Cluster for Nordic Colonialism

The Research Cluster for Nordic Colonialism within the Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies investigates how the European north has contributed to, benefited from, and now inhabits a colonial history. While a number of scholars within European area studies have long discussed colonial pasts and presents, until very recently, research on the European north has not begun to consider the ways in which this region was and continues to be implicated in colonialism.

Our research

Cluster members participate 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 addresses 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 investigates 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 carries 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. Our research looks at history and social and legal institutions, but also considers how contemporary literature, cinema, and popular music understand and represent Scandinavia's colonial past and present and the relationship between colonial narratives and contemporary racism.

The cluster hosts the Nordic Colonialisms Network that includes scholars from Greenland, Sweden, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Denmark. It also organises workshops and the Annual Lecture on Nordic Colonialism. Previous speakers include Gunlög Fur, Harald Gaski and Lars Jensen.


Affiliated researchers at other universities

  • Astrid Surmatz, University of Amsterdam
  • Gabriella Elgenius, University of Gothenburg