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The Voice of the Colonizer Bridging the Cultural Barrier?: Encounters between the Swedish and the Sámi in literature for young readers from 1950 to 2000
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Education, Language, and Teaching.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8771-8597
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Since Johannes Schefferus published the first Sámi poems in Lapponica in 1673, Sámi themes have been perceived as an aspect of Swedish literature. The vast majority of these literary texts, however, have not been written in Sámi or by writers of Sámi origin, and the early works reduced the Sámi and their cultures to extras or exoticized characters (cf. Lindskog 2005). This paper draws on a corpus of ten books for young readers, two from each decade from the 1950s till the millennium, to examine how Swedish writers of non-Sámi origin depict the relationship between the Swedish society and the Sámi peoples. Whilst post-colonial concepts such as ‘dominated and dominating’ and ‘colonizer and colonized’ are presented in simplistic binarisms in many of these works, there are also works that work towards addressing shame, and working towards apology and reconciliation (Ahmed 2014). The novels introduce plots where the Swedish protagonists are situated in Sápmi engaging in intercultural meetings Sámi characters. The young protagonists find ways of bridging cultural barriers, but the voice that readers hear is filtered through the non-Sámi writers. The paper concludes with reflections on how to approach such literature in a way that respects the histories, politics and cultures of the region without either essentializing or ignoring genuine attempts to promote reconciliation.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
Swedish literature for young readers, 1950-2000, non-Sámi writers, Encounters between the Swedish and the Sámi, Voice of the Colonizer
National Category
Humanities and the Arts
Research subject
Swedish and Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-76395OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-76395DiVA, id: diva2:1360981
Conference
Silence and Silencing in Children’s Literature IRSCL Congress 2019, Stockholm 14-18 August, 2019
Available from: 2019-10-15 Created: 2019-10-15 Last updated: 2019-11-22

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Palo, Annbritt

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf