Research project The programme intends to investigate how the North has been constructed in and by various languages and cultures, how outside constructions correlate with domestic images and how these perspectives on the North change over time.
In its first phase, the programme Foreign North is concentrated on travel texts by foreign visitors to the Nordic North in the period 1775-1914, a time when the genre of travel writing changed radically both as to form and content. The primary objectives of the study are to elucidate how the conception of the Nordic North as national (Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish) and European periphery emerges and is sustained in the texts, and to develop a theoretical framework that may lead to a deeper understanding of how peripheries have been constructed historically. A central issue is to investigate how a categorisation based on the centre/periphery dichotomy relates to other interpretative paradigms. In this context, special attention will be given to the relation between what can be termed an Arctic discourse and a Viking discourse in the texts, that is, the relation between the myth of the North as pristine land, providing aesthetic pleasure and mental access to a simpler lifestyle at a time when rapid industrialisation changed the face of Europe, and the myth of the North as the home of a strong, free people providing a common heritage for the rising European middle classes. In both these cases, however, the value of the North is located in the past, and a further area of investigation is how the relation between past significance and present or future opportunity is expressed in the works.
Finansår , 2006, 2007, 2008
huvudman: Heidi Hansson, finansiar: Vetenskapsrådet, y2006: 1000, y2007: 1030, y2008: 1060,