Imagining the Supernatural North
Contributions by Angela Byrne, Silvije Habulinec, Erica Hill, Jay (Jennene) Johnston, Maria Kasyanova, Jan Leichsenring, Shane McCorristine, Jennifer E. Michaels, Ya'acov Sarig, Rudolf Simek, Athanasios Votsis, Brian Walter and Brenda Walter
"Turning to face north, face the north, we enter our own unconscious. Always, in retrospect, the journey north has the quality of dream." Margaret Atwood, "True North"
In this interdisciplinary collection, sixteen scholars from twelve countries explore the notion of the North as a realm of the supernatural. This region has long been associated with sorcerous inhabitants, mythical tribes, metaphysical forces of good and evil, and a range of supernatural qualities. It was both the sacred abode of the gods and a feared source of menacing invaders and otherworldly beings. Whether from the perspective of traditional Jewish lore or of contemporary black metal music, few motifs in European cultural history show such longevity and broad appeal.
Contributors: Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough, Angela Byrne, Danielle Marie Cudmore, Stefan Donecker, Brenda S. Gardenour Walter, Silvije Habulinec, Erica Hill, Jay Johnston, Maria Kasyanova, Jan Leichsenring, Shane McCorristine, Jennifer E. Michaels, Ya'acov Sarig, Rudolf Simek, Athanasios Votsis, Brian Walter
About the Authors
"This is a North populated by gods, witches, real and imagined invaders, allegorical figures, monsters from the margins of maps, spirits, demons, and trolls.... Sixteen scholars from twelve countries across Europe, North America, and Australia explore particular instances of the North's symbolic geography.... Notes and bibliographies throughout, and a really excellent index at the end, round out a good scholarly work. It belongs on the shelf of polar collections [and] collections on the history of Western science, literature, or religion." [Full review at https://doi.org/10.1657/AAAR0049-4-book2]—Shelly Sommer, Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 49:4
"[M]ost of the chapters take an anthropological or cultural studies approach, although many other disciplines are involved, including history, linguistics, literary studies, and folkloristics.... Supernatural North provides an accessible introduction to a vast subject by touching on such a variety of aspects related to the North and its hold on the Western imagination." Canadian Literature 233 (Summer 2017) [Full review at http://canlit.ca/article/imagining-the-land]—Marinette Grimbeek
"Imagining the Supernatural North is a collection of sixteen essays written by scholars from various fields of study, who have investigated, from multiple perspectives, the theme of the North as part of the collective imagination throughout history, while focusing on the kindred connection between Northerness and the supernatural.... In summary, this brief overview of the wealth of information, expertise and thought-provoking suggestions contained in this book cannot do full justice to its alluring potential as a research instrument. While on the one hand the scientific approach and language make for a delightfully riveting read, on the other hand, the trans-historic perspective helps the reader identify a number of threads which crisscross the whole volume and which call for further investigation." Nordicum-Mediterraneum, Vol 14, No1, 2019 [Full review at https://bit.ly/2GPnfcR]—Sara Culeddu
[T]his book is not only diverse and engaging, it also sheds light on the normative role of 'the north' in time and space as well as within different cultural contexts.... I therefore applaud the editors for having compiled a captivating volume of northern research which I wholeheartedly recommend for scholars of Scandinavian and Arctic studies, literary studies or cultural studies in general. And of course, I encourage also others to read this book..." Polar Research [Full review at doi:10.1017/S0032247417000341]—Nikolas Sellheim,
"...a collection such as this presents an opportunity to begin to think more critically about how the North and the peoples who inhabit it, in particular Indigenous peoples, are represented in popular culture as products of a particular cultural imagination."—Kirsten Møllegaard
|Polynya Press, an imprint of University of Alberta Press|
Other Titles in SOCIAL SCIENCE / Folklore & Mythology