The Vikings in North America

Friday February 17, 2006 – 7:30 p.m. at the Almonte United Church Social Hall, Elgin Street, Almonte

Speaker: Dr. Carl Widstrand

Topic: The Vikings in North America

Synopsis:

The Vikings, feared warriors, intrepid explorers and early colonists first migrated to Iceland from Norway. Erik the Red was expelled from Iceland and went out to settle in Greenland. Some years later his son, Leif, explored the northern coast of North America and founded a new settlement called Vinland. By three centuries later, they were all gone, leaving no trace as to where they went or why. Dr Carl Widstrand will fill in many interesting details in the history of these fascinating people.

Professor Widstrand is a noted anthropologist, archaeologist, historian, classicist, musician and gourmet chef. Descended from a Viking background he is able to give us a new perspective on the history of the Vikings and their early settlements in North America. His lecture will be as memorable as his earlier lecture on ancient music. He will probably not speak in Old Norse – but you never know!

Speaker’s Profile:

Carl Widstrand is an Adjunct Professor at Carleton University where he teaches courses on Classical History, Classical Mythology, Ancient Science and other subjects.  He has a string of awesome academic qualifications to his name too long to list here in full. He studied at the universities of Stockholm (Classics, Archaeology, Anthropology), Berlin and Uppsala (Ph.D. in Anthropology), and he took a particular interest in things African. For many years he was the Director of the Scandinavian Institute of African Studies at Uppsala, an avocation that also led to university teaching positions in East Africa and Tanzania, and to a stint as Resident Rep for UNDP in Burika Faso.

Dr. Widstrand taught a course in Egyptian culture, and he has spent a lot of time on archaeological sites in the Nile valley, in Sweden, in Africa and in the Aegean. As well, he has found the time for numerous papers and seventeen books, including a cookbook especially for lamb, entitled Agnus Deli.

But at Carleton University, the classical scholar also fetched up as a research associate in the Department of Music, indicative of his other passion in life, music. After a stint as a trombonist in an army band and a classical training on the bassoon, he has now calmed down to play the double bass in the Divertimento Orchestra in Ottawa.

The Almonte Lectures are geared for eager audiences of all ages and are offered free of charge. (Although a free-will donation is much appreciated and goes toward hall rental and advertising the series.) For further information, please phone Don Wiles at 256-4376. The Almonte Lectures are affiliated with the Mississippi Mills Residents’ Association (www.mmra.ca). One head can not hold all wisdom.

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