fremdheit im Mittelalter" (Medievalia Graecensia, University of Graz, Austria), talking about what it means to be a foreigner, with particular regard to the Old Norse Kings' sagas. Everyone welcome: https://unigraz.webex.com/unigraz/j.php?MTID=m4d1b277ee89992f7d68d391f1e40a2e2