DECLARE INDEPENDENCE! – seminar on present and past relations in the Danish Empire

New aliances and narratives on the former Danish colonies and dependencies in the West Nordic region are taking shape, but how does the shared past influence
the current relations, cultures and policies in Greenland, Iceland, Norway, the Faroe Islands and Denmark?


Inspired by David Scott’s theory (2004) on the longing for total revolution that becomes an imperative in post-colonial discourse “Denmark and the New North Atlantic” hosts an international seminar at the University of Copenhagen November 5-6.

Empirialism and modernity, the geo-political momentum, marginal positions, gender stereotypes and nationalist narratives on purity and hybridity have shaped the relations in the former Danish empire. This will be discussed along with themes such as ultra minor literatures, archives in the Arctic, imagined geographies and processes of minoritization and majoritization.


The program is as follows and the seminar is open to the public and free of charge:

DECLARE INDEPENDENCE – narratives and memories in an imagined region 

WHEN: 5-6 November 9-17 and 9-16 
WHERE: University of Copenhagen, Karen Blixens Vej 4, room 15A.0.13

9-10 Welcome and presentation of the project “Denmark and the New North Atlantic”.

Re-directing the post-colonial.

10-11 Keynote Silke Reeploeg: The North Atlantic Rim as Cultural Space

11-11.30 coffee

11.30-12.30 panel 1, The Making of a Region

Kristinn Schram: Arctic Strategies in the West Nordic region

Ketil Zachariassen: Norwegian Arctic Strategy – Where have all the Sami gone?

Discussant: Silke Reeploeg

12.30-13.30 lunch

13.30-14.30 panel 2, Imagined Geographies

Bergur Rønne Moberg: The Blue North Atlantic

Adam Grydehøj: Island Cultures

Discussant: Martyn Bone

14.30-15.30 panel 3, Purity and Hybridity

Ann- Sofie Gremaud: Powered by Nature. Nation and Authenticity.

Birgit Kleist: Ethnicity, purity and hybridity,

Discussant: Marianne Lien

15.30-16.00 coffee

1600-1700 Keynote: Gudmundur Hálfdanarson: The Spectre of Empire. From Commonwealth to Nation States in the North Atlantic.

6. nov.

0900-1000 Keynote 3: Marianne Lien: Performing Nature. Dividing and Uniting the Nation.

1000-1100 Panel 4 Gender and Bodies:

Ólafur Rastrick: Disciplining the National Body,

Kristin Loftsdottir: Gender Stereotypes in National Narratives

Discussant: Malan Marnersdottir

11-11.30 coffee

11.30-12.30 panel 5: Performing and Representing Heritage

Anne Mette Jørgensen: Visualizing Industrialization as Part of Greenlandic Cultural Heritage

Ólafur Rastrick: The allure of Numbers. Eugenic Archives and Collective Identity

Discussant: Mette Sandbye 

12.30-13.30 lunch

13.30-14.30 panel 6, Memory and Archives

Inge Seiding: Networks, Archives, Institutions. Creating the Region.

Sumarlidi Ísleifsson: Encountering the Neighbour. Greenland in Icelandic representations – and vice versa

Discussant: Kirsten Thisted

14.30-15 coffee

15.00-16.00 Round table discussion: Constitutions and reconciliation

Kirsten Thisted, Ketil Zachariassen, Malan Marnersdottir, Sumarlidi Ísleifsson.

Moderator: Ebbe Volqvardsen



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