Sculpting Modern Men: The Body of Heritage

Seminar with Valdimar Hafstein, University of Iceland and President of SIEF. Monday 29 February at 13.15 in room LUX:C436.

Working with photographs, films, and textual traces, this lecture considers how heritage is embodied. How are bodies of heritage constituted, disciplined, carried, experienced, felt? How are temporal relationships inscribed on bodies? The focus is on a traditional form of wrestling, “glíma”, declared Iceland’s national sport in the early year of the 20th century. Glíma wrestling offers a vantage point on the body techniques involved in the formation of modern national subjects and their relationship to time. Relying on rich visual evidence, the lecture analyzes the sculpting of male bodies through glíma wrestling within two distinct regimes of value: national culture in the early 20th century and cultural heritage in the early 21st century.

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