Sagas & Socialism: William Morris in Iceland

Start: Mar 14, 2017 06:00 PM
End: Mar 14, 2017 07:00 PM

Location: Room 209, UCL Institute of Archaeology

Sagas & Socialism: William Morris in Iceland

Tina Paphitis (UCL) will give a seminar organised by the Institute's History of Archaeology Research Network at the Institute on 14 March.


The past and its remains have played a major role in the formation of a sense of place, and have been the inspiration behind numerous artistic and political outputs, as studies in historical consciousness and the archaeological imagination have revealed. This talk considers these concepts in the context of historical travellers' motivations to visit, and their experiences of, other lands. It will focus on the artist, writer, poet and political activist William Morris (1834-1896) and his travels to Iceland in 1871 and 1873. 

Examining Morris's travel accounts alongside his artistic and political expressions, this talk will consider how his travels to Iceland began long before he set foot on the island, through his own interpretation and imagination of its Sagas. The Sagas in turn provided a blueprint for Morris's itineraries and, whilst in Iceland, reinforced his socialist ideology. In this way, we shall see how an engagement with historical and archaeological remnants is not only a source of inspiration for contemporary endeavours, but an act of travel itself.

All welcome!

Any enquiries about the event may be directed to Amara Thornton.