Stephen A. Mitchell received an A.B. in Anthropology and Scandinavian Languages and Literatures from University of California, Berkeley and a Ph.D. in Scandinavian Languages and Literatures from the University of Minnesota. He is a Professor of Scandinavian and Folklore at Harvard University, and a curator of its Milman Parry Collection of Oral Literature. His research and teaching focus on Nordic culture and literature, especially the popular traditions, mythologies, belief systems, and legends of the late medieval and early modern periods. He has written several books including Heroic Sagas and Ballads and Witchcraft and Magic in the Nordic Middle Ages.