Konferenssit ja seminaarit

Nationalism in the Nordic National Sciences

Workshop 2-3 September 2019
University of Helsinki
Reimagining Norden in an Evolving World
An Excellence Hub in Research, Education and Public Outreach (ReNEW)

This two-day workshop investigates the historical processes underlying how the academic disciplines of the humanities as well as cultural heritage archives in the Nordic countries long served as a means of promoting the representative characteristics of the national (majority) and thus were as active mediators of the nation-state projects.

On the global level, Nordic countries pioneered the study of folk culture as an academic discipline in the late eighteenth and early twentieth centuries. The endeavors to document rural folk culture resulted in large collections of material and led to the establishment of the national cultural heritage archives. Finnish Literature Society was established in 1831; The Institute for Language and Folklore in Sweden in 1870s; The Swedish Literature Society in Finland in 1885; The Danish Folklore Archives in 1904: the Norwegian Folklore Archives in 1914 and the Árni Magnússon-institute in Reykjavík in 1927. As the result of the longtime folklore collecting practices and the academic scholarship history, researchers became satisfied in examining their assumed one-culture societies and thus refused to see the gaps and silences that existed in their sources and interpretations.

Questions of heterogeneous cultural identities, such as the resandefolket or the Sámi or even the gender boundaries, were long overlooked. This workshop explores and re-evaluates the hidden histories of national narratives in the humanities of the Nordic countries.


Monday, 2 September 2019 (University of Helsinki, Unioninkatu 38)

10:15 Opening session (Unioninkatu 38 D 113)
Welcoming words by Peter Stadius (ReNew consortium & University of Helsinki)
Opening speech by Eija Stark (University of Helsinki & Finnish Literature Society)

10:30 Lecture
Dani Schrire (University of Jerusalem): A Sail Through International Waters of Nordic “National Sciences”
Comment speech by Hanne Pico Larsen (Copenhagen Business School)

12:00 Lunch (with own cost)

13:15 Presentations (Unioninkatu 38 A 109)
Åmund Norum Resløkken (University Of Oslo): Setting the Stage for Folk Identities. Objects of Tradition and Representatives of the Folk in Early 20th Century Folklore Questionnaires
Júlíana Þóra Magnúsdóttir (University of Iceland): “On the Knees of Women”: Giving New Voice to Female Storytellers of the Past
Mícheál Briody (University of Helsinki): Nordic Influence on Irish Folklore Collection and Research: A Mixed Legacy

15:00 Coffee

16:00 Visit to the Finnish Literature Society (Hallituskatu 1)

17:30 Dinner, Kolme Kruunua (Liisankatu 5)

Tuesday, 3 September 2019 (SLS, Ritarikatu/Riddaregatan 5)

10:15 Presentations
Susanne Österlund-Pötzsch (Åbo Akademi): Folklore Collection, the Archive and the Performance of a Swedish-Speaking “Nation” in Finland
Fredrik Skott (The Institute for Language and Folklore, Göteborg): Folklore and Nationalism: Perspectives on Folklore Collecting in Sweden During the Interwar Period

11:15 A Tour at the Swedish Literature Society in Finland

12:00 Lunch (with own cost)

13:00 Lecture
Line Esborg (University of Oslo): Early 20th Century Folklore Collectors in the Norwegian Folklore Archives
Comment speech by Raluca Bianca Roman (University of St Andrews)

14:00 Coffee

14:30 Presentations
Sandra Waller (Åbo Akademi): Archives and Questionnaires: Shaping a Nationalist Framework in Finland
Eeva-Kristiina Harlin & Suvi Pilvi King (The Sámi Archives, Inari): From the Object of a Study Into a Troublemaker – Archive Materials on the Sámi Then and Now
Eva Þórdís Ebenezersdóttir (University of Iceland): Screaming Existence (of Diversity) Under a Silenced Surface (of Homogeneity)

16:00 Final discussion