As a kind reminder, the 39th annual AASSC conference will be happening virtually Monday, May 31 - Thursday, June 3, 2021. There are lots of exciting papers planned ahead, and we hope that you will consider joining us. Registration is open to all AASSC members (paid as of 2021), so if you are interested, please contact AASSC President Natalie Van Deusen at firstname.lastname@example.org to register and receive the Zoom link.
Our Conference program is included below as well, should you wish to see what's on schedule! We look forward to exploring the wonders of virtual space with you all in the coming weeks!
In solidarity with the Black Canadian Studies Association (BCSA), the AASSC Executive has made the decision to withdraw from and to hold our annual conference outside of Congress 2021.
While this has been a difficult decision and we have been encouraged by some of the steps Congress has taken toward the BCSA’s requests, we continue to have concerns over Congress’ accountability, commitment toward, and communication of these actions to students and community members. The AASSC executive also recognizes our specific responsibility to act in light of the fact that the material on which many of our members conduct their research has been and sometimes continues to be appropriated to support anti-black, anti-Indigenous, and other forms of racism. We recognize the importance of critically engaging with this aspect of the legacy of the material many of us work with and our responsibility to raise awareness of how Scandinavian and Nordic culture and history are weaponized by white supremacists to support racist ideologies.
At our AGM this year, we plan to have an open discussion about whether or not the AASSC will continue our affiliation with the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. All registered presenters and attendees for the AASSC conference have been contacted with details on the next steps moving forward. Please refer to this e-mail for all details. The AASSC Executive will continue to keep members updated via e-mail.
The Norwegian-American Historical Association (NAHA) is excited to open applications for the Odd S. Lovoll Award, which recognizes originality, excellence, and creativity in undergraduate research and writing on any aspect of Norwegian-American studies.
The chosen winner will receive $500.00 as well as a 1-year student membership with NAHA. The award-winning essay will also be considered for publication in NAHA's academic journal.
The deadline to submit applications is Tuesday, June 1, 2021, and more information can be found at https://naha.stolaf.edu/publications/?fbclid=IwAR0JbKgnGIZLxkFfeGkxLVhYK6Qq5TEDLx57T_EGrbtQLbEkxm4b89QIT60
The Association for the Advancement of Scandinavian Studies in Canada (AASSC/AAESC) executive would like to express our solidarity with our colleagues in the Black Canadian Studies Association (BCSA). While we are encouraged by Congress’ decision to meet the requests put to them by the BCSA, we have serious concerns that they were met unilaterally only after the BCSA had withdrawn from Congress 2021 and made the difficult but necessary choice to make public Congress’ original denial of these requests. Like the BCSA and a number of other associations, we were puzzled and disappointed by Congress’ decision not to carry the 2020 theme of “Confronting Colonialism and Anti-Black Racism” over to the 2021 event. Because of this, we decided to still include the theme in our Call for Papers. We are pleased with the programming that we have developed around this theme including the topics of Decolonization and indigenization in a Canadian context, cultural heritage, Indigenous resurgence and decolonization in Greenland, and reactionary conservatism and racial politics in Scandinavia. Yet, we do understand and support the BCSA’s decision to opt out of participating in Congress 2021. We also recognize our ongoing responsibility to create an environment where such programming remains central to our association’s future events.
At present, in large part due to our members’ hard work to develop programming around the theme of “Confronting Colonialism and Anti-Black Racism,” we are planning to hold our conference as a part of Congress 2021. However, we wish to call upon the leadership of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences to engage in meaningful dialogue with the BCSA to ensure that the Congress becomes an environment where the BCSA and its members are both safe and feel welcome in the future. We will continue to monitor the situation as our planning continues. Members of our executive have also used this opportunity to make individual donations to local or national non-profit groups dedicated to serving and supporting Black and Indigenous communities in Canada, including groups focused on food security issues and addressing health inequalities. We only add this detail in the hope that those who read this statement, and who are in a position to do so, will use this opportunity to show similar support.
The Autumn School and Centre for Nordic Studies at the University of Helsinki in cooperation with Glossa (the Society for Medieval Studies in Finland) is offering a course for all MA & PhD level students: 'Magic & Memory in the Pre-Modern North.' This course focuses on magic in medieval and early modern Scandinavia.
'Magic and Memory' is happening October 25 - 29, 2021 at the University of Helsinki.
Fifteen students will be accepted into the course. Students are invited to submit a cover letter and one-page project abstract by Monday, May 31, 2021. More details of the course can be found at: http://www.glossa.fi/wp/?page_id=1877
For those of you who are teaching Scandinavian Studies this semester—keep an eye out for quality student work. If you have a student who has submitted or may still submit an excellent paper in 2020, please consider nominating it for one of the two AASSC Publication Awards by the Friday, January 15, 2021 deadline!
