University of Iceland

Icelandic Sagas communicated to the public and tourists

Icelandic Sagas communicated to the public and tourists

“The objective of the research is to study how the Icelandic Sagas are used and communicated to the public and tourists in Iceland, as well as the manifestation of the national self-image Icelanders’ reflect in this communication. I will study the groups targeted in the communication; as well as the themes emphasised. The economic impact of the communication will also be evaluated in the project,” says Særún Magnea Samúelsdóttir, doctoral student at the Faculty of Icelandic and Comparative Cultural Studies. She is currently working on her doctoral thesis entitled “The Icelandic Sagas as a cultural inheritance – Literature, memory, communication and the tourism industry.”

Samúelsdóttir says that the inspiration for her study was a master’s thesis she wrote at Bifröst University in Cultural and Educational Management. “At Bifröst I studied the view of professionals in history related tourism on the Icelandic Sagas and communication of them. I found that the study brought forward more questions than answers so I decided to work further on the subject,” adds Samúlesdóttir. She has always been interested in mediaeval literature. “I have a BA degree in Icelandic and when the time came to choose graduate studies I decided to exploit this interest and chose management studies. My plan was to try to get a job at one of the many places that communicate Sagas in Iceland. However, the results of my MA thesis were such that I wanted to further study the subject,” says Samúelsdóttir.

Samúelsdóttir says that the academic value of her research consists in the creation of knowledge that has international value. “Studying the economic impact also has value for our community as I will seek answers to whether it is economically advantageous to spend public funds on projects in this field,” says Samúelsdóttir.

Supervisor: Jón Karl Helgason, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Icelandic and Comparative Cultural Studies.

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