Monday, November 17, 2008

How Medieval Manuscripts Impact Iceland's National Identity

Scholar To Discuss Manuscripts at CLU
13 November 2008
Targeted News Service

California Lutheran University issued the following news release: A Scandinavian scholar will discuss why old incomplete copies of medieval manuscripts have been lauded as Iceland's national treasure at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 21, at California Lutheran University.

Elisabeth I. Ward-Hightower will give a presentation titled "How Medieval Manuscripts Impact Iceland's National Identity" in the Roth Nelson Room as part of the American Scandinavian Foundation Lecture Series.

Ward-Hightower, a graduate student at University of California, Berkeley, will address how moldy, non-illustrated copies of copies became, and continue to be, a part of a larger process to create a strong Icelandic national identity. Starting with why and how the sagas were first written down in the 13th century, she will follow the fate of the manuscripts through the reawakening of interest in the 17th century and the nationalistic fervor of the late 19th and early 20th centuries to their role today, especially in the tourism sector.

Ward-Hightower, who is half-Icelandic, just completed a one-year American Scandinavian Foundation Fellowship in Iceland. She also consults with museums on Viking Age projects, including the Smithsonian exhibit titled "Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga."

The American Scandinavian Foundation of Thousand Oaks and CLU's History Department are sponsoring the free presentation. For more information, contact Anita Londgren at (805) 241-1051.