Benjamin Teitelbaum, Head of Nordic Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder, will discuss the role of music in Scandinavian right wing nationalist groups for the series Scandinavian Impulses: Vengeance and Violence in Scandinavian Life and Culture.
If your first thought is Goth groups, hard rock or black metal, you'll be wrong, at least as far as Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Behring Breivik is concerned. In ‘Music is our Weapon, and our White Skin is our Uniform’: Changes in the Sound of Scandinavian Radical Nationalism, Teitelbaum, who has spent the past several years working on music and right-wing groups in Scandinavia, will trace the decline of hate rock and white power punk, and the rise of white nationalist hip hop, reggae, and light pop. He will focus on the music and reception of Swedish singer Saga—the most popular singer in the greater white nationalist world, and one of Breivik’s favorite musicians.
As a teenager in 1990s west Oslo, Breivik, explained, “being into the very small right wing community or the larger mainstream rock community meant Goth girls and hard rock. I disliked both.” He avoided the skinhead scene, but his reasons were not primarily ideological: as a self-declared hip-hopper, he found their music not to his taste. Using Breivik as a starting point, Teitelbaum will explore changes in Scandinavian white nationalist music during the past twenty years, showing that Scandinavian radical nationalists are using new musics in new ways to advance emerging understandings of themselves and the causes they fight for.
Benjamin Teitelbaum has his advanced degrees from Brown University. He has been interviewed widely in Scandinavia about his research, in both print and broadcast media. He is also a musician, instructor and performer of the nyckelharpa, the Swedish stringed folk instrument.
The talk, sponsored by the German and Scandinavian Studies Program and the Department of English at UMass Amherst, is free and open to the public. For more information about the series visit www.umass.edu/impulses