Appel à communication : « Northern visions in the pre-modern era » (Suède, Umea, novembre 2014)

Francesco Foschi, Paysage de neige avec torrent et cascade : Effet de neige (Ancien titre), 1786, musée de Grenoble

This two-day workshop will bring together researchers from across the globe interested in exploring the idea of the North before 1800, including prehistoric, ancient, medieval, and early modern periods. Some potential questions we would like to collectively address are:

  • How was North defined in the pre-modern age?
  • Who or what was thought to inhabit the North?
  • How do outsider ideas compare to the lived reality of making a home in the North?
  • What was the relationship between indigenous peoples of the North and outsiders?
  • How did the discovery of a new North in the New World change perceptions?
  • Do concepts of North vary across the globe?

We have specifically left the idea of North open so that scholars can explore how it was defined by their historical subjects, unconstrained by 21st century notions of what or where North exists.

The workshop will be intentionally interdisciplinary. We invite papers grounded in history, literature, art history, archeology, or other related humanities disciplines dealing with North anywhere in the world. The interdisciplinary design will facilitate an integrated and comparative cultural study of the pre-modern North.

The workshop is designed as a discussion of pre-circulated draft papers. There will be 12 paper presenters and each paper will be allocated 30-45 minutes for discussion. The intended outcome of the workshop is an edited volume published with an international academic press.

To apply, send a 300-word abstract for the proposed paper and a 2-page CV to  by 15 July 2014.

Participants will be notified of acceptance before 1 August 2014. Draft papers of 3000 to 4000 words are due 1 November 2014. Drafts will be pre-circulated and participants are expected to read all papers before the workshop.

Accommodation and meals during the workshop will be paid. In addition, travel expenses of up to 800€ will be reimbursed for international participants.

The workshop is organized by the Umeå Group for Premodern Studies (UGPS) and the Arctic Research Centre at Umeå University (Arcum), with financial support from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and the Umeå University Faculty of Arts. The workshop leaders are Dr. Dolly Jørgensen and Dr. Virginia Langum of Umeå University


Dolly Jørgensen
Umeå University Sweden



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