CINS Scholarship Spotlight: The wide-ranging world of Icelandic Literature

Apr 5, 2022

Julian Mendoza is a recent recipient of the CINS Master’s Scholarship. After completing his bachelor’s degree at the University of Manitoba, where he studied English and Icelandic studies, he decided to pursue his MA in Comparative Literature at the University of Iceland. According to Julian, he chose Iceland because “of the country’s special position when it comes to literature; it has offered the world its sagas, crime novels, and surreal works, which have become increasingly popular throughout recent decades.” In addition to working on his thesis that will focus on the works of Icelandic author Gyrðir Elíasson, Julian will also do an exchange program at the University of Helsinki where he will take courses on theory, aesthetics, science fiction, and fantasy. He believes this interdisciplinary approach will enable him to frame Icelandic literature within a broader Nordic context. 

We reached out to Julian to see how his studies are progressing:

I am grateful for the Canadian Institute for Nordic Studies scholarship as it has supported me during my exchange programme at the University of Helsinki. As a recipient of the scholarship, I have been able to participate in many activities that involve connecting research in Canada and the Nordic countries. I acted as a panel chair at the 10th Partnership Conference between the University of Iceland and the University of Manitoba, submitted a book review to the Scandinavian-Canadian Studies journal, and will be presenting research to the Association for the Advancement of Scandinavian Studies in Canada, one that I undertook at the University of Helsinki, entitled “Postcolonial glacial encounters in Ólafur Elíasson’s works”. I am currently working on finalising my master’s thesis proposal, which will analyse the novels of the Icelandic author Gyrðir Elíasson in connection with affect theory.

When complete, Julian will be sharing his research by publishing and presenting at academic conferences within Canada.