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Knowledge on the Nordics
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Knowledge on the Nordics


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Listen to researchers and experts talking about society and culture in the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden), including panel discussions on a range of hot topics within the humanities and social sciences. There are also synopses of particular historical events and topics written by researchers and read out in one of the Nordic languages and in English by employees and friends of
31 Episodes
Listen to this podcast if you are interested in :How a collective mindset has been discernable in Denmark and the Nordic countries at points in history – and whether this still applies today;Mass education in the nineteenth century in Denmark and greater emphasis on vocational training;Labour market relations;Neoliberalism and threats to collectivism.Join the editor of, Nicola Witcombe, on her sixth virtual visit around the Nordic countries in the podcast series ’The Nordics Uncovered: Critical Voices from the Region’. Cathie and Nicola spoke over Zoom in March 2021.Sound credits :, including Lapping Waves.wav by Benboncan, and Short dance by szegvari.Visit for more information on this podcast.Support the show (
Listen to this podcast if you want to hear more about:The North Atlantic Islands of Greenland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands;Denmark-Norway colonialism in the modern-day Caribbean and Ghana and its legacies;The Greenlandic flag, 'Erfalasorput', and how it is used to respond to the Danish flag, the 'Dannebrog';Contemporary cultural and political debates on racism, including about: Is Scandinavian ‘colourblindness’ a good thing?;Breaking down the perception of the Nordics as innocent or exceptional.Join the editor of, Nicola Witcombe on her fifth virtual visit around the Nordic countries in the podcast series The Nordics Uncovered: Critical Voices from the Region. The sixth in the series is with  Cathie Jo Martin, Professor in Political Science at the Boston University.More information about the podcast can be found on credits :, including Lapping Waves.wav by Benboncan, and Short dance by szegvari.Support the show (
Listen to this podcast if you are interested in finding out more about:Contemporary Icelandic literature to read in English translation;Currents in Icelandic and Nordic literature on rewriting the past;The exoticising of Iceland and the North; and,Nordic noir as a category in literature and film.Join the editor of, Nicola Witcombe on her fourth virtual visit around the Nordic countries in the podcast series The Nordics Uncovered: Critical Voices from the Region. Gunnþórunn and Nicola spoke on 24th February 2021 when they were frequently interrupted by earthquakes.The 5th in the series is with  Lill-Ann Körber, Professor at the School of Communication and Culture, Aarhus University in Denmark about Nordic postcolonialism, amongst other things. Sound credits :  Support the show (
Children being exposed to a certain level of risk is not always seen as a bad thing in the Nordics; exposure can give children the tools to deal with risk and help them to become resilient and independent. The attitude of caregivers, teachers and children in the Nordics to online risk also reflects this approach - while elsewhere in the world a more stringent view is often taken. How we tackle children’s online lives and behaviours is rather complex and is influenced by the cultural norms of where you live, the role of schools, as well as how policymakers and classification institutions decide to regulate in the area.This podcast addresses everything to do with children's online behaviour, taking Norway and a range of other Nordic and non-Nordic countries as examples. On the way, it answers the following questions: - Is screen time harmful per se? - How do we protect children from online harm? - How has Covid-19 and online teaching affected children’s online lives? - And what approaches are prevalent in the Nordic countries?Join the editor of, Nicola Witcombe, on her virtual visit around the Nordic countries, this time to Elisabeth Staksrud, Professor in the Department of Media and Communication at the University of Oslo to discover the answer to these questions. This podcast was recorded in February 2021 and is the third in the series: The Nordics Uncovered: Critical Voices from the Region. The fourth in the series is an interview with      Gunnþórunn Guðmundsdóttir, Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Iceland. She will be talking about Icelandic literature, Nordic Noir and how writers and cultural commentators frame the past - and how they help people to digest global crises. Sound credits from including mechanical keyboard sound by TolerableDruid6. Support the show (
