Whiteness and Postcolonialism in the Nordic Region : Exceptionalism, Migrant Others and National Identities book cover
1st Edition

Whiteness and Postcolonialism in the Nordic Region
Exceptionalism, Migrant Others and National Identities

ISBN 9781138266971
Published November 15, 2016 by Routledge
200 Pages

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Book Description

This book examines the influence of imperialism and colonialism on the formation of national identities in the Nordic countries, exploring the manner in which contemporary discourses in Nordic society are rendered meaningful or obscured by references to past events and tropes related to the practices and ideologies of colonialism. Against the background of Nordic 'exceptionalism', it explores the manner in which the interwoven racial, gendered and nationalistic ideologies associated with the colonial project form part of contemporary Nordic identities. An important challenge to national identities that can become increasingly inward looking, Whiteness and Postcolonialism in the Nordic Region sheds light on the ways in which certain notions and structural inequalities, understood as residue from the colonial period, become recreated or projected onto different groups. Presenting a variety of case studies drawn from Sweden, Finland, Norway, Greenland, Denmark and Iceland, this book will be of interest to scholars across the social sciences and humanities conducting research in the fields of race and ethnicity, identity and belonging, media representations of 'the other' and colonialism and postcolonialism.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: Nordic exceptionalism and Nordic ’others’, Kristín Loftsdóttir and Lars Jensen; Colonial discourse and ambivalence: Norwegian participants on the colonial arena in South Africa, Erlend Eidsvik; Colonialism, racism and exceptionalism, Christina Petterson; ’Words that wound’: Swedish Whiteness and its inability to accommodate minority experiences, Tobias Hübinette; Belonging and the Icelandic others: situating Icelandic identity in a postcolobial context, Kristín Loftsdóttir; Transnational influences, gender equality and violence in Muslim families, Suvi Keskinen; Reading history through Finnish exceptionalism, Anna Rastas; Danishness as Whiteness in crisis: emerging post-imperial and development aid anxieties, Lars Jensen; Bodies and boundaries, Kirsten HvenegÃ¥rd-Lassen and Serena Maurer; Intimacy with the Danish nation-state: my partner, the Danish state and I - a case study of family reunification policy in Denmark, Linda Lund Pedersen; Aesthetics and ethnicity: the role of boundaries in contemporary Sámi and Tornedalian art, Anne Heith; Index.

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Kristín Loftsdóttir is Professor of Cultural Anthropology at the University of Iceland. She is co-editor of Topographies of Globalization: Politics, Culture and Language and author of The Bush is Sweet: Identity, Power and Development among WoDaaBe Fulani in Niger.

Lars Jensen is Associate Professor of Cultural Encounters at Roskilde University, Denmark. He is author of Unsettling Australia: Readings in Australian Cultural History and co-editor of A Historical Companion to Postcolonial Literatures: Continental Europe and its Empires.


’This timely cross-disciplinary volume poses a robust challenge to the myth of Nordic exceptionalism and its reiterated associations with colonial racism. It also makes a strong plea for the inclusion of the Nordic countries in postcolonial scholarship, albeit in a suitably localized and internally differentiated form.’ Graham Huggan, University of Leeds, UK ’A scholarly and thoughtful collection unified by a critical questioning of prevalent and powerful political and cultural claims to Nordic exceptionalism. Undermining this narrative, the book's insistence on the analytics of racism is a welcome riposte to political and academic desires to announce a post-racial era, and its extension of the remit of postcolonial critique repudiates a similar drive to expunge the living legacies of the colonial past.’ Gavan Titley, NUI Maynooth, Ireland 'In a corner of the world, safely hidden away from the cruelties of colonialism, the culturally homogenous people of the Nordic countries have long taken pride in their neutrality on the political scene. This is a popular description of the Nordic region, but is it really a sustainable one? Whiteness and Postcolonialism in the Nordic Region. Exceptionalism, Migrant Others and National Identities, edited by Kristín Loftsdóttir and Lars Jensen, provides an answer to that question. ... the volume brings an important contribution to a debate that is hopefully only beginning.' Nordic Journal of Migration Research