The Viking Immigrants: Icelandic North Americans
A Viking statue, a coffee pot, a ghost story, and a controversial cake: What can the things that immigrants treasured tell us about their history? Between 1870 and 1914 almost one-quarter of Iceland’s population migrated to North America, forming enclaves in both the United States and Canada. This book examines the multi-sensory side of the immigrant past through rare photographs, interviews, artefacts, and early recipes. By revealing the hidden histories behind everyday traditions, The Viking Immigrants maps the transformation of Icelandic North American culture over a century and a half.
- Series: Studies in Gender and History
- World Rights
- Page Count: 264 pages
- Illustrations: 30
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.8in x 9.0in
"The Viking Immigrants contributes to the fields of Canadian immigrant studies, Icelandic history, and ethnology and displays a close engagement with the major scholarly works on Icelandic culture and history. With interesting analysis enhanced by L.K. Bertram’s personal connection to the relationship between Icelanders and the expatriate community, this book will also attract a ‘heritage’ readership of Canadians of Icelandic descent interested in their family history."
Karen Oslund, Department of History, Towson University
"Observing food, clothing, folk-tales, customs, and language, L.K. Bertram reveals the wealth of material culture belonging to the Icelandic national identity. Based on research on immigrant history and extensive writings of Icelandic scholars, The Viking Immigrants makes a significant contribution to its field, especially as it focuses on important but often overlooked aspects of Icelandic culture in North America."
Jón Karl Helgason, School of Humanities, University of Iceland
Author InformationL.K. Bertram is an assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of Toronto.
Table of contents
List of Illustrations
1. Dressing Up: Clothing, Power, and Upward Mobility in the Early Immigrant Community, 1870–1900
2. Coffee Pots and Homebrew Stills: Drinking Cultures, Pleasure, and Belonging in the Icelandic Immigrant Community
3. Unsettling Apparitions: Icelandic-North American Ghost Stories and Superstitious Belief
4. Main Street Vikings: Anglicization, Spectacle, and the Two World Wars
5. “Don’t ask Icelanders how to make their Christmas Cake”: A Brief History of Vínarterta
Subjects and Courses