Latest Contributions

2021/10/12 reviews

Aasta M.B. Bjørkøy, Rut Hemstad, Aina Nøding, Anne Birgitte Rønning (Red.): Litterære verdensborgere. Transnasjonale perspektiver på norsk bokhistorie 1519–1850. Oslo: Nasjonalbibliotek 2019, 243 S.

Schmidt, Michael

Benedikt Jager: Seehundspeck und Hundeschlitten. Alfred Otto Schwede als Übersetzer des skandinavischen Nordens. Skandinavistik. Sprache – Literatur – Kultur. Bd. 13. Münster/Berlin: LIT-Verlag 2019, 256 S.

Hastenplug, Marlene

Kathrin Hubli: Kunstprojekt (Mumin-)Buch. Tove Janssons prozessuale Ästhetik und materielle Transmission. Beiträge zur Nordischen Philologie. Tübingen: Narr/Francke/Attempto 2019, 183 S.

Antje Wischmann

Bernd Brunner: Die Erfindung des Nordens. Kulturgeschichte einer Himmelsrichtung. Berlin: Galiani 2019, 318 S.

Christian Berrenberg

Torsten Graap, Auður H. Ingólfsdóttir, Lau Øfjord Blaxekjær (eds.): The Future of the North – Sustainability in Nordic Countries. Analysis and Critical Comparison. Marburg: Metropolis 2020, 441 S.

Sven Jochem

2021/07/13 Report

Paul Greiner & Clemens Räthel

Der Wunsch, das hundertjährige Jubiläum der Grenzrevision zwischen Deutschland und Dänemark – abseits von Festakten – für eine interdisziplinäre Auseinandersetzung mit Grenzfragen zu nutzen, bildete den Ausgangspunkt der von der Fritz Thyssen Stiftung geförderten Tagung »Grenz\Raum – Grænse\Region«. Dass diese dreitägige Konferenz, als Start in ein Jahr voller geplanter Jubiläums- und Gedenkveranstaltungen, Kongresse und ...

2021/07/13 reviews

Rudolf Tempsch: Aus den böhmischen Ländern ins skandinavische Volksheim. Sudetendeutsche Auswanderung nach Schweden 1938–1955. Herausgegeben von Krister Hanne und Stefan Troebst. Moderne europäische Geschichte, Bd. 6. Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2018

Izabela A. Dahl

Astrid Hansen: Flensburg. Kleine Stadtgeschichte. Regensburg: Verlag Anton Pustet 2020, 160 S.

Manfred Henningsen

Jan Alexander van Nahl, Astrid van Nahl: Skandinavistische Mediävistik. Einführung in die altwestnordische Sprach- und Literaturgeschichte. Hamburg: Buske 2019, 234 S.

Tim Lüthi

Bent Holm: Ludvig Holberg – A Danish Playwright on the European Stage. Masquerade, Comedy, Satire. Wien: Hollitzer Verlag 2019, 265 S.

Clemens Räthel

2021/07/13 article

Ralph Tuchtenhagen


Anniversary dates and centenary years carry a slight smack of atavism. Not even humanities scholars, situated as they are between faith in the Creator of time and, in the modern era especially, a heightened reverence for human calendarisation, are wholly free from the magic of historical commemorations; after all, these offer common ground for meeting the wider community where it feels at ease, namely to greet the regulated Return of the ...

2020/12/30 articles

Courtney Marie Burrell


Otto Höfler’s research on Männerbünde (men’s bands or men’s societies) has stimulated critical scholarly discussion on not only the existence of Germanic Männerbünde but also the concept of cultural continuity, the relationship between ritual and myth and historical representations of masculinity. Höfler’s research has also found resonance, though, in facets of ...

Andreas Schmidt


The article analyses the reception of Old Norse motifs in the literary concept of the Black Metal band Helrunar, which differs greatly from the usual adaptations in Metal culture. Helrunar understand Old Norse myth as a culturally grounded net of metaphorical modes of speaking, the myths becoming the working ground of an artistic programme aimed at borrowing and re-arranging ...

