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Richard Harris

Richard Harris

B.A. (University of the South), M.A. (Florida), Ph.D. (Iowa)

Professor

Office: Arts 314
Phone: 966-5502
Email: richard.harris@usask.ca

Research

Richard Harris edited the Old Icelandic Hjalmþés saga for his dissertation while in Reykjavík on a Fulbright Grant for Graduate Research (1965-67). His early publications, undertaken while teaching at Umeå University in Sweden (1971-72), were concerned with Old Icelandic and Old English literature and their inter-connections. He then undertook research in Reykjavík and London on the collaborative activities of William Morris and Eiríkur Magnússon, resulting in several articles and the discovery of 75 letters from Morris to Magnússon which had sat unknown for several decades in a shoebox in a cupboard at the National Library of Iceland. His work with the 17th-century English antiquaries, begun in the late 70s and supported by SSHRCC (1983-85), produced 'A Chorus of Grammars': The Correspondence of George Hickes and his Collaborators on the Thesaurus linguarum septentrionalium, a 492-page volume published with the aid of a CFH grant (Pontifical Institute, Toronto, 1992). He continues work on an edition of the Oxford journals of Sir Frederik Madden and is a Contributing Editor to the international digital project, Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages, at the University of Sydney, Australia. Professor Harris has spent some years compiling A Concordance to the Proverbs and Proverbial Materials of the Old Icelandic Sagas, which now covers most of the Family Sagas (Íslendingasögur). He is currently at work on paroemial texts in the Kings’ Sagas (Konungasögur) and in the Sagas of Ancient Times (Fornaldarsögur norðrlanda). A section of the Concordance, Applications, presents conference papers and references to articles making use of the material gathered by this project. 

Publications

Republication of “Friendship in the Literature of Medieval Iceland: the Evidence of the Proverbs”, a Keynote Address, The Fictional North: proceedings from the 2011 UCN Annual Conference, ed. John Butler & Sue Matheson, University College of the North, 2011. Same title, in The Fictional North: Ten Discussions of Stereotypes and Icons Above the 53rd Parallel. Republished by Cambridge Scholars Publishing Editor: Sue Matheson and John Butler, May 2012.

“The Proverbs of Vatnsdæla Saga and the Sword of Jokull. The Oral Backgrounds of Grettir Ásmundarson´s Flawed Heroism,” published in The Hero Recovered. Essays on Medieval Heroism in Honor of George Clark, ed. Robin Waugh and James Weldon, Medieval Institute Publications, Western Michigan University, 2011. Kalamazoo, MI.

“Friendship in the Literature of Medieval Iceland: the Evidence of the Proverbs”, a Keynote Address, The Fictional North: proceedings from the 2011 UCN Annual Conference, ed. John Butler & Sue Matheson, University College of the North, 2011.

Jafnan segir inn ríkri ráð.” Proverbial Allusion and the Implied Proverb in Fóstbræðra saga. Accepted for publication in 2010 in New Norse Studies, a volume in the Islandica Series of the Fiske Collection, Cornell University.

"The Proverbial Heart of Hrafnkels saga Freysgoða: ‘Mér þykkir þar heimskum manni at duge, sem þú ert'." Scandinavian-Canadian Studies in Canada 16 (2006): 28-54.

"'The Hand's Pleasure in the Blow is Brief’: Proverbs Escalating Danger in the Revenge Pattern of Njálssaga." Proverbium: Yearbook of International Proverb Scholarship 18 (2001): 149-66.
 
"George Hickes (1642-1715)." Medieval Scholarship. Ed. Helen Damico. Garland Press, 1998.
 
"'Grípisspá’ and ‘Hjalmþés saga." Medieval Scandinavia, An Encyclopedia. Ed. P. Pulsiano, K. Wolf, et al. Garland Press, 1993.
 
"Janet Douglas and the Witches of Pollock: the Background of Scepticism in Scotland in the 1670s.” Selected Essays on Scottish Language and Literature. A Festschrift in Honor of Allan H. MacLaine. 1992.
 
Ed. "A Chorus of Grammars": The Correspondence of George Hickes and his Collaborators on the Thesaurus linguarum septentrionalium. Publications of the Dictionary of Old English. Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1992.
 
"William Morris, Eiríkur Magnusson, and Iceland: A Survey of Correspondence." Victorian Poetry 13 (1975): 119-130.
 
"The Deaths of Grettir and Grendel: A New Parallel." Scripta Islandica 24 (1973): 25-53.
 
"The Lion-Knight Legend in Iceland and the Valþjófsstaðir Door." Viator 1 (1970): 125-145.