We had delayed opening registration until January in the hopes that the pandemic situation might improve by that time and that a live conference in 2021 would still be possible. However, an administrative decision has just determined this for us by prohibiting live conferences on the University of Helsinki premises before September. We feel that a significant part of the ISC is as a major social event for Old Norse scholars, which would be lost in a Zoom-based venue, and the aims and significance of organizing an international conference in two countries are lost without physical participation. Thus, rather than moving the conference completely on-line, we are postponing the ISC, rescheduling it on 7–14 August 2022.
The pandemic has caused rapid changes to many areas of our lives, including how conferences are organized. In order to keep pace with these changing times, the 18th ISC is now planned to be completely hybrid. Although we still aim to organize the ISC as a physical meeting, the event will also accommodate distance participation. The hybrid organization has the advantage of making participation feasible for students and scholars for whom travel may be impractical or difficult. We feel that a hybrid organization will benefit the ISC through increased participation and accessibility.
We understand that this new schedule affects how the conference fits into your schedules and that it may change how it relates to your current projects or research. If your paper has already been accepted, you are welcome to propose a change in topic with a new abstract on or before 1 June 2021. Because of the new schedule of the conference and the hybrid option, we will reopen the call for papers in the Spring of 2021. A fourth circular with the new CfP will be circulated at that time, and you may also visit: https://www.helsinki.fi/en/conferences/18th-international-saga-conference
We look forward to seeing you physically or virtually in Helsinki and Tallinn in 2022!