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Scandinavian Cultural Center

Donald P. Ryan

Interim Director of the Scandinavian Cultural Center

Anderson University Center - Room 109
  • Professional


  • Ph.D., Scandinavian Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley, 2012
  • M.A., Anthropology with a Concentration in Museum Studies, George Washington University, 1998
  • B.A., Scandinavian Languages and Literature, University of California, Berkeley, 1994

Areas of Emphasis or Expertise

  • Icelandic Culture and History
  • Viking Age Archaeology
  • Medieval Literature and Sagas
  • Museum Studies

Selected Presentations

  • 15th International Saga Conference, Remembering and Forgetting in Þórðar saga hreðu, Aarhus, Denmark (August 6-13th , 2012)
  • Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Studies meeting, In the Shadow of Hólar: Christian Identity in Þórðar saga hreðu, Salt Lake City, U.S.A (May 4th , 2012)
  • "People, Places, Stories” conference, Linnaeus University, Session Organizer: “Landscapes of Violence, Places to Forget", Kalmar, Sweden (September 28th-30th , 2011)
  • University of Icelandas part of a symposium on the image of the Vikings, Making ‘Vikings’ Work: Sýningartexti og almenningsskilningur, Reykjavík, Iceland (September 24, 2010)

Selected Articles

  • "Review of Shamanism in the North by Clive Tolley." Siberica Vol. 11 (3), 2013: 85-87.
  • "Nested Narrative: Þórðar saga hreðu and Material Engagement. Dissertation filed with University of California, Berkeley. Accessible online via Proquest/UMI." 2012:
  • "Estranged Bedfellows: Saga Scholarship and Archaeological Research in Iceland." The 14th International Saga Conference Preprint Papers Vol. 2, 2009a: 1009-1015.
  • "The Rhetorical Challenge of the Everyday Object: ‘ Þjóð verða til’ at the National Museum of Iceland." Nordisk Museologi (1) 2009: 5-15.
  • "Medieval Tales, Modern Tourists: Exploring the Njál’s Saga Landscape of Southern Iceland.”with Arthúr Björgvin Bollason." In Northern Ethnographic Landscapes, National Park Service and Smithsonian Institution. Edited by Igor Krupnik and Rachel Mason. Contributions to Circumpolar Anthropology Volume 5, Smithsonian Institution 2004: Pp. 257-278.


  • Menningarrá ð Su ð urnesja grant for outreach at Víkingaheimar 2010
  • Norwegian-Icelandic Cultural Cooperation grant for exhibition at Víkingaheimar 2009
  • Leifur Eiríksson Millennium Foundation Fellowship for dissertation research 2009
  • Dean’s Normative Time Fellowship for dissertation research 2008

Professional Memberships/Organizations