Christine Amling


Unarguably, Robert E. Howard's Conan-stories are products of popular culture. They are part of a pulp series that focuses on mass production and economic sales strategy. Taking this into account, it becomes obvious that Howard’s fictional space of the North as Conan's place of origin refers to known clichés and concepts in order to attract a large body of readers. The North ...

Helene Peterbauer


The following article provides a contribution to the discussion about the Arctic identity of Norway and the Norwegian identity of Svalbard – which is already at an advanced stage in other research areas – through a comparative-chronological review of prose literature presenting a protagonist on Svalbard and mainly written by Norwegian authors. The article will furthermore ...

Jennifer Grünewald


On the German book market, Scandinavian crime novels are seemingly the only publications that are presented and marketed as a homogenous, geographically defined category. As it grows increasingly obvious that this category, rather than being constituted by its content, is produced artificially, this article analyses the marketing tools on the book jacket: title and cover ...

Niels Penke


This article envisages discussing the popularity and the persistency of dominant images of the sublime North. While media and their capabilities have undergone severe changes in the two decades since 2000, the number of images is increasing and the possibilities of their distribution has become more accessible. Nevertheless, the contemporary imagery of the North, its underlying ...

Niels Penke


North is everywhere. This applies both to navigation and to the cultural phantasm of the »North«. Whether Nordic myths or specifically »Nordic« landscapes and their semantization - they are globally widespread. In heavy metal texts and fantasy novels, computer games and Netflix series, crime novels and comics, in lifestyle guidebooks and on advertising posters, images of the North are shaped and sometimes attract a great deal of ...

Daniela Hahn


This article compares two audiobooks, (re)published in 2011, based on the Old Norse Brennu-Njáls saga. An overview of the various audio editions of Old Norse material in the German audiobook market will be given, along with a brief insight into the field of audiobook research. Afterwards, the inquiry will turn to the means by which the two very different audiobooks approach the medieval saga. While the first project is a strictly arranged ...

2020/10/05 review

Edvard Munch gesehen von Karl Ove Knausgård. Kunstsammlung Nordrhein- Westfalen, Düsseldorf 2019. 183 S. Karl Ove Knausgård: So viel Sehnsucht auf so kleiner Fläche. Edvard Munch und seine Bilder. Aus dem Norwegischen von Paul Berf. München 2019. 286 S.

Ulrich Brömmling

2020/10/04 Report

Janke Klok

The seminar was conceived as a prelude to the celebration of the 250th birthday of Henrik Steffens (1773-1845) in Stavanger in 2023 and took place within the framework of Kapittel, Stavanger's annual international festival of literature and freedom of expression (September 18-22, 2019).

2020/04/09 Report

Esha Sil

This report offers an analytical overview of the interdisciplinary conference »The ›Great White North‹? Critical Perspectives on Whiteness in the Nordics and its Neighbours«, held at the University of Helsinki in August 2019. It considers how the conference scrutinised the relational dynamic of »whiteness and otherness« in the Nordics, engaging with complex questions of ...

2020/04/09 annotation

Marco L. Petersen (Hg.): Sønderjylland – Schleswig. Kolonialismens kulturelle arv i regionen mellem Kongeåen og Ejderen. Das kulturelle Erbe des Kolonialismus in der Region zwischen Eider und Königsau. Syddansk Universitetsforlag, Odense 2018, 483 S.

Bernd Henningsen

2020/04/09 review

Katharina Fürholzer: Das Ethos des Pathographen. Literatur- und medizinethische Dimensionen von Krankenbiographien. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter 2019, 286 S.

Merle Weßel

2020/04/09 articles

Marie-Theres Federhofer


Henrik Steffens’ first scientific book publication, Udkast til en Lærebog i Botaniken (1794), was the translation of a botanical classic of the late 18th and early 19th century, Carl Ludwig Willdenow’s Grundriss der Kräuterkunde (1792). Based on this translation, the present article explores Steffens’ position as natural scientist between Enlightenment and Early Romanticism. On the one hand, Steffens is indebted to the scientific ...

