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
Papers should not exceed 20 minutes and will be followed by a 10-minute discussion. Please send abstracts of maximum 250 words, alongside a brief biography containing your name, institution, and programme of study or research, as well as your preferred pronouns, to email@example.com by September 1st 2022. Successful submissions will be determined by September 8th. Travel and accommodation bursaries will be available and we ask you to please indicate in your application if you wish to apply for these. Following the event, we aim to publish the conference proceedings. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with the organisational committee at firstname.lastname@example.org for any queries or concerns.
We look forward to hearing from you and to welcome you in Greifswald in 2023!