About SwiSca


The SwiSca symposia are scholarly events focusing on investigations of swearing and taboo language usage from a variety of academic perspectives.


The events are organized by members of the SwiSca network, an international group of researchers initially based in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, but which now boasts members from Finland and Iceland, as well as affiliates from Europe, the UK, and the US. Previous events have taken place at the Danish Language Council (2012), University of Oslo (2013), Uppsala University (2015), University of Southern Denmark (2016), Helsinki University (2017) and Södertörn University (2018).

This year, the symposium is organized by The Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies


Keynote speaker:

Professor Ármann Jakobsson


The trolls take thy boasting and bragging:

The Meaning of medieval cursing

In this paper, two invocations of trolls in Njáls saga will be explored in depth in order to establish what such curses mean, how they function and who uses them. Also discussed is the context of these curses: religious conversion, the place of superstition and the resilience of ancient paranormal figures within a newly Christianised society.

Ármann Jakobsson is a professor in medieval Icelandic literature at the University of Iceland.

Call for papers and registration

The 7th SwiSca symposium will be held in Reykjavik December 2-3 2021. There is no registration fee.

If you are interested in giving a paper (20 min. + 10 min. discussion) or attending the event, please contact the organizer (helga.hilmisdottir at arnastofnun.is).


Organizing committee

Helga Hilmisdóttir - The Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies

Kristy Beers Fägersten -  Södertörn University

Marianne Rathje - The Danish Language Council


Important dates

Deadline for abstracts: September 1 2021

Information of acceptance:  September 14 2021

Deadline for registration (attendance only): Nov 25 2021 



Safnaðarheimili Neskirkju

Við Hagatorg

107 Reykjavík

(20 min. from the city center, walking)

Program (outline)

Thursday, December 2nd 2021

09.00 Coffee and registration

09.30 Welcome address:

09.45-12.30 Papers

12.30 Lunch

13.45 Keynote: Professor Ármann Jakobsson

15.15-17.00 papers

18.30 Network dinner

Friday, December 3rd 2021 

09.00 Papers

12.15 Lunch

13.30-14.30 Papers

14.30 Closing remarks

14.45 SwiSca network meeting

16.00 End of symposium

More detailed program and abstracts will be posted in October 2021.

Contact information

Helga Hilmisdóttir, research associate professor

Department of Lexical Studies and Lexicography

Laugavegi 13, IS-101 Reykjavík, Iceland

email: helga.hilmisdottir at arnastofnun.is

The Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies


Funded by

-Nordplus språk

-The Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies

-Letterstedska föreningen