Joachim Grage


Collective remembering is enacted, as we know, in the rhythm of chronological time. Anniversaries and landmark jubilees are needed for the collective commemoration of important historical events or of figures feted as special by a given community or culture. In Germany, 2020 is not only the year of Beethoven, Hölderlin and Hegel (marking the 250th birthday of each), but also the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration ...

2019/12/23 articles

Rebecca Merkelbach


Monsters have always been recognised as transgressive boundary-walkers, whose hybrid bodies combine things that are normally kept separate: formed of human and animal parts, of nature and culture, they operate at the intersection of seemingly opposing forces. The Sagas of Icelanders, however, focus less on hybrid bodies, instead foregrounding socially transgressive and ...

Andreas Schmidt


The article subjects the so-called Færeyinga saga to a reading on the grounds of the theory of »the third«, arguing that this concept can help elucidate narrative ambiguity in Saga literature. It can be shown that in Færeyinga saga, »third« elements cross the binarisms of its outer structure, which have been in the focus of scholars up to now. Adverse figures show ...

Mathias Kruse


Being part of the ›Third‹, the »Half-giant« (hálfrisi, hálftrǫll) or »mixed-blood« (blendingr) for which Old Norse has a puzzling variety of expressions appears in many Icelandic tales. It is not only part of the ancestry of Scandinavian rulers but characterizes – as an ally or as a villain – the storyline of many a saga by taking a role he is qualified for by ...

Anita Sauckel & Jan Alexander van Nahl


The model of the "Threeness" has been constantly changing throughout history, and in the 20th century it led to a plurality of "the third", which is of great importance for society and culture. In Scandinavian medieval studies, this perspective of the "third" was previously limited to the ambivalent figure of the "trickster", but an interest developed in expanding this perspective as in modern literature. This question was discussed at the ...

2019/11/13 review

Marjaliisa Hentilä, Seppo Hentilä: 1918 – Das deutsche Finnland. Die Rolle der Deutschen im finnischen Bürgerkrieg. Scoventa 2018, 430 S.

Merle Weßel

2019/05/15 annotation

Clemens Räthel: Wie viel Bart darf sein? Jüdische Figuren im skandinavischen Theater. Tübingen: Narr Francke Attempto 2016, 389 S.

Frederike Felcht

2019/04/26 reviews

Ulla Carlsson, David Goldberg (Hgg.): The legacy of Peter Forsskål. 250 years of freedom of expression. Göteborg: Nordicom 2017, 149 S.

Bernd Henningsen

Jana Sinram: Pressefreiheit oder Fremdenfeindlichkeit? Der Streit um die Mohammed-Karikaturen und die dänische Einwanderungspolitik. Frankfurt am Main: Campus 2015, 380 S.

Bernd Henningsen

2019/04/18 article

Hanna Eglinger


The visibility of Scandinavia is manifested in various forms. We were well aware that Denmark was one of the world’s happiest countries, featuring in first place in theWorld Happiness Report for years (even though it has since been topped by Norway), but last year was Sweden’s turn for special visibility – although not under the sign of thehygge or lagom cult, of contentment or of happiness, but rather in connection with the government ...

2018/12/31 review

Henrik Rosengren: Fünf Musiker im Schwedischen Exil. Nazismus – Kalter Krieg – Demokratie (Musik im Dritten Reich und im Exil), Neumünster: Bockel Verlag 2016, 439 S.

Ulrich Wilker

2018/11/06 article

Matthias Egeler


The contribution analyses how the late medieval Harðar saga uses place-names as literary devices. It proposes that toponyms are employed not only to locate plot elements, but also for purposes of subversion, the dropping of keywords then taken up by the narrative in an often grotesque and ironic fashion, the creation of an (again, typically ironic) subtext, and the evocation of physical topographies and their visual appearance in the context ...

