About Fjörn

Although the name Fjörn complements this blog’s Norse aesthetic far better, my real name is Steven T. Dunn (which is very boring in comparison). I’m currently a fledgling medievalist at the University of South Florida pursing an M.A. in History and working as a graduate assistant. Unsurprisingly, my research focuses on the medieval North (Norse, Anglo-Saxon, and Celtic things), but especially Iceland. I tend to examine medieval society and culture through the stories they told, so I do work a lot with medieval literature (especially the Sagas of Icelanders). But I won’t ramble on about my research here. If you’d like to know more about my academic side, then I suggest taking a quick look at my Curriculum Vitae.

The rest of this “About Me” is optional. You may continue reading if you’d like to know more about me as a person (since that does matter to some folk), but otherwise you may click away and frolic elsewhere.

On a more personal note, I’m quite the diverse person; I have many passions in life and always struggle to settle on just one thing. I consider myself not only a scholar, but also an aspiring author (fantasy), classical musician (cello), and impressionist painter (with an Etsy). I constantly seek harmony and balance between them, but in reality they tend to compete amongst one another for favor; so although this blog tends to be dominated by my academic pursuits, I frequently fight a battle within myself over what passion I should be pursing most strongly. But, in the end, I am a complex combination of all those things; no matter which path I walk, they all accompany me.

That said, although none of these things matter much (at least here), I believe it is important to give readers a chance to know their author. My academic credentials are the most obvious ‘requirement’ for an “About Me” section, but my interests outside of academia do shape the content I produce. The way I view the world, the things I bring to the table, the person I have become—all of those things have been shaped by the people who have inspired me, taught me, and showed me how to understand the world around me:

Authors: John Ronald Reuel Tolkien and several anonymous medieval authors.

Composers: Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonín Dvořák, Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns, and Frédéric Chopin.

A Few Pieces by Them:

BachErbarme dich, mein Gott (with cello); Cello Suites, BWV 1007-1012

DvořákNew World SymphonyCello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104, B. 191

Saint-SaënsIntroduction and Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 28; Cello Concerto in A Minor, Op. 33, No. 1

ChopinÉtude Op. 25, No. 11 “Winter Wind.”; Étude Op. 25, No. 5 “Wrong Note”; Cello Sonata in G Minor, Op. 65

Painters: Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, and Vincent van Gogh.

But, other than those rather serious influences/interests, I’m also fond of drinking tea, smelling candles, and watching anime (believe it or not). I couldn’t possibly say what my favorite anime is, nor do I want to try, but I will say that my favorite manga (at least for the moment) is Vinland Saga—which is hardly a surprise, I imagine. I’m especially a fan of Studio Ghibli, though, not only because the movies themselves, but also for the splendid artwork, music, and deeply touching messages that they convey.

In the end, I suppose my academic interests do seem a bit odd in comparison to the rest. It’s not common, after all, to find someone who is at once interested in the Vikings and an avid listener of classical music rather than heavy metal.

Takk fyrir lestur. Thanks for reading.