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  • 13 Nov 2020 8:52 AM | Amy Poole (Administrator)

    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: cwe1@hi.is

    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


  • 15 Sep 2020 7:48 AM | Amy Poole (Administrator)

    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 Thatcher

    About the Author

    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.

  • 12 Sep 2020 9:27 AM | Amy Poole (Administrator)

    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.

  • 24 Aug 2020 12:29 PM | Amy Poole (Administrator)

    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:



    Amy Poole

    Assistant Webmaster and Member-at-Large 

  • 24 Aug 2020 12:15 PM | Amy Poole (Administrator)

    AASSC would like to bring to attention that The Norwegian Agency for International Cooperation and Quality Enhancement in Higher Education (Diku) is welcoming applications for grants to activities (conferences, seminars, student excursions, guests lecturers etc.) at universities outside of Norway that are offering courses in Norwegian language and literature.

    For more information, including detailed and updated guidelines and the link to the online application form, please see the website below:


    The application deadline is 15 September 2020. Applications must be submitted through “Espresso”.

    Warm Regards,

    Amy Poole

    Assistant Webmaster and Member-at-Large

  • 25 Mar 2020 11:07 AM | Natalie Van Deusen (Administrator)

    After reviewing the Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences’ plan to facilitate a virtual Congress in place of the in-person meeting scheduled for June 2020, the AASSC executive has decided against holding our annual conference virtually this year. Some of the reasons guiding the executive’s decision include:

    • The already increased workload for many of us now adapting to online teaching for the current and forthcoming semesters.
    • Other increased, variable, or still uncertain responsibilities both inside and outside of work due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
    • The lack of sufficient time to account for, confidently plan, and convert the annual meeting to a virtual format (though, we will begin to considering virtual options for those unable to physically come to Congress but wanting to participate in future meetings).

    While the executive regrets that we will not be able to share our research this year as we have done and much enjoyed over the past 38 years, we feel that in the current situation it is best to forgo our conference altogether this year and to plan to meet each other again to share our research next year at Congress 2021 in Edmonton.

    Deferred acceptance and CV lines

    We, of course, appreciate the time and effort you put into your submissions for this year’s meeting and would like to offer all presenters the option of a deferred acceptance to our meeting at Congress 2021 in Edmonton. There is, however, no need to confirm your participation now. I will offer a reminder of this to each of you when the call for papers for next year’s meeting is sent out in the autumn. In the interim, if you should choose to do so, we encourage you (particularly graduate students and early career researchers) to add or retain a line in your CV acknowledging that your proposal to present your research at this year’s AASSC meeting was successful and did not go ahead as planned due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Cancellations and Congress registration reimbursement

    If you have not already done so, please cancel any booked flights and accommodations you have made to travel to London, ON. We are currently uncertain and are awaiting further information from the Congress committee whether your registration fees will be automatically reimbursed or whether registrants should individually cancel their participation. This might be more complicated if registrants registered for several association meetings, so bear with us till the Federation gives clear advice, which might take a few weeks. The Federation has said that the refund deadline has been extended to April 30, 2020 and that they are waiving the $25 administration fee. Thus, in any case you will be reimbursed for your congress registration fees.


    We still anticipate holding our AGM some time during the year in a virtual format, though we cannot provide confirmation or specific details about that meeting at the moment. We will be in touch with the AASSC membership after we’ve examined our options for the AGM over the coming weeks.

    Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any further questions you might have. In the meantime, we want to thank you for your patience and understanding during this uncertain time and wish you all a safe and healthy spring.

    All the best,

    Chris Crocker


  • 18 Nov 2019 9:32 AM | Natalie Van Deusen (Administrator)

    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 2019, please consider nominating it for one of the two AASSC Publication Awards by the January 15, 2020 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 2019 are eligible for nomination. The deadline for nominations and submissions for the award is January 15, 2020.

    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.


  • 7 Nov 2019 11:31 AM | Natalie Van Deusen (Administrator)

    The Scottish Society for Northern Studies, our sister organization in the UK, has a new website and new options for membership! Please consider joining and encouraging your institutional libraries to subscribe to their annual journal. 

  • 24 Oct 2019 9:27 AM | Natalie Van Deusen (Administrator)

    The application deadline for the Canadian Initiative for Nordic Studies MA and PhD scholarships has been extended to November 12. Information on eligibility and how to apply can be found here:


  • 16 Sep 2019 10:39 AM | Natalie Van Deusen (Administrator)

    The late Professor Christopher Hale, who passed away in July 2019, was born in 1942 in Michigan. He was educated at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he received a BA in 1964. He then went on to pursue graduate studies at the University of Chicago, where he received his MA in 1967 and his PhD in 1972 in Germanic Languages (specializing primarily in Norwegian and Icelandic philology). He came to the University of Alberta in 1970 as Assistant Professor in Scandinavian Studies in the Department of Germanic Languages, where he taught a variety of courses in Scandinavian language, literature, and culture. Chris retired from the University of Alberta in 2012, and had a post-retirement appointment until 2014.

    Chris’s academic research centered on Norwegian language and Scandinavian philology, literature, and culture. His publications ranged from Norwegian and Icelandic naming traditions to Scandinavian immigration to Canada to the works of Aksel Sandelmose. He was a founding member and first president of the Association for the Advancement of Scandinavian Studies in Canada (est. 1982), and was a long-standing member of the Canadian Institute for Nordic Studies.

    Chris’s tireless efforts to promote Scandinavian language and culture in Canada were recognized formally in 2008, when the King of Norway named Chris an Officer of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit for his contributions to the advancement of knowledge about Norwegian language and culture in Canada.

    Above all, Chris loved teaching, and was beloved by his students. The announcement of his passing was met with an outpouring of messages the many undergraduate and graduate students Chris taught during the course of his long career, which emphasize the deep impact Chris made on their experience at the University of Alberta.

    In memory of Chris, and in recognition of his many contributions to the society, a conference paper that corresponds with Chris’ research interests will be selected annually by the Program Committee and introduced during the conference as the Honorary Chris Hale Paper, beginning in 2020.

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