Inscribing environmental memory in the icelandic sagas iem steven hartman steven hartman @ miun se
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Inscribing environmental memory in the icelandic sagas iem steven hartman steven hartman @ miun se
Inscribing Environmental Memory in the Icelandic Sagas (IEM)Steven

The primary goal of the project is to consider evidence regarding environmental conditions and changes during the period ca. AD 850 to 1500. The information gathered will be related to how the environment was memorialized in the Sagas of Icelanders. There will be a particular focus on evidence of anthropogenic change to landscape and environment and how such developments may have shaped the writing of the sagas and their socio-environmental preoccupations. The sagas were committed to writing in the forms now largely preserved for posterity in the 13th through 15th centuries. The project thus also considers how environmental and societal conditions during this time period may have shaped an understanding of the past, including cultural foundation narratives and environmental lore. These sagas are being examined alongside other textual sources and data sets that pertain to the period AD 850-1500. With a solid grounding in the environmental humanities and social sciences the IEM initiative examines environmental representation in the sagas alongside environmental markers in a variety of other documentary sources, in addition to material-cultural and palaeoenvironmentaldata. The initiative seeks to foreground evidence of changing environmental conditions in Iceland, Greenland and Scandinavia from the late Iron Age through the pre-Industrial period, with a guiding focus on long-term human ecodynamics and the relations among ecological change and adaptation, on the one hand, and resource management, social organization/conflict and resilience on the other. Anchored in traditional fields of study (e.g. saga studies and various medieval-studies fields) as well as newer and emerging fields (e.g. integrated history and historical ecology, ecocriticism, digital and environmental humanities, etc.,), the initiative brings together literary scholars, anthropologists, archaeologists, historians, geographers, digital humanities specialists and environmental and life scientists in a coordinated set of sub-projects.

GIS output locating ruins and route ways in part of Eyjafjord based upon GPS location provided by the ISLEIF archaeological data base maintained by FSI. GIS courtesy of Kenneth Mack, CUNY.