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Workshop: “Ecocriticism and Old Norse Studies”

ENSCAN logotype

Call for papers

  • Fourth Workshop of the Ecocritical Network for Scandinavian Studies (ENSCAN)
  • University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway, 26-27 November 2020

Please note: Participation is possible both on site in Kristiansand, and online. We encourage people who do not wish to travel to participate online. For participants on site without own travel funding, some bursaries for covering accommodation costs are available. If travel restrictions are still in place in autumn, the whole workshop will be organized digitally.

Ecocriticism, that is, research on the relationship between literature, culture and environment, is a rapidly growing field. With some exceptions, the focus of ecocritical research so far has been on the present and the recent past. However, the current environmental crisis also makes it relevant to consider how humans in pre-modern times perceived their environments and interacted with them. Pre-modern Nordic literature and culture include a huge variety of sources that can be explored from an environmental humanities perspective.

The fourth workshop of the Ecocritical Network for Scandinavian Studies will therefore ask how approaches from ecocriticism and related fields can be utilized in Old Norse studies. How, for example, do the sagas of Icelanders imagine the environmental conditions of the Viking Age? What roles do environmental risks play in the bishops’ sagas, contemporary sagas and the kings’ sagas? What kinds of environmental imagination can we find in legendary sagas and chivalric sagas? What insights can documentary sources such as annals, law codes, charters and other administrative records give us regarding environmental issues of the time? To what extent do runic inscriptions relate to environmental aspects? Does Eddic and skaldic poetry preserve memories of pre-historic changes in climate and environment? What results might material-ecocritical or posthumanist readings of Old Norse literature yield? And what are the potential pitfalls when applying concepts from contemporary environmental discourse (such as sustainability, resilience, or the Anthropocene) to the interpretation of pre-modern texts?

We invite papers combining theoretical approaches drawn from ecocriticism and related fields with the study of any aspect of Old Norse literature and culture. Researchers from all career stages are encouraged to submit a proposal of up to 300 words for a 20-minute paper (that will be followed by a 10-minute discussion) to by 31 August 2020. The language of the workshop will be English. Papers presented at the workshop will be published as part of a peer-reviewed edited volume.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the workshop organizers Reinhard Hennig (, Emily Lethbridge (, and Michael Schulte (

Further information can also be found on the ENSCAN website at

August 17, 2020

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Conference: “Forgotten Roots of the Nordic Welfare State in Protestant Cultures”

University of Strasbourg, March 11 & 12, 2021

Venue: Bibliothèque nationale et universitaire de Strasbourg

Project: Aesthetics of Protestantism in Northern Europe

Organizers: Søren Blak Hjortshøj, Joachim Grage, Thomas Mohnike

In recent years, the Nordic welfare states have been celebrated around the world in surveys of social trust and happiness. In fact, according to the political economist Francis Fukuyama and many others, other states should learn from Nordic nations how to build democratic and egalitarian societies. However, what exactly should be learned? In order to identify the central elements, the success of the Nordic welfare states has so far mainly been studied from sociological and economic perspectives as a product of the Nordic welfare states itself. Yet it has proved difficult for other countries to adopt Nordic social institutions and, in this way, to generate greater social trust. It seems, that these institutions have a longer, more complicated history that should, as we suggest, even be understood in terms of cultural and religious history. On the other hand, the historically and culturally focused research on the Welfare state has typically followed a narrative of secularization of society, identifying the Nordic Social Democratic parties as its main agents, even if for example in a Danish context, the importance of the work and initiatives of N. F. S Grundtvig has been discussed, but seldom as part of Christian endeavors and so far mainly restricted to this specific type of Protestantism (Thorkildsen 1997). It seems, though, that cultural research has been religion blind all too long (Hammar 2000). Some of the most significant actors of the “Scandinavian Sonderweg” have been Pietist and Pietist inspired pastors and Lay-Christians (Witoszek 2011) and frequently the innovative visions of improved orders and modern welfare have also been produced in but also through integration processes with other religious traditions, e.g. Catholicism and the Jewish tradition.

In the frame of our research project on the Aesthetics of Protestantism in Northern Europe (Basel, Freiburg, Strasbourg), we organize an international conference that shall investigate the role of the intricate history and heritage of Protestantism as articulated in the multiple revival movements, state Protestantism, cultural Protestantism, spiritualism and atheism as part of history of present-day Nordic conceptions of welfare and happiness. We want to look on it from the perspective of cultural, literary, political and other branches of the study of cultural history and focus thereby focusing on the Aesthetics of Nordic Welfare state as integrating forms.

