Friday, September 2, 2016

In Árni's footsteps: From Iceland to Copenhagen

Welcome back, History Fans!

First of all, let me apologize for the obscenely long absence. It was an insanely busy summer. From working two jobs to a quick trip the USA to moving to Denmark, I really have not had much time or news to report!

I'll tell you this: now that I am friends with colleagues and scholars, I am a little terrified to report my findings and research! I am afraid I'll be either robbed or laughed at, so I won't go into too much detail, but just give you the quick summary.

As mentioned in May, I had the distinct honor to work for the brilliant Emily Lethbridge this summer on her Saga Map site. Emily has put a ton of work into tagging many of the saga sites onto a digital map. I was hired to mostly do some grunt work, but I LOVE GRUNTIN'! I took three 19th century texts from British writers who visited Iceland and tagged their progress throughout the island. Though the works in not yet available to see on the site, it should be up before too long. I know you are just dying to see all the places William Morris visited!

So most of my work was mindless copying, editing, and looking up coordinates on different maps. But I also had to read some scholarship about the human relationship with landscapes, geotagging, and literary tourism. In doing so, I may have found some connections to some of my past research (AND I MEAN DISTANT PAST, 2006-ish) that may flower into a boring and tedious thesis. The best kind!

I spent about ten days in the United States and managed to avoid talking about Trump for most of the trip. Burke and I saw At the Drive In's LAST show before Cedric threw in the towel (Sorry, Sabrina). Then I went home to Indiana and got to see a lot of people I really care about, but it went by very quickly. After coming back to Iceland, I locked in, worked nearly every single day between the Saga Map job and Nonnabiti and still barely had enough money to live! Thanks, Obama!

I finished up both jobs, had roughly two days to pack and clean the apartment, before I moved to Copenhagen. And let me tell you, this city is wonderful! Everyone from the immigration folks to the university administration to the housing department have been super friendly and helpful. There is a lot to see and do. It's a little overwhelming for my tiny, rural Indiana mindset. I've never lived in such a large city. Plus you gotta watch out for all those crazy cyclists.

I live in a gigantic dorm that used to be military barracks. I'm pretty sure I am the oldest person here, with most of the residents being incoming freshman and undergraduate exchange students. So I have made a point of standing at my window in my underwear, looking surly yet grandfatherly. That should help make some friends, right? I have yet to wander off alone and not get lost, so here is hoping soon I can make it home without any issues.

Classes start next week, but I have already begun reading. It's exciting to get back into research. . .after about a two week break. But I think this is shaping up to be a terrific semester. We've got a solid crew here in Copenhagen, and once our Erasmus funding from Iceland gets in, we can finally eat a real meal! Huzzah!

Well, that's the update. I am definitely out of my element here, but really loving it. Here are some photos from this summer in Reykjavik and from my time so far in Copenhagen. Enjoy!




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