1375.21 - Denmark and the New North Atlantic. From Donald Trump to William Heinesen (BA)

Course number
Denmark and the New North Atlantic. From Donald Trump to William Heinesen (BA)
Students must have completed the required core component of the BA in Faroese or hold an equivalent qualification. This course may also be completed as an individual course subject to other prerequisites (please refer to the Degree Programme in force).
The purpose is to go behind the global attention received by the Arctic and the North Atlantic in recent years. The Faroe Islands have expanded their sea area, which now reaches all the way into the Arctic Circle. In this connection, we ask what significance this new political interest has for identity positions, cultural heritage and natural resources in the area. Negotiations in the cultural, artistic and political sense are taking place in all parts of the North Atlantic (Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland and Coastal Norway) in recent years as part of self-government processes, identity management, climate change and globalization. The core of the course will be to examine the transition from nation building to region building and from nation building to destination building in the field of tourism with a special focus on geographical notions: from Trump's geography of power to emotional geographies in William Heinesen. The students acquire knowledge about how the new North Atlantic finds itself in a transitional situation between its old role in the Danish empire and its new one in globalization, with a special view of the Arctic as a geopolitical power scene among the great powers.
The framework for the course will be recent cultural history in the North Atlantic and the Arctic. The course material is divided into three. First and foremost, Faroese, Icelandic and Danish novels are analyzed with a special focus on the Danish empire and globalization. This is examined in general as an expression of different approaches to identity, cultural heritage, geography and natural resources. More specifically, we take a closer look at how the Faroe Islands in particular are described in Faroese and Danish novels, how geographical units in the area are portrayed as melancholy, blues-influenced geographies that cannot be fully mapped and which have thus escaped colonial and continental control. We also take a closer look at how certain figures like the woman and expansion Vikings become the epitome of geography and nation. In addition to novels, we read theoretical texts that describe different approaches to imagined geographies with a special focus on the North Atlantic and the Arctic. It involves, among other things, postcolonial notions of the center and periphery, geographical notions of the relationship between size and structure in ultra-small, non-metropolitan cultures. In this context, we first look at the North Atlantic and the Arctic as a postcolonial area, but also at how postcolonialism faces challenges from other theorizations within, for example, Island Studies and cultural geography, both of which point in and out of postcolonialism. Thirdly, the perspective is broadened to different cultural notions of the North Atlantic and the Arctic: book fairs, biennials, tourism and the connection between tourism and various niche tourism (gastrotourism, food tourism, voluntourism, film tourism) and branding.
Learning and teaching approaches
Lectures, presentations by teacher and students, group work.
Learning outcomes
Successful students can demonstrate: • To analyze the connection between literature (the novel) and geography with special reference to imaginations of geography in the Danish North Atlantic and Arctic • To convey knowledge about different approaches to concepts as ‘the North’, ‘the Blues’, ‘Imagined Geography’, ‘(Ultra)minor literature’, archipelago. • To connect concept within Postcolonialism, Island Studies, Tourism Studies and Literary Studies • To analyze connections between the novel and geography • To convey connections between literature and geography on the one hand and branding and cultural tourism on the other • To assess the connection between literature and cosmopolitanism/cultural globalization with special reference to placial connections between the local, the national, the regional and the global.
Assessment method
Take-home assignment (two weeks) on a set topic.
Marking scale
2 dissertations and 4 literary works Primer Kirsten Thisted and Ann-Sofie Gremaud: Denmark and the New North Atlantic. Narratives and Memories in a Former Empire Vol. I and II (2020)
Bergur Rønne Moberg