KOESTER, David (U Alaska Fairbanks) Internalizations and Representations of Global and Local Perspectives in the Long History of Icelandic-Danish Colonial Relations
The Icelandic independence movement began largely in the early nineteenth century and culminated with the end of the last vestiges of Danish colonial rule in 1944. Denmark's long domination and Icelanders' sustained literary and diplomatic struggle provide a unique view of global and local aspects of colonial rule and anti-colonial activities in an entirely European context. Icelandic national self-awareness goes back to early days of its settlement, over a thousand years ago; defensive nationalism dates to at least the sixteenth century, and strivings for independence go back well over a century. This paper examines the place and history of social theoretic ideas of ethnic national identity in the colonial and anti-colonial politics of Iceland's relations with Denmark. In particular, it examines the intersection of ethnic and political representations of national selves, others and onlooking third parties and the history of the reflexive interweaving of global perspectives in such ideas as Icelanders' portrayals to Danes of European's perceptions of Iceland, or Danish perceptions of European perceptions of Danish treatment of Icelanders. Seemingly convoluted and contrived, perceptions of perceptions of perceptions and portrayals of portrayals of portrayals by and for selves and others are the common stuff of social and political life. In this case, they constitute a focal point for a historical and juridical struggle for independence within both locally and globally oriented ideological movements.
keywords: colonialism, Europe, Iceland