Professor Emerita

Marianne E. Kalinke

CAS Professor Emerita of Germanic Languages and Literatures

Professor Kalinke is an international authority on cultural and literary relations between Scandinavia and the continent in the medieval and early modern period. In her books and articles she has addressed the transmission of continental literature to Scandinavia, the nature of translation in the Middle Ages, and the impact of medieval French romance on the development of Old Icelandic literature. Her groundbreaking study of the transmission of the Arthurian legend to Norway and Iceland, King Arthur, North-by-Northwest (1981), led to a reconsideration of the impact of continental romance on the development of indigenous Icelandic saga genres. Subsequently, Bridal-Quest Romance in Medieval Iceland (1990), which dealt with the introduction and development of new types of fiction in Iceland, initiated a revision of the received classification of Icelandic literary genres. With The Book of Reykjahólar: The Last of the Great Medieval Legendaries (1996) her study of romance broadened to include sacred romance and the role played by Iceland in preserving medieval German literature that has otherwise been lost. The rise of vernacular fiction in the medieval German-language area from Latin historiographical and hagiographical models is traced in her book, St. Oswald of Northumbria: Continental Metamorphoses (2005). Her collaborative volume The Arthur of the North: The Arthurian Legend in the Norse and Rus’ Realms (2011) is a first survey of the broad geographical area in which Arthurian literature was composed and transmitted.

In addition to her books and more than 60 articles on literary history, she has edited and translated medieval Icelandic sagas; her three-volume edition and translation of medieval Icelandic, Norwegian, and Swedish Arthurian literature was published in 1999. 

She has served as president of the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study (1995-97) and has served on and chaired the grants and fellowships board of the American-Scandinavian Foundation (1999-2004). She has been an ACLS Fellow (1978), Fulbright Fellow (1985-86), and Snorri Sturluson Fellow (1994). In 1987 she was Visiting Professor of German and of Scandinavian Studies at the Georg-August Universität in Göttingen, Germany. From 1981 to 2012 she was managing editor for German and Scandinavian of the Journal of English and Germanic Philology. She served on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Nordic Centre of Excellence in Medieval Studies at the University of Bergen, Norway, in the years 2005-2010.  In 2005, she was appointed Trowbridge Chair in Literary Studies.  The University of Iceland awarded her an honorary doctorate in 2011.

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