The Formula in Oral Poetry and Prose
New Approaches, Models and Interpretations
1st Symposium of the Project "Formulae in Icelandic Saga Literature"
5-7 December 2019, Tartu
In 1928 Milman Parry presented his definition of formula in the Homeric epics. The "Oral-Formulaic Theory", with its prominent role of precisely the formula, brought together poetry from genetically unrelated traditions into a universal model. It affected the research on various literary traditions and resulted in many reinterpretations. Since then, new approaches in the study of formulas have been developed among linguists and folklorists.
The present symposium aims to discuss new approaches, models and interpretations of formulas in traditional poetry and prose. The symposium will have a special focus on Old Norse literature, but it attempts to integrate the research on several different cultures and let the knowledge of and research on them shed light on each other.
Note that the symposium starts with a reception on December 5th at 20.00 (restaurant Vilde ja Vine, Vallikraavi 4) and that December 6th and 7th are full conference days. We thus recommend you to that you arrive in Tartu on December 5th and depart on December 8th.
- Stephen Mitchell (Harvard University) "Memory, Formulas, and Merging Revisited"
- Frog (Helsinki University) "Formulaic Language and Organizing Principles of Discourse: Making Sense of the Phenomenon in ‘Poetry’ and ‘Prose’"
- William Lamb (University of Edinburgh) "The Formula in Narrative Prose: Recent Research and Future Challenges"
- Paul Acker (Saint Louis University) "A History of Oral Formulas and Eddic Poetry"
- Bernt Øyvind Thorvaldsen (University of South-Eastern Norway) "The Eddic Formula: Methodological Considerations"
- Slavica Rankovic (Independent scholar) "The ‘No Reaction’ Formula in Íslendingasögur: A Distributed Reading of Grettir’s Temper Management"
- Chiara Bozzone "Chunks, Collocations, and Constructions: Cognitive and Linguistic Perspectives on Formularity in Homer"
- Jonathan Roper (University of Tartu) "Formulas in Anglophone Tales"
If you have any questions, please contact the main organizer (daniel.savborg [ät] ut.ee).
Welcome to Tartu in December!
Professor of Scandinavian Studies
University of Tartu