Although the name Fjorn complements this website’s Norse aesthetic far better, my real name is Steven T. Dunn. I am a graduate student with a Bachelor of Arts in History, and I am currently working towards an M.A. in History, with a concentration in Medieval History. Presently, I study with the University of South Florida’s History Department, where I also work as a Graduate Assistant.
My academic specialization takes me to fringe of the medieval world, far across the northern sea to an island often unnoticed. Although Iceland remains a relatively obscure region in medieval history, my primary goal is to bring it and Scandinavia into the framework of the rest of the medieval world. I use literature, law, and lore to reveal both a uniquely traditional and rapidly changing medieval north as these two cultures began to collide. Furthermore, I seek to better understand how societies have used combinations of history and legend to both promote and criticize such change. Thus, despite being on the hazy rim of the medieval world, my research shares strong connections with a larger experience that is not only medieval, but also broadly human in nature. The stories we tell, and how we choose to tell them, reveal a great deal about how we perceive our past, our present, and the course of our future.
That said, I am not only interested in the Viking Age. In fact, most of my academic curiosity has actually led me away from it; where once I began with the Vikings and their age of expansion, I soon found myself carried off unsuspectingly into the thirteenth century. And although the Viking Age is still highly relevant to such studies, such times are not actually my place of primary concern.
For more details regarding my academic credibility and interests, please see my CV: https://usf.academia.edu/StevenDunn/CurriculumVitae
THE GOAL OF THIS PROJECT
I originally began this project without a clear purpose, and it seems to have remained in obscurity since that fateful moment back in September of 2015. Yet, a purpose has slowly come to form, which is to build not only a connection between the worlds of academia and the public sphere of interest, but also to build a bridge between old and new. Not only do I do this in my studies (in a historical sense), but I also seek to bring history closer towards contemporary relevancy. The stories once told in the thirteenth century (and before it), on a remote medieval island called Iceland, can still sway our hearts and minds to this very day. There is much about the medieval period that still speaks to modern audiences, and the goal of this blog is to formulate a voice for that sort of discussion. We need not keep the past locked in a jar on a dusty shelf. We can understand it, respect it, and use it to help enrich our lives today.
Although I am uncertain as to the exact way to fulfill this goal, I hope to see it come to realization one day. But until then, I hope that you enjoy what you learn here in this ‘hall’ I call a website.
Vertu vel, vinur.
(Be well, friend.)
– Fjorn the Skald