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Fluid Identities and the Use of History: The Northern Lights Route and the Writings of Bengt Pohjanen
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Comparative Literature and Scandinavian Languages.
2007 (English)In: Inter: A European Cultural Studies Conference in Sweden 11-13 June 2007, 2007, 227-242 p.Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The article highlights the impact of agency and context in analyses of the theme of identification in texts produced on the levels of aesthetics, ethnic mobilisation, region-building and the European project. The connection between cultural heritage and identity is discussed with examples which elucidate the role of literature in nation-building in the period of modernity and industrialisation. Texts by the Tornedalian author Bengt Pohjanen are foregrounded as part of the ethnic revival emerging in the nineteen-eighties. Swedish examples of the use of history are contrasted against the discourse of the Council of Europe’s Cultural Routes which is part of a supranational project aiming at the construction of a European identity in the political project of preparing the ground for European citizenship. The conclusion presented is that it is not viable to produce a “European identity cultural package” which runs the risk of conflating differences related to aspects such as language, ethnicity, gender, worldview and religion. Identities are fluid, they exist on various levels and shift in response to changing contexts. Sometimes they develop in overlapping discourses. One way of dealing with this is to think of identification as a constant negotiation of symbolic and concrete borders.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. 227-242 p.
Keyword [en]
europeisk identitet, europeisk kultur, EU, meänkieli, the Northern Lights Route, Bengt Pohjanen, imagined communities, svensk identitet, Tornedalen, post-western Europe, unity in diversity, cosmopolitanism
National Category
Cultural Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-5798OAI: diva2:145466
Inter: A European Cultural Studies : Conference in Sweden 11–13 June 2007
Available from: 2007-12-11 Created: 2007-12-11 Last updated: 2012-05-24Bibliographically approved

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Heith, Anne
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Comparative Literature and Scandinavian Languages
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