International Web Community for Scandinavian Studies

CSS Conference 2019

Information on how to submit an abstract for a paper presentation at the conference.

CSS Conference 2019

Scandinavian Languages and Literatures in the World

– Prospects and Challenges

Lund University, May 16-18, 2019

Welcome to Lund!

Welcome to Lund!

Keynote Speakers:

Sigrid Combüchen, novelist, essayist, literary critic and journalist, Lund

Dan Ringgaard, Professor of Nordic Literature, Aarhus Universitet

Francisco Beltran, Lecturer in Comparative Politics at the Department of Political Science, University of Toronto

General information

Centre for Scandinavian Studies Copenhagen – Lund is proud to once again invite scholars from around the world to Lund university and to our biannual international conference!

This is the second international conference CSS organizes, following the successful first one held in June 2017 with the theme "Rethinking Scandinavia". Four days of Nordic summer that yielded two written publications: CSS Conference 2017 — Rethinking Scandinavia, Selected Proceedingspublished in February this year, and the second issue of our Web Quarterly Rethinking Scandinavia, titled "Looking In, Watching Out", which was published earlier this summer. The conference also contained the first instance of the Einar Hansen Lecture Series, held by Anne-Marie Mai about Nordic Women Literature in the beginning of the 21st century. A lecture that you can read and/or watch here.

The second conference will take place between May 16th-18th 2019 and it is titled "Scandinavian Languages and Literatures World Wide – Prospects and Challenges".

In keeping with our aim to establish a tradition, the second Einar Hansen Lecture will be held in proximity to the conference this time as well. The speaker and exact date will be announced at a later date.

With this announcement we once again welcome scholars of Scandinavian Studies from around the world to come to Scandinavia and to Lund university. The conference is dedicated to creating new personal and professional connections as well as strengthening current networks and friendships. The intellecual aim is to continue the mission stated and started in 2017 – that is, the Rethinking of Scandinavia through a broad variety of research into the relationship between the evolution of the Scandinavian cultures and the environment it evolves with and within – the World. 

About CSS

The Centre for Scandinavian Studies Copenhagen-Lund (CSS) was established in 2010 and has, among other things, conducted a project dealing with the instruction of neighboring languages and the internationalisation of the contiguous local Øresund region. The objective of CSS is to promote the collaboration between Scandinavian or Nordic-oriented institutions the world over and initiate cross-national research projects in Scandinavian studies. To that end, CSS organized the conference in June, 2017 entitled Rethinking Scandinavia. Similarly, in May, 2018, CSS initiated the research project Nordic World Literature in which researchers from various countries will examine the spread and impact of Nordic literature around the world.

Conference theme

Scandinavian languages and literatures present a wide array of perspectives. Though they exist first and foremost in Scandinavia, they are not studied solely in Scandinavia (or in the Nordic Countries) but in many other places in the world. What linguistic choices are made in the literature? What sort of linguistic impact does the literature have? Translations are of special interest to researchers when seen from various perspectives because being able to transform a text, regardless of whether it is fiction or non-fiction, and not just from one language to another but from one culture to another, is a constant challenge. These exciting questions in terms of prospects and challenges may, of course, also be found in other areas of research, as for example, sociology of literature, sociology of language, discourse analysis, mediatization and intermediality.

Keynote Speakers

  • Sigrid Combüchen, novelist, essayist, literary critic and journalist, Lund

  • Dan Ringgaard, Professor of Nordic Literature, Aarhus Universitet

  • Francisco Beltran, Lecturer in Comparative Politics at the Department of Political Science, University of Toronto

(More information about the Keynote Speakers will come later)

Topic suggestions

We are certain that this conference will draw numerous interesting presentations from various fields of study, which could include one or more of the following nine suggested topics: (Click on title to read more)

OBS: Deadline for submission of abstracts has passed!


Description of suggested topics

1. Nordic Languages in the World/World Languages in the Nordic Countries

What status will Scandinavian languages have in the multi-ethnic and globalised world of the future? How does a transformed world affect things like language policy, views on language and the mutual intelligibility between the Scandinavian languages in the future? What impact will immigration have on the population composition and languages of the Scandinavain countries? And how should linguistic integration be dealt with and implemented?

2. Scandinavian Studies: Language Didactics

How are the Scandinavian languages currently being taught around the world? Are there places in the world that tend to emphasize certain aspects, such as those pertaining to language communication, structural linguistics, or those that are of a literary, societal or philological nature? Can we benefit from learning about the didactical methods used in other parts of the world in order to improve and enhance the efficiency of our own methods when teaching Scandinavian languages as foregn languages?

