Centre for Research on Language, Literacy and Development The Centre for Research on Language, Literacy and Development has been operating under the University of Iceland since 2008. It focuses on research on language development and development of literacy and writing. The centre is a member of the European Research Network on Learning to Write Effectively (ERN-LWE), and one of its main academic consultants is Catherine E. Snow, professor at Harvard University and one of the most esteemed specialists in the field of literacy in the United States. One of the centre's ongoing research projects is a long-term study into self-control, language development and literacy among children aged four to eight, conducted by Dr. Hrafnhildur Ragnarsdóttir, and the results of this study will undoubtedly benefit the development of teaching methods. Preschools and elementary schools in Reykjavík participate in the study. Three elementary schools in Reykjavík also collaborate with the centre on introducing effective pedagogy for teaching reading to the youngest pupils of elementary schools. Reykjavík Academy Reykjavík is home to an association of independent scholars called the Reykjavík Academy. The association was founded in 1997 and a non-profit institution was established around the Academy in 2006. It offers facilities to numerous scholars, most of whom work within the humanities and social sciences. The Reykjavík Academy has encouraged all sorts of academic collaborations in recent years, and one ongoing project of interest is a series of lectures organized in collaboration with Bifröst University and Icelandic Images of the North (INOR) on images and identities. The Academy is supported by The City of Reykjavík.
Translation has always been an integral part of Icelandic literary life. Since the Latin alphabet was “translated” into Icelandic, translations have been a major part of writing in the country. Homilies, hymns, church liturgy and secular literature were translated from the beginning, even the Eddic poems are to an extent translations, and Icelanders have followed foreign trends in literature avidly for a thousand years. After the reformation and the early translation of the Bible, several great texts appeared in the language by poets like Homer, Milton and Klopstock and many lesser known authors and this tradition has continued to this day, with many of the best Icelandic authors translating the works of their colleagues; Halldór Laxness translated Voltaire and Hemingway; Gudbergur Bergsson, both Cervantes and Márquez; Ingibjörg Haraldsdóttir, Dostoevsky, and the great translator of the twentieth century, Helgi Hálfdanarson, translated all of Shakespeare's plays, almost all the Greek tragedies and a number of European classic dramas of the seventeenth century, in addition to collections of European, Chinese and Japanese poetry. Icelandic literature has, therefore, always been closely connected with the literatures of the world and contributed too with some of the most important European medieval works. Translation has also been instrumental in conserving this thousand-year-old literary language. Through translations, Icelanders have been able to keep abreast of current trends in world literature and at the same time been able to enjoy it in their native language, thus giving their own authors a platform to create their own works. It is at the basis of the incredible strength of a literature that has fewer readers than a small city in Europe, and yet publishes more than many large ones. Gauti Kristmannsson, Dr. Phil. and Head of the University of Iceland Translation Centre
Reykjavík – a City of Literature
Published on Jul 23, 2012