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18:00 - 19:00 5 December 2017

Discipline and Punish: The Management of Criminals in Medieval Iceland.


IAS Seminar Room 19 | UCL Bloomsbury Theatre (link Map)
15 Gordon Street | London | WC1H 0AH | United Kingdom

Open to: Alumni | Public | Academic | Student
Admission: Free
Ticketing: Open

Speaker information

Marion Poilvez, Doctoral Candidate, Háskóli Íslands

The Icelandic commonwealth held rather unique political, judicial and social institutions. Despite its lack of central authority, it had nonetheless an extended and complex judicial system in the likeness of our contemporary bureaucracies. However, part of that system was also a specific mode of punishment: namely, that a man could be banished from society, yet forbidden to be transported by boat, thereof turning Iceland into a wide natural prison. But why keep criminals inside the island? This presentation aims to analyse the collective strategies developed by the Icelandic commonwealth to manage anti-social and criminal behaviour, and to debate the possibility of scapegoating as a public/legal institution.


Richard Cole
+44 (0)7598826707 | richardcole@alumni.harvard.edu