St Magnús Symposium – CFP

Ruler, Poet, Saint: Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali Kolsson and his World

1 – 3 September 2022, King Street Halls, Kirkwall, Orkney.

Kali, who would rule as Rǫgnvaldr, Earl of Orkney, from 1137-58/59, was a Renaissance man before the Renaissance, a medieval polymath who combined political responsibility with a passion for poetry and a spirit of adventure. Warrior, poet, crusader, saint: Rǫgnvaldr’s story encapsulates an uncommon diversity of experiences for the period. This conference will explore the history and literary representation of Rǫgnvaldr Kali Kolsson, set in the wider context of twelfth-century Orkney and the world beyond. The complexity of Rǫgnvaldr’s character and the breadth of his travels and experiences will offer a focal point for further investigation into issues central to the study of medieval Scandinavian history and culture, including literary myth-making and the construction of social memory; the relationship between prose and verse in the Icelandic sagas and manuscript tradition; and the interaction between east and west during the medieval period. We hope this conference will rekindle interest in the understudied figure of Rǫgnvaldr Kali Kolsson, and that the life and times of this enigmatic Earl of Orkney will offer new perspectives for the study of the medieval north.

The conference will be divided into four strands

  • Rǫgnvaldr Kali Kolsson: ruler, poet, saint
  • Prose and Poetry in the North
  • Crusaders and the North
  • Orkney in the Twelfth Century and Beyond

Keynote speakers:

  • Judith Jesch, Professor of Viking Studies at the University of Nottingham
  • Dr Ian Crockatt, poet and translator

We are also planning an excursion to sites around Orkney and an event in St Magnus Cathedral. We expect the conference fee to be in the region of £120.

The organisers of this special St Magnús Symposium invite abstracts of 300-400 words on the theme of Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali Kolsson.

Please email the organisers with any queries as well as your abstracts by 31 January 2022.