Last week, University of Minnesota Crookston Professor Rachel McCoppin was named the recipient of the 2019-2020 Imagine Fund Annual Award. McCoppin’s research proposal is on “Women as Representations of Nature in Germanic and Norse Mythology.”

McCoppin hopes to pursue a scholarly book project involving the role of women as representatives of nature in various mythological traditions, as McCoppin feels the topic of women in mythology, and in particular women as representatives of the natural environment, is a topic that has received little attention. With this grant, she plans to travel to Scandinavia in order to research various sites that were sacred to the Germanic and Norse. Visiting the sacred sites, viewing the archaeological artifacts found at such sites, taking part in on-site mythological narrations, among other activities, will provide essential information for making connections with written mythological materials. In addition, viewing the landscape surrounding sites connected to mythological narratives will help McCoppin gain an understanding of how Norse and Germanic women achieved the portrayal they did within their narratives.

Imagine Fund grant programs support projects in the arts, design, and humanities at the University of Minnesota. The three Imagine Fund programs support leading-edge, innovative lines of research or scholarship that may not otherwise be possible. Awards often leverage investments and funds from other sources in support of projects in arts, humanities, and design.

An initiative of the Executive Vice President and Provost, the programs are supported by a generous grant from the McKnight Foundation; additional contributions have come from the Provost's Office, Graduate School, and the Office of the Vice President for Research, and from the creation of the Arts, Design, and Humanities Chair through the Permanent University Fund.