Carl Olsen specializes in Old Norse literature, particularly Norse Mythology, as well as later Scandinavian Folklore. His dissertation (2009) approaches the Old Norse shield poems as ekphrases in light of both contemporary interart theory as well as current research into both the Viking age and Medieval Icelandic context for these poems. Since then much of his work has revolved around the application of cultural memory theory to the issue of the “survival” of pagan Norse myths in Christian Iceland. His upcoming article on the Figure of the Home and Interior in Old Norse literature builds on both the interest in the material culture of the Viking age that informed his dissertation and on his interest in the ways that Old Norse literature is engaged in the construction of Icelandic identity. From Fall 2013-Summer 2015 he was engaged as the translator of Swedish theologian Ola Sigurdson’s book Heavenly Bodies (Himmelska kroppar), on the theology and philosophy of the body.
Carl filed his dissertation with the department of Scandinavian at Berkeley in 2009, where he taught as a lecturer until 2012. From 2012-13 he taught Swedish at Gustavus Adolphus College, and from 2014-2015 has been teaching Swedish and other courses at UCLA. At Berkeley he will be teaching Scandinavian R5B Section 3 and Swedish 1A in Fall 2015.