Viðar Hreinsson grew up on a farm in Northern Iceland and completed a Mag. Art degree in literary studies at the University of Copenhagen in 1989. Former director of the Reykjavík Academy, he is an independent literary scholar and environmental activist currently based at the Stefansson Arctic Institute, the Reykjavik Academy and the Icelandic Museum of Natural History. Viðar has taught and lectured on Icelandic literary and cultural history at universities in Canada, the USA and Scandinavia and has published a number of scholarly papers. He is the General Editor of The Complete Sagas of Icelanders I-V (1997). His two-volume biography of Icelandic Canadian poet Stephan G. Stephansson, published in Iceland 2002 and 2003, appeared in English in one volume as Wakeful Nights (2012). Both versions received nominations and awards. His latest work is a 760 p. monograph, Jón lærði og náttúrur náttúrunnar (Jón the Learned and the Natures of Nature, 2016) on the 17th century conception of nature and the life of Jón Guðmundsson the Learned (1574-1658), a self-educated scholar, historian, poet, rebel, magician, healer and artist. It was nominated for the Icelandic Literary Award, and received the special award for academic work of outstanding quality from Hagþenkir, the Assocation of Icelandic Non-fiction Writers. Presently Viðar is working on various projects within environmental humanities and cultural sustainability, including the international transdisciplinary research project Reflections of Change: The Natural World in Literary and Historical Sources from Iceland ca. AD 800 to 1800 (2017-2020) funded by The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences.
Senior Scientist, Stefansson Arctic Institute
Borgir, Nordurslod, IS-600 Akureyri, Iceland