The presidential conference theme for this year’s meeting is “Frontiers: Past, Present and Future.” Given the historical status of Los Angeles as part of the California frontier, we see clear links to the frontier nature of the Nordic region and scholarship that engages the Nordic. “Frontiers” are ubiquitous and forge close links to the Nordic. Hollywood, influenced since its inception by Scandinavia, has been a global frontier in film and media for the past century.
The Arctic is a frontier currently being reshaped by global warming, a challenge that spills over into the frontier of alternative energy which is reshaping the landscapes of California and Scandinavia. Nordic scholars, planners, and architects have been instrumental in the frontiers of urban studies and theorizing the city. The history of the Vikings and Norse mythology cross the frontier of mass global culture here in California, while the American West is home to Nordic pioneers and immigrants. Nordic universities, like their California counterparts, are at the frontier of medical ethics and genetics.
Even the “final frontier” of space is rooted here at NASA/JPL and UCLA, where infrared telescopy creates an intriguing link to the work of Nordic scholars such as Tycho Brahe. We invite papers that engage broadly with the concept of the frontier (even if only by disregarding the frontier), be it in literature, folklore, history, linguistics, computation, language, or any of the other disciplines that comprise our Society’s rich scholarly heritage. And don’t forget, Disney’s “Frontierland” is just down the freeway in an Anaheim theme park.