Cluster for Nordic Colonialism

The Research Cluster for Nordic Colonialism within the Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies investigated how the European north has contributed to, benefited from, and now inhabits a colonial history. The cluster was active 2012-2020 when it hosted a number of projects, organized seminars, workshops and an annual lecture, and produced a series of important results. When the clusters of the Centre were re-organized in 2020, members of Nordic Colonialism joined the other clusters so that all research clusters now house researchers who focus on Nordic Colonialism.

Our research

The cluster members participated in the research frontline of Nordic Colonialism by providing a systematic analysis of how Nordic Colonial histories can be compared to other European colonial enterprises. In addition, the Cluster addressed the considerable dearth of transnational studies that consider how colonialism was often an interconnected enterprise, involving agents, methods and discourses from several Nordic nations.

The cluster also investigated how colonial discourses and practices still structure the way Nordic nations understand migration and diversity within their societies. Nordic Colonialism is not frozen in the past, and the cluster therefore carried out research on the legacies and the continuing effect of colonialism in metropolitan centres, in suburban and rural sections of society, and in territories such as Sápmi and Greenland. The research explored history and social and legal institutions, and also studied how contemporary literature, cinema, and popular music understand and represent Scandinavia’s colonial past and present.

The cluster produced a number of important publications, including the first special issue of the journal Scandinavian Studies to focus on Nordic Colonialism. Members of the cluster also attracted significant external funding from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, the Swedish Research Council and the Wallenberg Foundation. Nordic Colonialism remains a particular focus of LNUC Concurrences, as former members continue to explore this topic within other clusters.