Icelandic Utopia in Victorian Travel Literature
This book focuses on Iceland as a nineteenth-century utopian locus in the light of racial theories attached to the country’s national framework. In particular, it investigates the ways in which five nineteenth-century travellers define their national identity and gender in relation to Iceland during the Victorian period, during which European nationalism emerges as an idea of paramount importance. Owing to the gradual contemplation of this peripheral word as the cradle of the Germanic nations, Victorian travel writers endeavoured to reconstruct the image of Iceland in accordance with the racial theoretical framework that underlay the nineteenth-century British nation-building agenda.
Dimitrios Kassis received his PhD from the Faculty of English Studies of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, with a doctoral thesis on Representations of the North in Victorian Travel Literature, (2015). He has received a Master’s degree in Education Studies (with Distinction) from Roehampton University in London, and holds a Master’s degree in Translation Studies from the Department of French Language and Literature of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. He speaks 16 foreign languages and his academic interests are connected with travel literature, translation and language studies. He is currently working as a high school teacher in the public sector.
"Dimitrios Kassis is a genuine expert in the field: not only does he know where to look for his material, but he also engages with his chosen texts in a creative way. The South as an imagined and imaginative Other has been a well-known topic in English cultural studies, but the North, with its potential Viking roots pertaining more directly to British subjectivity, is a relatively new area that among others Dimitrios Kassis has brought to the focus of scholarly attention. Knowledgeable of Icelandic and Victorian British culture alike, Kassis’s analysis provides an acute insight into how these texts engage with what they construct as Northern otherness, while this construction bears just as much relevance to Victorian British subjectivity in terms of race, ethnicity and gender."
Professor Nóra Séllei University of Debrecen
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