The University Centre's course in Gísla saga and Classical Icelandic is an intensive introduction to the Saga literature and the Society of the Saga people. This introduction is designed to meet the needs of students of Scandinavian languages and/or classical Icelandic, and other participants who want to combine the insight of language structure with an intensive reading of saga literature.
Please note that the course dates are set but other information on this course is to be updated (Jan. 2012)
Course dates: 18 August - 24 August 2013.
Along with the study of classical Icelandic structure, we shall read the Gísla saga not only for exercising, understanding and translating a saga-text, but also for being prepared for the sites of the saga, that are all located in the Westfjords.
Although one of the shorter sagas, Gísla saga is one of the most condensed. It is good history and good literature at the same time, thus allowing a good insight into saga literature on the whole. By visiting the locations, the history-aspect will become clear for the participants, whereas a close reading of the saga in Icelandic and translation will reveal that Gísla saga is also a part of world literature.
Classical Icelandic Language
In the study of classical Icelandic insights into the Society of the Saga people will be in the foreground. Classical Icelandic and modern Icelandic are more or less the same; the language of the sagas is still spoken today, although the vocabulary might be somewhat adapted to the needs of a modern society. During the week, there is on offer a course in modern Icelandic. On Monday afternoon, we offer a variety of short elective classes focusing on exercises in Society. The electives consist of pronunciation and conversation exercises for small groups, language games, problem-based learning, but here you will also find lectures in easy Icelandic (you will be surprised how much you understand!). This will give students a better feeling for modern Icelandic, its vocabulary and basic grammar, as well as modern pronunciation, to enable them to better understand the classical texts.
Apart from visiting the sites of the saga in
Haukadalu and Geirþjófsfjörð, participants will get an introduction to the life
of the people of the sagas, their faith and beliefs, their housing, clothing
and their weapons, as well as an introduction to the literature in medieval
Content of the Course
The course includes 50 hours of varied and interesting instruction, as well as exciting excursions and day trips to the sites of the saga and a one-man play by actor Elfar Logi Hannesson.
The course location is at the University Centre of
the Westfjords in Ísafjörður. Transportation to/from the sites of the sagas is
indicated in the preliminary schedule and will be by bus or by rental car,
depending on the number of participants. Specialized guiding during the
visits/hikes is included in the course fee.
Participants will study classical Icelandic in all-Icelandic language surroundings. They will think over who killed Vésteinn while sitting in one of the Ísafjörður coffee houses, experiencing the life in a small Icelandic fishing village in the magnificent surroundings of the remote Westfjords.
The University Centre of the Westfjords has several years of experience in hosting field schools for foreign students and offering courses in Icelandic language and culture. Also, the University Centre offers an international, cross disciplinary master's program in Coastal and Marine Management. You will find all modern learning equipment and a relaxed learning atmosphere.