P107
Performing identity and preserving heritage in real and imagined places

Convenors:
Susanne Österlund-Pötzsch (Society of Swedish Literature in Finland)
Lizette Gradén (The Royal Armory, Skokloster Castle and the Hallwyl Museum)
Hanne Pico Larsen (Columbia University )
Chair:
Hanne Pico Larsen, Lizette Gradén, Susanne Österlund-Pötzsch
Location:
Tower B, Piso 3, Room T12
Start time:
18 April, 2011 at 11:30
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

How do places give shape to cultural heritage, delimit identities and draw boundaries? Rituals, narratives and museums define the regional, the national and the supranational - this panel examines how these gain importance and how they become invested with meaning.

Long abstract:

How are regional, national, supranational, and transnational spaces created and expressed? In what way do places give shape to cultural heritage, delimit identities, and draw boundaries via recognition of difference? When abstract space overlaps with concrete places these two questions gain special pertinence. Since the time of the great emigration to North America, ritual, narratives, architecture, museums, and theatre have defined the Nordic in the United States as well as in the Nordic countries themselves. Today, such places are subject to contestation, not least among descendants of Nordic emigrants and the more recent immigrants to the Nordic countries. Similar processes can be found in other European countries. This panel seeks to identify and explore the role of performance in the reshaping of Nordic and European life. With increased collaboration among European countries, there is a noticeable tendency towards producing places with reference to tourism and heritage making. Consequently, a multiplicity of places emerge -- charged with performances of heritage, difference, and identity, and spatialized in overlapping and conflicting ways. At once physical and discursive, these places/spaces help to structure social collectives and organize allegiances. In the panel, we will discuss how specific places gain importance as cultural heritage sites and how they become invested with meaning, as well as which emotional and spatial means people make use of when considering space and place making. We also strive to form an understanding of the role of folklore in the light of cultural politics in the 21st century.