Professor Stephen A. Mitchell

Professor Stephen A. Mitchell from Harvard University has been appointed honorary doctor at Aarhus University based on his ground-breaking research in the Viking Age and medieval Scandinavia. Stephen A. Mitchell's research has contributed new knowledge about the history of Scandinavian history by re-establishing the importance of focusing on the hidden aspects of witchcraft, magic and women's history. He has explored non-canonical texts which have not previously been analysed – or only to a very limited extent. Mitchell is extremely productive and is currently working on a book on the subject of 'Nordic Charm Magic: Word Power and Tradition in Medieval and Early Modern Scandinavia'.   

Stephen A. Mitchell has received several international distinctions in the form of prizes and research fellowships. He has a background in Scandinavian studies and folkloristics, but his research work spans man aspects of cultural history at the intersection of literature, philology, history and the history of religions, which makes him an important contributor to many disciplines. 

Stephen A. Mitchell has close ties to Aarhus University. He has been the head of the the Harvard Summer School (the Viking Studies Program in Scandinavia) at Aarhus University since 2007. He was a visiting professor in 2009, and he gave a keynote lecture at the 15th International Saga Conference at Aarhus University in summer 2012. The appointment of Mitchell as an honorary doctor at Aarhus University is intended to strengthen the ties between Aarhus University and Harvard University and potentially pave the way for increased cooperation.



1980:                      PhD in Scandinavian; minor in anthropology, University of Minnesota

1977:                      MA in Scandinavian; minor in anthropology, University of Minnesota

Positions in recent years:

1987:                      Professor of Scandinavian and Folklore, Harvard University

1985-87:                 Associate Professor of Scandinavian, member of Committee on Degrees in Folklore and Mythology, Harvard University

Selected prizes and honorary awards

2013:                      Fellow, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Studies, Uppsala University

2012:                      The Ambiguities of Memory Construction in Medieval Texts: The Nordic Case

2011:                      Walter Channing Cabot Fellowship for distinction in scholarly publication

2009:                      Visiting professor, Aarhus University, Denmark

2007:                      Dag Strömbäck Prize, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Studies, Uppsala, for his research into witchcraft, folklore and medieval literature

2004-2005:             American Fellow, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, Harvard University