In consequence, we are particularly interested in papers that study mutual negotiations of profane and sacral, protestant and secular ideas, practices and aesthetics, taking cultural products as its research objects that seek to bridge or camouflage tensions and interactions between religious and secular aesthetics and ethics. In this context, Henrik Pontoppidan’s Lykke-Per (1898-1904/05), Ellen Key’s Barnets Århundrade (1900), Aksel Sandemose’s En flyktning krysser sitt spor (1933) can be cited as works that, in spite of palpable interest in religious and ideological diversity, are governed by Protestant traditions of multiple kind, traditions that they transform into their visions of what constitutes collective and individual welfare and happiness in the modern world.   

The publication of the contributions is intended.

Proposals (30 min) are expected by September 30th, 2020 and should be addressed to,

August 14, 2020

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SASS 2020 in Puerto Rico: extended deadline, submission, and registration


Dear stream and panel organizers!

The deadline for submissions of paper proposals for the SASS conference in Puerto Rico is approaching this Sunday, December 1. We will issue an extension on Monday, with a final deadline of December 15. We hope this gives you enough time to recruit even more contributors to your fascinating streams, and to alert anyone else who might be interested!

Please make sure that all contributors submit their abstracts individually, and register for the conference. All three steps of registration (submission of papers for streams, for pre-constituted panels and roundtables, or for the general pool of individual papers; registration; hotel booking) can be found on the conference page:

After the call closes, we will contact the stream chairs to review the proposals and help us schedule the program.

You might also want to alert your contributors to two post-conference excursions to St. Barthélemy and the US Virgin Islands, offered to conference participants in collaboration with the Swedish St:Barthélemysällskapet/St Barth Evasion, and CHANT (Crucian Heritage And Nature Tourism). The excursions will take place from May 3-6 (Sunday to Wednesday, return flights from San Juan), and can be booked individually with the agencies. Save the date – and check the conference pages for updates and more information.

Please let us know if you have any other questions, worries, or wishes at this stage.

Thank you for contributing to SASS 2020!

On behalf of the organizing committee: Lill-Ann Körber

December 2, 2019

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Einar Hansen Lecture 2019 video finally released!

Einar Hansen Lecture 2019 - Video

The Einar Hansen Lecture in 2019

Knausgård: In Search of a New Form

by Toril Moi

(James B. Duke Professor of Literature and Romance Studies, Professor of English, Philosophy, and Theatre Studies)

Recorded on Monday the 7th of October 2019 in the LUX auditorium
at the Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology, Lund University
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Centre for Scandinavian Studies Copenhagen – Lund and Einar Hansens Allhemsstiftelse proudly presents the Einar Hansen Lecture 2019: “Knausgård: In Search of a New Form” by Toril Moi (the lecture begins at 13:43)

Recorded on Monday the 7th of October 2019 in the LUX auditorium at the Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology, at Lund University.

In this lecture Toril Moi argues that Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle represents something new in literary history. She reads My Struggle as a writer’s search for a new form, an attempt to find an answer to the question: What comes after postmodernism?

She shows that Knausgaard’s concept of form is utterly at odds with the traditional concept of form developed by literary critics in the wake of modernism. That concept was formalist: it made us believe that form can be discussed without reference to meaning, effects, content, feelings, experiences and so on.

Through an attentive reading of My Struggle, Toril Moi raises the question of wether it is possible to develop a non-formalist notion of literary form.

Toril Moi is James B. Duke Professor of Literature and Romance Studies, and Professor of Philosophy, English, and Theater Studies at Duke University. She has published a number of books and many essays on literary theory, feminist theory, Simone de Beauvoir, Henrik Ibsen, and ordinary language philosophy in the tradition of Wittgenstein, Austin, and Cavell. Important works include “Sexual/Textual Politics: Feminist Literary Theory” (1985), “What Is a Woman? and Other Essays (1999)” and “Henrik Ibsen and the Birth of Modernism: Art, Theater, Philosophy” (2006). Her latest book is “Revolution of the Ordinary: Literary Studies after Wittgenstein, Austin, and Cavell” (Chicago, 2017).

More information about her life and work can be found on her website:

To read more about the Einar Hansen Lecture, follow this link:

Press about the lecture:

November 15, 2019

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“Contemporary Nordic Literature and Spatiality”


Contemporary Nordic Literature and Spatiality (Palgrave Macmillan 2019), edited by Kristina Malmio and Kaisa Kurikka, is now available as Open Access. The volume presents a detailed mapping of recent Nordic literature and its different genres (fiction, poetry, and children’s literature) through the perspective of spatiality.

Click on title to go to source.

November 14, 2019

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“Social Norms in Medieval Scandinavia”


In the Viking Age and medieval Scandinavia, social values such as reputation, honour, and friendship, were integral to the development of rituals, customs, religion, literature, and language. Everyday norms are mainly conveyed orally or ritually, and rarely in a written or material shape. Despite this, the Old Norse-Icelandic literary corpus remains the most important source of our present-day knowledge of social development in the medieval North.

