New course: Island Literature

Instructor: Ástráður Eysteinsson

This Fall 2016 course focuses on island cultures and the literary representation of islands, with an emphasis on Icelandic literature. A number of literary works (prose, poetry and drama) about islands will be explored. The island will be analyzed in terms of both spatial reality and metaphor: as utopia and dystopia, as fortress or prison, as the geographic and psychological space of an individual, a group or a nation. Significant topics include identity and the exotic, isolation and travel, centres and peripheries, settlement and coloniality, and the politics of insular places. Readings range from classical works like The Saga of Grettir the Strong and Shakespeare‘s Tempest to contemporary works like From the Mouth of the Whale (Rökkurbýsnir) by Sjón.