Welcome! Välkommen! Velkommen! Tervetuloa!
The University of Massachusetts Amherst Scandinavian Studies Program has sponsored three series of cultural events called Scandinavian Impulses, thanks to major grants from the Nordic Council and the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation.
The first installation of Scandinavian Impulses, instituted in 2010-2011, was a broadly based interdisciplinary series about a variety of experience and issues in Scandinavia, including, literature, film, music, politics, science, and the visual arts. The second program in 2012-13 focused on the theme "Vengeance and Violence in Scandinavian Life and Culture." a topic designed to examine possible discursive and ideological parallels between the ancient Norse legal system, which sanctioned violent revenge, and instances of contemporary violence linked to renewed nationalism, neo-paganism, anti-immigration and anti-(European) integration movements. The theme also reflected a surge of Scandinavian crime-fiction writing, which, together with crime series in Nordic film and television, has attracted a worldwide following.
The third Scandinavian Impulses series of 2016-2017 is again interdisciplinary. It features co-sponsorship of a major art exhibition of CoBrA artists, a post-WWII group from Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam who challenged then-dominant abstract expressionism. There is also a report from an archeologist about recent findings in Iceland, Greenland and North America, including a possible new settlement in North America; and two lectures by a Swedish film and fashion specialist. The main focus of the series has been the ongoing challenges to the Nordic region of heavy immigration from parts of the world ethnically and culturally very different from itself. Dedicated to that subject is an independent lecture, "Swedishness After the Refugee Crisis" by our Fulbright-Hildeman exchange scholar, who has also taught a special course in "The Making of Multi-Cultural Sweden." Even more to the point is a two-day international symposium, Managing Multicultural Scandinavia, with six guest speakers. The full proceedings of these two events are available on video through links on this site.
Note as well that there are some co-sponsored UMass events on Scandinavian subjects linked here under the heading "Co-Sponsored Events".
Watch for more event announcements on this site! And join us as often as you can. You can also sign up for our occasional e-mail announcements of other Scandinavian-related happenings at UMass.