Center for critical cultural studies in Iceland

The Edda Center of Excellence – a research center at Háskóli Íslands – was granted continued funding at the beginning of the year.


The relatively new center is build on the ambitious and important aims to function as an environment for critical academical processing of cultural developments related to gender, crisis, human rights, climate debate etc. Furthermore it functions as a venue for interdisciplinary and institutional collaboration. The ambition is to inform policy makers, influence agendas and host seminars that pose demanding questions. The main focus is on research that relates to Icelandic society and the disciplines represented include anthropology, literary studies, history, trauma studies, and gender studies.

The 2009-2010 research agenda was devoted to the impact of the global financial crisis and the ensuing economic crash in Iceland.  In 2011-2012, the emphasis is on reconstruction discourses in a local and transnational context.

The interdisciplinary activities at the center are divided into three main areas The politics of transition, The wellfare state, citizenship and social justice and The politics of security, reconstruction and sustainability as well as a number of subordinated themes.


With the renewed grant the individual researchers and the environment of the Edda Center can continue to play an important role in the aftermath of the crisis and in the continued negotiations of how to understand national history, Iceland’s role in geo-politics and the dynamics of different groups and discourses in Icelandic society.

Denmark and the New North Atlantic is cooperating with the Edda Center and I am personally looking forward to developing current cooperations with Edda researchers in the upcoming two semesters that I will spend there as visiting scholar. We will begin the fall by looking into past entanglements with Denmark, the role of Iceland in the Arctic, crypto-colonialism and current movements within the visual arts at two international seminars at the center (follow the blog for more details to come).


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