About The Rune Cast

Maja and the Sparlösa runestone. Photo: Maja Bäckvall.

From writing your name on a spear, to commemorating your parents with a runestone, to passing secret notes in church, runes were a central writing system in Northern Europe for centuries. On this podcast, runologist Maja Bäckvall and expert guests talk about runes and the people who read and wrote them.

The Rune Cast is a podcast in English about runes, runology and runic inscriptions. The project is funded by Riksbankens jubileumsfond.

There is a widespread international interest in runes, which brings with it many misconceptions and strange ideas. Neo-Nazis appropriate runes for their dangerous cause, while the equivalent of the letter F is sold on amulets said to bring wealth. Considering what we actually know about runes and runic inscriptions, there are completely different stories to tell, and that is what the podcast will do. Eleven episodes in all are planned, 30 to 45 minutes long, to be published every other week. Themes covered include the origins of runic writing, the Danish stones at Jelling which kick off the tradition of erecting runestones in Scandinavia, modern use and misuse of runes, and American runic inscriptions such as the Kensington stone. The podcast will have an associated blog with images, references, and links, as well as Facebook and Twitter accounts to interact with the listeners. The project and the podcast is run by Maja Bäckvall, a runologist and philologist with a great interest in public outreach, reception studies, and popular culture.