Iceland is a land that conjures up images of a pristine Nordic beauty devoid of all modern ills, with a society that is equal and wealthy, and where all the dramas of American politics are far away. In short, a paradise for millennials. But what really is Iceland? Is it a modern utopia? Or just a set for Game of Thrones?
This DeCal will attempt to introduce a general historical overview of the land and nation known as Iceland, examining some themes that pervade the history of this island, such as whether Iceland is a unique, isolated outpost of Nordic civilization, or rather an active, participatory player in the grand span of Western history. By the end of this DeCal, you should be well versed in the broad outlines of Icelandic history, and hopefully have a deeper appreciation of the role that smaller countries play in the world.
This class will meet once a week on Mondays from 5-6 pm in Wheeler 224, starting from January 28th, and will unfold through lectures and (free and online) short readings, which you are expected to attend and read respectively. In addition, there will be short discussions after every lecture in which we discuss the readings for each week. Lectures should take approximately 25 to 30 minutes, while the rest of time will be devoted to discussion.