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Call for papers: Defining and experiencing foreignness in Nordic exhibitions

Call for papers:
Half-day session "Defining and experiencing foreignness in Nordic exhibitions" in the 27th Congress of Nordic Historians, Tromsø, Norway 11.-14.8.2011

The session will focus on Nordic experiences of foreignness as presented in various exhibitions. Foreignness can be understood to be a subcategory of "otherness"; it refers to something foreign, whether having a real or imagined connection with abroad. It can include connotations such as unfamiliar, exotic or strange, which may vary from one situation to another. Foreignness can be something actively produced, it can be strategically claimed or actively dissolved as a significant element of identities.

Foreignness is manifested in a number of ways, among which exhibitions were influential. Exhibitions, whether temporal or permanent, such as museum displays, have been a crucial medium during the formation of modern mass societies and globalization. These highly popular and newsworthy events have been the nexus of commerce, science, art, politics, education and entertainment. They opened new vistas to the wider world exhibiting different cultures far and near, raw materials and goods. In spite of the apparent short-livedness of a single exhibition, they actually together form a chain of representations and encounters.

Nordic countries remained outside the mainstream of imperialism, but parallel practices and ideas were employed there as well. Their apparent detachment from the mainstream of imperialism and colonialism, however, transpires to be a complicated entanglement of participation, (re)appropriation and agency. By focusing on Nordic experiences of foreignness this session will contribute to a deeper understanding of the historical development of multiculturalism.

Abstracts (max 300 words) must be submitted by e-mail by 3 June 2010 to:
folke(a)hum.ku.dk or

Organizers of the session:
Dr. Anne Folke Henningsen (University of Copenhagen)

Dr. Lotten Gustafsson Reinius (University of Stockholm)

Dr. Leila Koivunen (University of Turku)

Dr. Taina Syrjämaa (University of Turku)

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