3. Minority Languages in the Nordic Countries/ Nordic Languages as Minority Languages

What challenges are the minority languages of the North currently facing? Should minority languages grow, be redefined and should they be renegotiated as the local communities in Scandinavia become increasinlgy multicultural? Will the increase in immmigration have an effect on these questions, regionally, globally, politically, in relation to the media or in terms of the history of mentalities or in terms of literature?  Conversely, as minority languages, what challenges do Nordic languages face in various parts of the world? For example, what is the situation today for Swedish in Finland, Danish in Greendland and Iceland, etc? Are the tendencies the same or do they differ?

4. Translations of Scandinavian Literature

Which Scandinavian authors have been translated to and published in various languages and parts of the world, not only currently but in recent centuries? What literary tendencies, genres and components are considered to be typically Nordic in various cultures and to what extent do these distinctive components affect translations in terms of, for example, marketing, critical reception, sales and the overall impact that those translated works have? How have networks amongst authors, translators, critics, agents, publishers, book sellers, cultural institutions and other players in the publishing world contributed to the promotion of Nordic literature in the rest of the world through the centuries? What specific problems do translators face?

5. Scandinavian Literature in the World

In the last two centuries Scandinavian literature has played a significant role in conveying notions of Nordic identity and mentality to the rest of the world. What does Scandinavian literature stand for today when seen from various international perspectives and which authors and tendencies have been taken into account by various regions throughout history? Which Scandinavian works have, temporarily or permanently, managed to achieve canonical status in various contexts? What can be said about the spread of Scandinavian literature when seen from a broader intermedial perspective?

6. Scandinavian Children's Literature in the World

Scandinavian children's literature has for a long time achieved ongoing success worldwide and in many locations in the world is considered the gold standard in relation to questions that are of a moral, didactic and literary nature. How do the conditions for this spread of Scandinavian children's literature differ from those corresponding to adult literature? Which authorships and genres within Scandinavian children's literature have been of particular importance in various parts of the world and how do these patterns correlate with the broader context of children's culture, now and in the past?

7. Constructions of the North and Scandinavian Studies

The construction of that which is Nordic and the North has had, with its altering implications and its vast scope, considerable political significance during the last two centuries, especially within the Anglo-American, German, and French cultural spheres and also comprises an important prerequisite for the international emergence and spreading of Scandinavian Studies as an academic discipline with its significantly varying conditions and limitations in different parts of the world. In what overall international context have the notions of the Nordic taken shape and proven helpful and how are those processes reflected in pertinent details? To what extent have academic Scandinavian Studies worldwide been molded in relation to the notion of the Nordic?

8. Prospects and Challenges for Collaborative research in Scandinavian Languages and Literatures

Language and literary Scandinavianists comprise a majority of the international Scandinavian Studies community of teachers and researchers, both within and outside the Nordic countries, and education and research within both fields have been historically tied to one another. Where is research being conducted that unites as opposed to divides studies within language and literature in current international Scandinavian Studies and what interdisciplinary models and ideas are being applied to bridge in a productive manner the divisions that are methodical and epistemological in nature?

9. The Framing of Scandinavian Studies Worldwide

Education and research in Scandinavian Studies is continually in progress at approximately 250 academic centres of learning in the world, as well as in a variety of other kinds of education on different levels within the field. This global community of studies in Nordic languages, literatures and cultures is an important object of attention both in Nordic foreign, educational and cultural policy, and of corresponding ambitions in the countries in which the studies are conducted. What significance have the endeavours of Scandinavian studies in the world? What do its general prospects, challenges and future look like?


The Einar Hansen Lecturer 2019

Toril Moi

Toril Moi.jpg

Centre for Scandinavian Studies Copenhagen - Lund and Einar Hansens Allhemsstiftelse is proud to announce that the the Einar Hansen Speaker of 2019 is the distinguished literary scholar Toril Moi!

Toril Moi is the James B. Duke Professor of Literature and Romance Studies, and Professor of English, and Theater Studies at Duke University and author of important works as Sexual/Textual Politics: Feminist Literary Theory (1985), What Is a Woman? and Other Essays (1999) and Henrik Ibsen and the Birth of Modernism: Art, Theater, Philosophy (2006). More information about her life and work can be found on her website:

Due to the sometimes impossible task of harmonizing different busy schedules the lecture will not be held in proximity to the CSS Conference 2019. Instead it will take place later this year, on the 7th of October. More information will follow.