(1) The AASSC Gurli Aagaard Woods Undergraduate Publication Award for the best essay written for an undergraduate course relating to Scandinavia.
(2) The AASSC Marna Feldt Graduate Publication Award for the best essay written for a graduate course relating to Scandinavia.
The award-winning essays will be published in Scandinavian-Canadian Studies/Études scandinaves au Canada.
Instructors who teach Scandinavian-content courses are invited to nominate one essay per year for consideration by the prize jury.
Undergraduate student essays between 2000 to 4000 words in length and graduate student essays between 5000 to 7000 words in length (excluding footnotes and bibliography) should be submitted in Chicago style (using in-text references).
Papers written and submitted to their instructors in the year 2020 are eligible for nomination. The deadline for nominations and submissions for the award is Friday, January 15, 2021.
The instructor making the nomination must remove the students’ name from the submitted essay. Please attach a title sheet to the submission with the following information: the student’s name and contact information, the instructor’s name, institutional affiliation, and contact information, and the title and dates of the course in which the work was produced.
Call for Papers
39th annual AASSC Conference
May 31–June 3, 2021
The thirty-ninth annual meeting of the Association for the Advancement of Scandinavian Studies in Canada (AASSC) will be held virtually from Monday, May 31–Thursday, June 3, 2021 in conjunction with the University of Alberta and the meetings of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences / Fédération Canadienne des Sciences Humaines.
Virtual Congress: After much deliberation and planning, arrangements have been made so that Congress 2021 will take place virtually. The Task Force on Congress Contingency Planning has developed a complete plan for facilitating Virtual Congress, more details of which will soon be made available here (https://congress2021.ca/virtual-experience). The AASSC executive is excited by the new opportunities a virtual meeting opens up for us, including the participation of those who may otherwise have been unable to attend an in-person event.
Congress Theme: As stated on the Congress website, the 2021 overall theme is “Northern Relations”: “As one of Canada’s major northward-facing research institutions, the University of Alberta will invite Congress delegates to turn their attention to the North, and invite northern peoples—Indigenous and non Indigenous—to lead the conversation. As a theme, “Northern Relations” encourages delegates to explore the connections between peoples, communities, cultures, and ways of knowing, while also listening to those voices that speak directly to some of the most pressing matters of relation (to the land, to each other) in the North: climate change, governance, social justice, reconciliation, reciprocity, education, and much more. A relation is not only an association and an affiliation, it is also an act of telling or reporting; relations are at the heart of how peoples communicate, organize knowledge, and understand their place in the world. Edmonton, for thousands of years a traditional gathering place for diverse Indigenous peoples, is an ideal location to consider not only relations across the North, but also relations between the North and the South. Join us to listen, learn, and relate.”
Submissions: The AASSC invites papers of 15–20 minutes duration, to be followed by an additional 10 minutes of discussion time. Papers may be given in English or French on a Scandinavian / Nordic related topic in any discipline. Papers will be given as part of ‘simu-live’ sessions: You will be expected to pre-record your paper and upload the recording prior to Congress to the virtual event platform. Sessions will start with a brief live introduction by the panel chair, followed by the broadcast of the pre-recorded presentations, and end with a live Q & A discussion. Presenters will also be given the option of making their recordings accessible to the other conference participants to view on-demand prior to their live broadcast. Further details and instructions will be available closer to the conference, but don’t hesitate to be in touch if you have any questions in the meantime.
We also encourage participants to think about different ways to present their research that take advantage of the virtual format of the conference. For example, a panel session in which a group of presenters make their research material available (e.g. written papers, PowerPoints, recordings, etc.) to the other conference participants on demand and engage in a live discussion/Q & A session; a virtual poster session; or a film showing followed by a panel discussion. We welcome other kinds of creative proposals that part from traditional academic formats and research methods.
The AASSC encourages participants to situate their proposals in relation to the overall theme – “Northern Relations” – as expressed by the Federation, in a Scandinavian/Nordic context. But, in order to address the important missed opportunity of last year’s congress theme (“Bridging Divides: Confronting Colonialism and Anti-Black Racism”), we also welcome panels dealing with this theme. However, papers / panels are NOT limited to these themes, and we welcome all contributions within Scandinavian Studies, including on Sami, Finnish, Greenlandic, Faroese, and Icelandic topics and more, as well as proposals for interdisciplinary colloquia or special sessions on the level of the overall Congress of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Let the AASSC Program Committee Chair know if you wish your panel to be a part of the overall Congress and/or an interdisciplinary session in collaboration with another scholarly association.
