The University of Arizona

Blog

Special Collections: Kolodny Offers Alternative Historic Perspective

Annette Kolodny, Professor Emerita of American literature and culture, will share the compelling results of 12 years of research about the medieval Vikings in North America.

Kolodny's latest book, In Search of First Contact: The Vikings of Vinland, the Peoples of the Dawnland, and the Anglo-American Anxiety of Discovery, offers a radically new interpretation of two medieval Icelandic tales, known as the Vinland sagas, and their impact on U.S. literature and culture.

The Sept. 12 lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held 7-8:30 p.m. in Special Collections, 1510 E. University Blvd. A reception, book sale and book signing will follow the talk.

The book is a monumental achievement by Kolodny, former UA College of Humanities dean and internationally influential literary critic. Kolodny contends that the Vinland sagas are the first known European narratives about contact with North America. In her book, she assesses their impact on literature, immigration policy, and concepts of masculinity.

Kolodny considers what the sagas reveal about the Native peoples encountered by the Norse in Vinland around the year A.D. 1000, and she recovers Native American stories of first contacts with Europeans, including one that has never before been shared outside of Native communities.

These stories contradict the dominant narrative of "first contact" between Europeans and the New World.

To read more and learn more, visit the the UA Libraries lecture page.