The Pen, the Press and the People:
A Polymedia approach to written communications of the early-modern and modern era.
Summer, 2011. Post-graduate level. 10 ECTS credits. Language: English.
Bárđardalur valley, North Iceland.
Meeting point: Reykjavík, Iceland [to be announced].
Enrolment deadline: To be announced.
For registration details see: Details not yet available for 2011.
• Literary history
• Book history
• Social history
• Cultural history
• Rural Studies
• Scandinavian studies
• Communications studies
• Manuscript culture
• Scribal publication
• Book history
• History of the book
• Early modern and modern period
Numerous recent studies from Europe, North America and elsewhere have revealed that the advent of printing did not lead to the disappearance of handwritten communication.
In this course, the persistence of manuscript culture – the production, dissemination and consumption of handwritten material – in the age of print will be examined and discussed in relation to other co-existing and intertwined media, print and oral communications. The context of the course is both international, national (Icelandic) and local (Bárđardalur valley).
Iceland is widely known for its preservation of medieval culture and history through its highly praised vellum manuscripts containing Saga literature, Eddaic poetry and medieval chronicles.
What is less known both in Iceland and internationally is that the literary culture of the following centuries was principally conducted via handwritten publications, despite the fairly early advent of print in the 1530s.
In addition to a renowned body of medieval manuscripts, the case of Iceland encompasses an extremely rich corpus of handwritten material from the 16th century and into the first decades of the 20th century.
This manuscript culture of post-medieval Iceland and its principal role in the cultural history of the early modern and modern era will be discussed in relation to recent studies in the field from other European countries and elsewhere. A large proportion of this material in Iceland was written, read and/or owned by common people, farmers, fisherman and labourers, notably in the 19th century, and this gives the Icelandic case a global significance with in the field of post-medieval manuscript studies.
The course proposes a revisionist view to the history of communications and media in the early-modern and modern period. At its core lies a recognition that the textual culture of early modern and modern times, often termed “the age of print”, was not communicated via a single medium but rather by “poly-media”. Consequently, a linear view of the consecutive phases of communications – oral, scribal and print – has given way to a more intertwined depiction.
• Students will gain an understanding and knowledge of recent studies in the field of post-medieval manuscript studies.
• Students will be introduced to theory and methods in fields such as book history, literary criticism, (old and new) philology, cultural history, micro-history and related fields.
• Students will gain an insight into the broad lines of Icelandic cultural history and literature, from the earliest writings of the 11th century up to modern times.
• Students will recognise of the role of ‘scribal publication´ in post-Gutenbergian Iceland.
Dr. David Olafsson (PhD), historian, The Reykjavík Academy.
Vidar Hreinsson (Mag Art), literary historian, The Reykjavík Academy.
To be announced.
Preliminary Schedule (subject to change)
To be announced.
Structure and Evaluatiuon
Senior guest lecturer: Professor Arthur Marotti, Wayne State University, Department of English, Detroit, MI, USA.
For specific information on this course and the Svartárkot program please send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org