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ONLINE: Trolls of the Millennium Webinar

9 February, 2021 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

The Driftless Historium hosts Portland, Oregon-based writer and researcher Britte Rasmussen Marsh on Tuesday, February 9 at 6:30pm CST for “Trolls of the Millennium: Resurgence and Redefinition” This free webinar is the second installment of a three-part series exploring the cultural and folk history of trolls.

For February’s virtual event, anticipate metamorphosis.

Beginning in the Modern Era, troll narratives sprung like dandelions from the chaotic soil of World Wars I and II—as flowers or as weeds? As Scandinavian immigrants set sail for new beginnings on the North American continent, so too did their troll stowaways. Trolls globalized and commercialized. Sometimes their shape and form resurged as nostalgically Nordic, other times they were redefined to reflect the cultural landscape of changing times. In any case, trolls dispersed along with the rapid expansion of media and found their germination through film, sculpture, marketing, gaming, and the arrival of the Internet Age. What does it mean now to be a 21st century troll? Why do trolls still resonate across demographics, and what’s next?

In Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, trolls are a quirky—and profitable—distillation of our Norwegian heritage. But, as out-of-towners ask as they purchase their souvenirs, what’s REALLY the deal with the trolls?

Marsh tackles this from a global perspective with her current project, WeTroll, a non-fiction book and podcast that explores the “troll diaspora” from Scandinavia to North America in order to ask “are trolls real, and have you encountered one?” She is also collaborating on an ongoing group translation of the 1978 text, “Eg Har Sett Huldra” (“I have seen Huldra”), an autobiographical account of a hunter-taxidermist’s encounter with a beautiful troll siren.

Her research tracks how trolls are woven throughout the recorded histories of Scandinavia, from the Vikings of Old Norse, to the conquests of St. Olav. Trolls, Marsh contends, are amongst us. And always have been. Some are fearsome, other comforting. They are ugly, beautiful, in the woods, in the towns, in the home and—sometimes—in us. Our collective reimagining and reinterpreting of the troll continues to this day.

Marsh asks, who are they? What do they want from us? Or do they just want to be left alone?

This is a free virtual event. Registration is required. To register, email mthorebhistory@mhtc.net (include “2-9 Troll Talk” in the subject line) or call 608-437-6486 by Saturday, February 6.


9 February, 2021
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:


Mt. Horeb Area Historical Society
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