Imagining the Supernatural North

University of Alberta Press, 2016

Edited with Danielle Cudmore and Stefan Donecke

‘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.

Reviews [Click to reveal reviews for this book]

Polar Record:
“This 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 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”.

Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research:
“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 alongside Arctic Discourses and other works on construction of the North in Western thought. It will also fit well into collections on the history of Western science, literature, or religion”.