2018/11/05 review

Über die nordischen Demokratien: David Arter: Scandinavian Politics Today / Oddbjørn Knutsen (ed.): The Nordic Models in Political Science. Challenged but still Viable? / Peter Nedergaard, Anders Wivel: The Routledge Handbook of Scandinavian Politics

Sven Jochem

2018/11/05 article

Judith Meurer-Bongardt


In the first part of this article the concept of utopia and the field of bio-politics are brought together from a historical and a theoretical perspective. In addition to that, two terms are discussed: »heterotopia« and »the figure of the third«. With help of these terms, it is possible to show how recent utopian / dystopian literature succeeds not only to criticise its own time but also to reveal a positive potential for the future. In ...

2018/09/06 reviews

Marjatta Hietala: Finnisch-deutsche Wissenschaftskontakte. Zusammenarbeit in Ausbil-dung, Forschung und Praxis im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert, Berliner Wissenschaftsverlag, 2017, 308 S.

Malte Gasche

Marit Bergner: Henrich Steffens. Ein politischer Professor in Umbruchzeiten 1806-1819, Frankfurt am Main: PL Academic Research 2016, 414 S.

Clemens Räthel

2018/06/05 review

Klaus Müller-Wille: Sezierte Bücher. Hans Christian Andersens Materialästhetik, Paderborn: Wilhelm Fink 2017, 373 S.

Frederike Felcht

2018/06/05 article

Reinhard Henning


Knut Hamsun’s novel Markens grødehas been interpreted as advocating a simple and sustainable life in harmony with nature. However, when read retrospectively against the background of human-made environmental changes that have brought the planet into a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene, Markens grødecannot be considered an ecological text. What the novel actually delivers is a narrative of constant progress and growth, without ...

2018/04/03 review

Andreas Bergh, Gissur Ó. Erlingsson, Richard Öhrvall, Mats Sjölin: A Clean House? Studies of Corruption in Sweden, Lund: Nordic Academic Press 2016, 160 S.

Sven Jochem

2018/04/03 article

Bernd Henningsen


I was recently brought up short by this sentence: »The people of the North have a great talent for music.«

Well now, who would wish to dispute that – or the staggering banality of the statement, for that matter. I shall make no secret of its source, for it carries considerable and substantial explanatory weight: it is a sentence from a pamphlet issued by the High Command of the Wehrmacht and distributed to German soldiers from 1941: ...

2017/12/29 review

Tuula Karjalainen: Tove Jansson. Die Biografie, Stuttgart: Urachhaus 2014, 352 S.

Inken Dose

2017/10/22 article

Bo Petersson & Lena Kainz


Migration-related events have received overwhelming attention in mainstream media coverage within Europe in recent years. This study investigates the metaphorical framing of migration issues by comparing dominant discursive patterns from two national and two regional daily newspapers in Sweden and Germany. Applying a corpus-based critical metaphor analysis, the spotlight falls on metaphors prevalent in media articles published during the EU ...

2017/10/02 review

Valur Ingimundarson, Philippe Urfalino, Irma Erlingsdóttir (eds.): Iceland’s Financial Crisis. The Politics of Blame, Protest, and Recon-struction, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group 2016, 278 S.

Sven Jochem

2017/09/22 review

Bo Lidegaard: Landsmænd. De danske jøders flugt i oktober 1943, Kopenhagen: Politikens Forlag 2013, 506 S.

Doreen Reinhold

2017/07/31 reviews

Agnes Schindler: Icelandic National Cinema. Film- und Rezensionsanalysen nationaler Identität, Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier 2015 (=Filmgeschichte International 22), 357 S.

Berit Glanz

Carly Elizabeth Schall: The Rise and Fall of the Miraculous Welfare Machine. Immigration and Social Democracy in Twentieth-Century Sweden, Ithaca (NY): Cornell University Press 2016, 245 S.

Sven Jochem

2017/03/17 annotation

Christian Rebhan: North Atlantic Euroscepticism. The Rejection of EU membership in the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Tórshávn: Fróđskapur Faroe University Press 2016, 230 S.

