Monday, October 26, 2009
Finn Forum IX call for papers
In 2001, my sister, Katja, and I traveled to Jyväskylä, Finland, to present a paper at Finn Forum VI on research that we did with women and girls of Finnish descent here in Thunder Bay. Our paper, "Roots and Wings. Re-writing identity, tradition and culture: the shifting notion of self and community" was subsequently published in the book Entering Multiculturalism: Finnish Experience Abroad, the cover which you see above. The cover painting is by Aura Jylhä -Vuorio, "Isoäiti ja Ameriikan arkku II" (Grandmother and the American trunk II")
The Finn Forum is a series of Finnish-themed conferences with a traveling venue, from Finland, Sweden, US and Canada.
The next one will be in May of next year here in Thunder Bay. Find some information here and here, and the call for papers here. From the English language call for papers:
"The theme for Finn Forum IX is Finland and the World: Past, Present and Future. We welcome submissions dealing with Finnish history, migration, culture and language. In this era of globalization we also encourage submissions for presentations and panels focused on contemporary cultural, social and economic aspects of the Finnish Diaspora and the country’s impact on the on the world."
I hope that folks out there send in some art-based proposals! Some innovative methodologies! Some challenging progressive interdisciplinary work using critical theories. New ways of seeing. Provoking re-thinking....
not the tried and true.
Enough of the dusty corridors of a celebratory history or tradition. Finnish studies, as some of you may be aware, has not exactly been cutting edge nor progressive. Of course I am speaking in generalities, and there are exceptions (a conference held in Thunder Bay a few years back called Finnish Immigration During the Depression was great!). But it's not like any one who is not of Finnish descent is rushing to conferences on Finnish areas. That's one of the problems with Finns: exclusivity. Staying within safe, predicable areas and ideas. Tell me, why do Finns like to stay on familiar ground? While in the past some Finns challenged orthodoxies, I can't say that is the rule these days. More Finns ARE the orthodoxy, especially in Canada.