Deadline: The deadline for submission of proposals for panels/abstracts is January 15, 2021, through e-mail only. As announced in spring 2020, all acceptances from the cancelled 2020 meeting will be honoured for the 2021 meeting. Should presenters wish to deliver in 2021 papers accepted for 2020 presentation, they are invited to do so without further adjudication but are asked to signal their intentions to do so by January 15, 2021. If they would prefer to present a different paper, their submissions will be reviewed by the Program Committee together with all other new submissions.
Submissions should include the title of the paper, an abstract or summary of the proposed session (150–250 words), the author’s or authors’ name(s) and affiliation(s), a very brief bio or bios, and updated contact information. Please email your submission to the Chair of the AASSC Program Committee at: email@example.com
Time Differences: We are aware that differences in time zones will be a factor for conference participants this year, which will be taken into account as we develop our schedule. The programming of live events will mainly be developed around working hours in Middle and Western Canadian time zones. However, we are eager to accommodate those who wish to participate in the conference living in other time zones. In particular, presenters living in these other time zones will be given priority in timeslots that are most convenient for their participation.
Fees and Funding: By moving Congress online, many of the costs associated with an in-person event are avoidable. However, the move online also introduces many new expenses. As a result, the Virtual Congress registration fee will be offered at a roughly 25% decrease from the regular Congress fee. Although we can not offer specific details at the moment, the AASSC is optimistic that we will be able to reallocate some of the costs that we normally incur for catering and room rentals to support even more student and other underfunded presenters than usual with funding to offset their Virtual Congress registration fee. More information about this will be available in the Winter/Spring.
Please note that all presenters must be paid-up AASSC members by May 31, 2021. You can become a member or renew your membership through the association’s website at the following link: (https://www.aassc.com/membership). Presenters on joint panels with other organizations must be paid-up members of either the AASSC or the co-sponsoring organization.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any comments or questions you might have.
See you in online!
Christopher Crocker, University of Iceland
The AASSC Executive Board would like to congratulate the 2020 winners of the AASSC Gurli Aagaard Woods Undergraduate Publication Award: Tukummeq Jensen Hansen for her paper on “Inuit Tattoos in Greenland Today: A Marker of Cultural Identity” and Iris Thatcher for her paper “From Economic Grievances to Cultural Cleavages: Exploring Reactionary Conservatism in Finland, Scandinavia and Europe.”
Listed below are biographies of the winners and their abstracts.
Tukummeq Jensen Hansen
About the Author
Tukummeq Jensen Hansen is a born and raised Nuuk with a strong interest in her cultural heritage and decolonization. She considers herself a part of the Indigenous community, believing it is important for the Indigenous youth to practice their cultural heritage, to heal from the colonial violence that has left many with identity crisis. In Greenland, the main problem has been the clash between the Greenlandic and Danish identity, which the author herself has experienced in her adolescence. After watching the documentary “Tunniit: Retracing the Lines of Inuit” she was determined to get her own Inuit tattoos, to proudly claim her Inuk identity. After getting her Inuit tattoos, Tukummeq began wondering whether or not other young Inuit got their Inuit tattoos for the same reason, and this is how her essay “Inuit Tattoos in Greenland Today: A Marker of Cultural Identity” became a research project for an exam paper that later became the essay it is today. She is currently studying at the University of Greenland, Ilisimatusarfik, where she just finished the second year of her bachelor and is about to start on her third and last year of her bachelor’s degree. This summer she participated in an archaeological field school that was situated in the capital of Nuuk, where the main focus of the excavation was about how the Moravians influenced the Inuit way of living around the beginning of the colonization of Greenland. She considers herself very lucky to have been able to participate in an archaeological excavation, considering the state of the world due to Covid-19.
Abstract: Inuit Tattoos in Greenland Today: A Marker of Cultural Identity
The essay “Inuit Tattoos in Greenland Today: A Marker of Cultural Identity,” written by Indigenous author Tukummeq J. Hansen, is about the young Inuit in Greenland who have chosen to get Inuit tattoos to claim the identity that has been taken away from the Inuit when the colonization by the Danish Rule took place around year 1721. For years, Greenland has been under Danish colonial rule, which has left the Indigenous People of Greenland with trauma that still haunts them today, both socially and psychologically. Many of the youths in Greenland, especially in Nuuk have been asking themselves the same question: Am I Greenlandic or Danish? The search for identity that has left many young Inuit angry and confused has been difficult to express, before now. Many young Inuit have chosen to use Inuit tattoos to heal and strengthen their cultural identity, proudly flaunting their beautiful markings on their hands and faces. This phenomenon has been seen in Indigenous communities around the world that have experienced similar colonial violence, which is also why the documentary Tunniit: Retracing the Line of Inuit Tattoos by Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, is mentioned in the essay. After scouring through social media posts that focus on Inuit tattoos and speaking with both tattooed and non-tattooed Inuit, the essay “Inuit Tattoos in Greenland Today: A Marker of Cultural Identity” came to be.
