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Sapmi and Postcolonial Literature
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages. (Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3293-6324
2017 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The field known as postcolonial studies partly grew out of a number of literary projects in the late 1970s and 1980s. Work by such as Edward Said and Bill Ashcroft focused both the large body of work that was produced inside the European empires during the nineteenth century, and a competing number of texts produced since the 1950s by indigenous populations reacting to the experience of colonisation. The focus of this field has primarily been Anglophone literature, although postcolonial scholars also paid attention to texts written in languages such as French, German, Portuguese and Spanish.

Because mainstream historiography of Scandinavia has typically perceived the Nordic nations as unrelated and untarnished by the pan-European colonial project of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, Scandinavian literature has not been theorized as colonial or postcolonial. Following the slow emergence in the 1970s and 1980s of a historiography that did recognize Scandinavia as complicit in the colonisation of Africa, Asia and America, and as active colonisers of Sápmi, this perception began to shift. Recently, the publication of a number of historical and sociological texts, including Fur’s Colonialism in the Margins (2006); Keskinen et al’s Complying with Colonialism (2009); Naum and Nordin’s Scandinavian Colonialism and the Rise of Modernity (2013) and Körber and Volquardsen’s The Postcolonial North Atlantic (2014), has continued to revise the role Scandinavia played in colonial enterprises.

In the wake of this work, it is necessary to revise the predominant understanding of Nordic literature as unrelated to matters of empire, and to explore the ways in which it may be both colonial and postcolonial. With this in mind, this paper investigates Mattias Hagbergs’s novel Rekviem för en vanskapt (2012). This text concerns the historical destiny of the indigenous Saami Kristina Katarina Larsdotter who was exhibited internationally due to her unusual height. After her death, her body was exhumed by phrenologists from Karolinska institutet. The proposed paper discusses Hagberg’s novel as an attempt to write a Swedish postcolonial novel about Swedish-Sápmi relations and speculates on the viability of this category for Scandinavian literature.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keyword [en]
postcolonial literature sapmi saami Swedish literature
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
Humanities, Comparative literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-65396OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-65396DiVA: diva2:1110454
Conference
Rethinking Scandinavia, Lund University 14-17 juni 2017
Available from: 2017-06-15 Created: 2017-06-15 Last updated: 2017-06-20

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
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Output format
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