Nordic Perspectives on Colonialism

Nordic Perspectives on Colonialism

Netværk for Global Kulturhistorie Gunlög Fur, Växjö University, Sweden; Einar Hreinsson, University of Iceland, Iceland; Louise Sebro, University of Lund, Sweden; Christina Ax, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Stiftsgården in Höör, Sweden
From - Until
01.09.2006 -
Christiansen, Louise

The historiography of Nordic attempts at territorial expansion is limited. Similarly, Nordic colonialism in Africa, Asia and America has seldom been compared to Nordic expansion into the Baltic area, Iceland, Greenland and Lapland. On the contrary Nordic historiography makes a sharp distinction between areas with a formal status of colony, and areas labelled with other administrative terms such as dependency and province. The differentiation has influenced the narrative about the expansion of the Nordic states as well as the way the various areas traditionally have been studied.

The aim of the conference is to examine whether such a connection can be established, and what consequences it will have for the understanding of the Nordic countries as colonial powers. How is it possible to establish a theoretical and conceptual discussion across the present borders and research traditions? How and to what extent can the colonial perspective be used to increase our understanding of the situation in areas which have no formal status of colony, but are identified by other administrative labels? The conference will furthermore focus on the present research in the Nordic countries concerning colonial and postcolonial issues.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

- The Nordic states as Empires or Conglomerate states. The implications of terms such as colony, dependency, province or protectorate for the encounter between the state and the people under its rule.

- Theoretical and conceptual differences and similarities. Is it possible to compare colonies and dependencies?

- Comparative discussion of forms of relations between motherland and colony as well as internal relations between colonies/dependencies.

- Colonialism in the Nordic countries and the world as such. Is there a special Nordic form of Colonialism or do the Nordic countries resemble other colonial powers?

- The driving force behind the Nordic expansion. State and non-state actors in the Nordic expansion.

- How do scholars in the Nordic countries study colonies/dependencies? What topics are currently on the agenda?

The members of the network are encouraged to submit proposals responding to the above mentioned problems or part of them, but also on other subjects that ought to be examined in order to better understand the colonial past of the Nordic countries. We also welcome suggestions for panels on a common subject or approach.

The length of each the papers should be 25-30 minutes followed by 15 minutes of discussion. We suggest that presentations at round table discussions are limited to 10 minutes.

The conference language will be English, but in special cases papers may be given in Scandinavian languages.

Applicants must send an abstract of 1 page to no later than September 1st 2006.

The network will pay for the boarding of up to 25 participants and for boarding and travel expenses for those who give papers.


Contact (announcement)

Netværk for Global Kulturhistorie
Historisk Afdeling
Aarhus Universitet
Ndr. Ringgade
Bygning 410
8000 Århus

Tel: 8942 1111
Fax: 8942 2047
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