Iris is from the greater Seattle area and has been surrounded by Nordic culture for all of her life. Her mom is from Finland, and she learned how to speak Finnish at a young age. With this strong connection to the Nordic region, she translated her personal interests to academic ones.
In 2019, she received her BA in Political Economy and Finnish Language with a minor in Scandinavian Studies from the University of Washington, Seattle. This allowed her to cultivate an academic niche, where she generally looked at European affairs, but with a Nordic emphasis. Throughout her time as an undergraduate, she delved into topics like Nordic innovation, culture, and European Union relations. In summer 2018, she studied abroad in Berlin, Germany and examined the rise of right-wing movements both in the U.S. and in Europe. This experience ultimately inspired her senior capstone, which won the Gurli Aagaard Woods Undergraduate Publication Award.
Following her graduation from the University of Washington, Iris has been working in the nonprofit sector in the Seattle area. Particularly, she has centered her attention on those organizations that have a global focus due to her abiding commitment to the Nordic region. In the fall, she will be attending Georgetown University to start her Master of Arts in German and European Studies at the Walsh School of Foreign Service. She is looking forward to furthering her Nordic focus and bettering her Finnish language comprehension while in DC.
Abstract: From Economic Grievances to Cultural Cleavages: Exploring Reactionary Conservatism in Finland, Scandinavia and Europe
Right-wing populism has become a defining concept of 21st century Europe. With the 2010 Eurozone Crisis, 2015 Refugee Crisis, and the fallout from Brexit, many radical right-wing parties are calling for a transfer of power from European Union elites to the people. However, is the theoretical concept of populism specific enough to describe the rhetoric, sentiments, actions, and consequences of these contemporary movements?
This paper argues that an alternative theory should be used: reactionary conservatism. Drawing on Christopher Parker’s and Mark Barreto’s Change They Can’t Believe In, this paper elucidates the difference between populism and reactionary conservatism by using Finland as a case study. Specifically, it looks at Finland’s dominant right-wing party, the Perussuomalaiset or Finns Party (PS). The PS is typically overlooked due to its lack of outward xenophobia under the careful supervision of Timo Soini. Nonetheless, a strong radical faction of the PS has emerged, spearheaded by Jussi Halla-aho.
A fundamental shift can be seen in the party’s policy focus by comparing the transfer of leadership from the economically minded Timo Soini to the cultural preservationist Jussi Halla-aho. Issues like immigration, “Finnishness,” and cultural belonging to welfare are now emphasized in racially divided ways. As a result, this paper asserts that Soini embodies more traditional populist elements, whereas Halla-aho represents the reactionary conservative.
With the findings from this case study in Finland, a useful theoretical distinction can be made for future analyses of radical right-wing parties in Scandinavia and the rest of Europe. Applying reactionary conservatism will be critical in understanding these parties’ goals, methods, and policy focuses and in predicting how these parties might respond to future political events.
The most recent issue of Scandinavian-Canadian Studies, volume 27, is now available.
The volume begins with a translation of Jarlmanns saga og Hermanns introduced by Philip Lavender and translated by Philip Lavender, Alaric Hall, Garry Harrop, Védís Ragnheiðardóttir, and members of the Old Norse Reading Group organized through the University of Leeds. Volume 27 also contains an essay by Allison Wolf, the 2018 winner of the AASSC Gurli Aagaard Woods undergraduate student publication award, on Loki as a liminal figure; an article by John Lingard on Henning Mankell’s Den orolige mannen (2013) [The Troubled Man]; Juliane Egerer’s transcultural comparison of Maren Uthaug’s Og sådan blev det (2013) [And so it turned out] and Medicine Walk (2014) by Richard Wagamese; and sixteen book reviews.
University College London (UCL) is currently offering studentship in Norwegian studies with a value of: £2,500 per annum for 2 years (for a part-time MA programme) or for 6 years (for a PhD programme) + salary remuneration associated to the provision of 160 contact hours in Norwegian language (Grade 6).
To be eligible for this studentship, you must hold an offer for either an MA or a PhD programme with UCL that includes a Norwegian component, and fluency in the Norwegian language is required.
The deadline for applications is Tuesday, August 26, 2020. For more information, see the website below:
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