New research methods allow us to explore how relics of the material culture of the medieval north can confront, corroborate, or disprove the depiction of social norms in medieval Scandinavian literature.

This volume considers in depth how social norms affected the creation and functioning of societies in the medieval North, approaching the topic from a range of disciplinary angles including law-making, politics, religion, and literacy.


Jakub Morawiec is Associate Professor in the Institute of History of the University of Silesia, specializing in Scandinavia and the Viking Age, skaldic poetry, and Old-Norse literature.

Aleksandra Jochymek is a Doctoral Researcher in the Institute of History of the University of Silesia with a specialism in medieval history.

Grzegorz Bartusik is a Doctoral Researcher in the Institute of History of the University of Silesia with a background in Classical Philology.

Published by Amsterdam University Press in partnership with Arc Humanities Press.

October 30, 2019

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Professorship for Danish Linguistics, University of Flensburg


The Danish Department in the Institute of Language, Literature and Media at Europa-Universität Flensburg announces the following vacancy to be filled as soon as possible:

Professorship for Danish Linguistics

This professorship covers research and teaching duties for the entire field of Danish linguistics, including its didactics. Teaching duties include courses in the EUF’s BA program in educational science and MA programs relevant to teacher training, as well as willingness to teach courses in the BA program “European Cultures and Society” and the MA programs “European Studies” and “Culture – Language – Media.”

See this pdf for more information, or visit the source website for more information: (in German).

October 30, 2019

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Svensklektor, vikariat VT 2020, Université de Strasbourg, Frankrike


Département d’études scandinaves vid Université de Strasbourg söker en svensklektor, vikariat VT 2020.    

20.01 2020 – 20.07 2020

Under våren kommer den ordinarie svensklektorstjänsten att utlysas och vikariatet kan därmed möjligen förlängas. 

Undervisning och examinering sker på vårterminen under perioden januari-maj. Utöver denna tillkommer en viss del omtentamen i juni, samt administration och andra aktiviteter i perioden maj-mitten av juli.

Ca 14 timmar språkundervisning per vecka under 12 undervisningsveckor (4 av dessa timmar räknas som extratimmar utöver ordinarie arbetstid och ersätts därefter). Svensklektorn ansvarar självständigt för utformningen av språkundervisningens innehåll och examination. Undervisningen i svenska språket sker på tre olika nivåer, där den första är nybörjarnivå. Utöver själva undervisningen förväntas lektorn också utföra en del undervisningsrelaterad administration, delta i institutionens olika övriga aktiviteter såsom konferenser, seminarier, kulturevenemang mm och gärna bidra till detta genom att exempelvis bjuda in forskare och författare.

Antal studenter
Cirka 80 studenter på nybörjarnivå, 35 på mellannivå och 15 på avancerad nivå.


  • svenska på modersmålsnivå

  • erfarenhet av undervisning i svenska som andraspråk eller svenska som främmande språk

  • grundläggande högskoleutbildning motsvarande minst 300 hp i huvudsak i ämnena svenska, svenska som andraspråk, nordiska språk, pedagogik, litteraturvetenskap och/eller franska (eller nära besläktade ämnen)

  • god kännedom om svenskt samhälls- och kulturliv (den sökande ska i normalfallet ha varit bosatt i Sverige det senaste året före ansökningstillfället)

Särskilda önskemål från universitetet
Vi söker en person som har lätt för att samarbeta, är öppen och ansvarstagande och som kan anpassa sig till en kanske lite osvensk arbetssituation. Vi ser gärna att hen har forskarutbildning eller har påbörjat en sådan, men detta är inget krav. Vid sidan om undervisningen finns möjlighet att bedriva forskning och att ingå i någon av fakultetens forskningsgrupper. Goda kontakter till svensk och/eller nordisk universitetsmiljö är också värdefullt för oss. För det dagliga livet, såväl på universitetet som utanför, är goda kunskaper i franska en nödvändighet och har man erfarenhet av längre utlandsvistelser och allt vad det kan innebära underlättar det ofta.

Månadslön (brutto)
Månadslön brutto 1954 € (plus extratimmar cirka 1200 € för 6 månader)
Månadslön netto ca 1500 €.
Svenska Institutet betalar också ut ett lektorsstipendium.

Lektorn måste själv ordna bostad men universitetet kan hjälpa till att hitta tillfälligt boende under de första månaderna.

Institutionschef Karin Ridell, tel.+33-(0)3 68 85 63 88
Nuvarande svensklektor Katarina Bodin 

Ansökan (personligt brev och ett CV) skickas senast den 1 november per mejl till Karin Ridell

October 24, 2019

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