Sven Jochem

2017/03/17 reviews

Tomi Mäkelä: Friedrich Pacius. Ein deutscher Komponist in Finnland. Mit einer Edition der Tagebücher, Briefe und Arbeitsmaterialien von Silke Bruns, Hildesheim/Zürich/New York: Olms und Helsinki: Schwedische Literaturgesellschaft in Finnland 2014, 552 S.

Ulrich Wilker

Christian Rebhan: North Atlantic Euroscepticism. The Rejection of EU membership in the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Tórshávn: Fróđskapur Faroe University Press 2016, 230 S.

Sven Jochem

2017/03/17 article

Lena Rohrbach


It is an annual ritual: not only has the time come for a new editorial but traditionally, around the turn of the year, various countries also select their ›words of the year‹. These selections crystallise and establish the dominant contemporary discourses and key concepts in equal measure. The year 2016 marked the rise of post-truth to unarguable pre-eminence, as confirmed and enacted by nothing so much as the choice of post-truth as word ...

2016/12/30 articles

Dörte Linke


This contribution investigates how biopolitics comes into effect within society. It focuses on two Scandinavian novels, namely LoveStar by Andri Snær Magnason and Die Entbehrlichen by Ninni Holmqvist. Both novels map fictitious societies, which are based on biopolitical concepts. First, I will show how the respective society works. A special focus will be placed on the question how biopolitical concepts undermine the idea of human beings as ...

Frederike Felcht


The contribution delves into the history of the term "biopolitics" and explains main features of the concept, focusing on the 'government of life#. An exemplary reading of August Strindberg’s I havsbandet ("By the Open Sea", 1890) illuminates the potentials of biopolitical perspectives on literary texts. Strindberg’s novel negotiates the possibilities and boundaries of the government of life in particular, including the government of ...


Part one gives an outline of Foucault’s notion of biopolitics and its further development by Deleuze, Negri/Hardt, and Agamben. The second part takes Swedish architecture of the 1930’s (funkis; short for functionalism) and the impact of social engineering as a specific form of Scandinavian biopolitics under scrutiny. Two literary examples serve as an illustration: a short story by Karin Boye and the Villa Villekulla in Astrid Lindgren’s ...

2016/12/29 article

Fechner-Smarsly, Thomas und Felcht, Frederike


(In German only)

2016/03/24 annotation

Lill-Ann Körber, Ebbe Volquardsen (Hgg.): ThePostcolonial North Atlantic. Iceland, Greenlandand the Faroe Islands. Berlin: Nordeuropa-Institut, 2014 (Berliner Beiträge zur Skandinavistik20), 422 S.

Hanna Eglinger

2015/01/08 annotations

Ebbe Volquardsen: Die Anfänge des grönländischen Romans. Nation, Identität und subalterne Artikulation in einer arktischen Kolonie. Marburg: Tectum 2012, 191 S.

Lill-Ann Körber

Joachim Grage, Stephan Michael Schröder (Hgg.): Milieus, Akteure, Medien. Zur Vielfalt literarischer Praktiken um 1900. Würzburg: Ergon 2013 (Literarische Praktiken in Skandinavien; 2), 261 S.

Christina Just

Open Access

2019/07/05 - NEW BLOG ENTRY:

Learning from Denmark?

Bernd Henningsen outlines the challenges of Denmark's social democratic government, which has been in place since the end of June.

2019/02/16 - NEW PUBLICATION

Right-wing populism in immigration societies. The political discussion of migration and integration

In this volume our coeditor Sven Jochem recently published the article: Right-wing populism, integration and migration policy in Northern Europe - The people's homes under pressure

2019/01/20 - NEW BLOG ENTRY

Swedens new Government - content and meaning of a historical caesura

Sven Jochem describes, which paths the new Swedisch government could take and which risks and hopes are involved.

2018/12/15 - NEW BLOG ENTRY

Government crisis in Sweden - a historical caesura is in the making

The rightly hesitant and tactically dealing Swedish parties face severe consequences. Sven Jochem asks if the negotiations may end in a historical caesura.