• 02.02.2023 - 03.02.2023
  • 🇩🇪 Deutschland / Greifswald
  • Historisches Institut, Universität Greifswald; Institut für Fennistik und Skandinavistik, Universität Greifswald
  • zur Website

Colonial Entanglements and the Medieval Nordic World: Tensions, Nordic Colonialism and Indigeneity

We are delighted to announce the call for papers for a two-day conference held at the Universität Greifswald, Germany, on 2-3rd of February 2023, in collaboration with the DFG-funded project Mission Before Colonisation: A Reassessment of Religious Contact in Greenland and Sápmi, 1000-1500 (https://geschichte.uni-greifswald.de/ng11-1/standard-titel-1-1/).

Despite the on-going colonialism exercised in the Nordic nation-states, the region as a whole is rarely acknowledged as colonialist and when it is, the colonialism enacted by these states is often regarded as “benevolent” or “charitable”. Recent research within and without Nordic and Medieval Studies has increasingly confronted this aspect, and fuelled by the so-called Indigenous Turn of Medieval Studies (Andrews 2020), we wish to take advantage of this confrontation and further explore the entangled pasts and presents of the Nordic medieval period and colonialism.

We invite submissions that contribute to the untangling of questions concerning how present, recent, and past structures of colonialism affect historiography; how we as scholars of the Nordic medieval past productively can acknowledge and deconstruct these structures in our work; how to avoid perpetuating colonial dichotomies constructed in and for the West in our narration of this past; as well as the actual historical processes of colonialism in these regions. We are interested in submissions that thematically explore and/or include regions such as Sápmi, Kalaallit Nunaat, Nunavut, Newfoundland and Labrador, Finland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands, and their inhabitants, as well as groups such as Forest-Finns, Kvens, and the Slavic and Baltic groups targeted by Danish and Swedish Crusading enterprises. Possible topics may cover:

  • Scandinavian and Russian expansion before 1550
  • Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and Baltic Crusades
  • Religious contact and mission
  • Cultural influences
  • Taxation, trade and economic networks
  • Language and language history
  • Theoretical approaches such as critical race theory, queer theory, Indigenous research methodologies, postcolonialism, decolonising tools
  • Medieval Othering and essentialism
  • land back, Indigenous rights
  • the role of historical narratives in contemporary indigenous movements

We look forward to hearing from you and to welcome you in Greifswald in 2023!