This podcast tackles a wide-range of factors about the educational systems of the Nordic countries, focusing primarily on Sweden and comparisons with Finland. On the way, it answers the following questions: Why does the Finnish education system have such a good reputation around the world? After decades of reform, is the Swedish education system in crisis? How does decision-making and the politics around education in Finland and Sweden differ and how is it similar?  What role do schools and teachers play in the creation of our 'mental maps'? A term usually used by cultural geographers, mental maps encompass many different dimensions of our world view: from an awareness of our country and region’s place in the world, to our view of history and where we sit on an imaginary timeline.How is all of this influenced by national politicians and institutional systems, and even the international dimension? Join the editor of, Nicola Witcombe, on her virtual visit around the Nordic countries, this time to Janne Holmén, Associate Professor in the Department of Education at Uppsala University to discover the answer to these questions. Janne is from the Åland Islands and this has influenced his research interests. This podcast was recorded in February 2021 and is the second in the series: The Nordics Uncovered: Critical Voices from the Region. The third in the series is an interview with Elisabeth Staksrud, Professor in the Department of Education and Media at Oslo University in Norway. She will be talking about childhood in the Nordics and the online lives of children and young people. Sound credits from including school break noise outdoor.wav by Libra222.Support the show (
This is extra material on the The Nordics and Small State Theory  from the podcast with Janne Holmén, 'Sweden: Uncovering Nordic Education and Society with Janne Holmén' from February 2021.  Support the show (
Interested in the Nordic universal welfare systems and how effective welfare can be in times of crisis? How has Iceland fared compared to the other Nordic countries, before and after the Great Recession of 2008? Can this teach us anything about how to tackle Covid?Join the editor of, Nicola Witcombe, on her virtual visit around the Nordic countries, this time to Stefán Ólafsson, Professor of Sociology at the University of Iceland. Stefán has had a long career looking at social policy in Iceland and elsewhere, and is one of the editors of the well-known book ’Welfare and the Great Recession: A Comparative Study'.In this podcast, you will hear an historical overview of Iceland’s welfare policy since the middle of the last century. You will also hear about a range of related issues, like whether Iceland was a failed neoliberal experiment and 'business vikings'.This podcast was recorded in January 2021 and is the first in the series: The Nordics Uncovered: Critical Voices from the Region. The second in the series is an interview with Janne Holmén, Associate Professor in the Department for Education at Uppsala University in Sweden  who will be talking about key geopolitical events and trends and how these influence education policy in the Nordics, as well as what it means to be a 'small state' on the world stage. Sound credits from including "Noir" Reel by Hainbach by makenoisemusic.Support the show (
This is extra material on the Icelandic pensions system and means-testing  from the podcast with Stefán Ólafsson, 'Iceland: Uncovering the Nordic Welfare State with Stefán Ólafsson' from January 2021. Support the show (
The interplay between popular culture and the ’real’ world is an interesting one: Can cultural products really have an effect on geopolitics? And can geopolitical actors learn from them? Robert Saunders thinks so. He is Professor in the Department of History, Politics and Geography the State University of New York and is interviewed by editor of Nicola Witcombe. Find out more about how TV can be a tool in explaining geopolitics and historical events; and, how it is experimental ground for imagining how to deal with the uncertainty of future events, including relationships between countries and regions – and pandemics! Sound credits: e.g. bigmanjoe (Suspenceful Creepy Music.wav).Visit for more information on the works mentioned in the podcast!Support the show (
Listen to this podcast on the social, political and literary movement from around 1870 to 1900 in Scandinavia! Dubbed the Modern Breakthrough, it was a backlash against conservatism, both culturally and politically, and led to countless challenging and fascinating pieces of fictional and non-fictional literature and art. Authors were like celebrities, propounding social justice for the poor, emancipation and rights for women, taking up naturalist ideas post-Darwin, and kicking against the overriding religion. Spoiler alert!: If you listen to this podcast, several endings of famous Scandinavian novels will be disclosed!Sound credits from including oboe horn tune & audience r.aif by IEDlabs and Historical Museum lounge area ambience.wav by Halfofthesky.  Support the show (
I 1944 udgav den berømte finsk-svenske romanforfatter Sally Salminen ’Kommer far hjem til jul?’ som en novelle i magasinet Juleroser. Salminen fik sin berømmelse efter at have vundet en finsk-svensk litteraturpris i 1936 for sin roman Katrina. Hendes berømmelse var måske ikke blot grundet romanens kvalitet og store appel, men også fordi hun skrev den under en ganske usædvanlig omstændighed, mens hun arbejdede som huspige i New York.Salminen kom fra en stor familie og voksede op med mange brødre og søstre. Hun havde også selv et plejebarn. Hun skriver også om moderskab og krig i to andre noveller: 'Et Barn er fodt os' (1941) og 'Trollet' (1944) og hun udtrykker barndommen og barnets perspektiv i romanerne Lars Laurila og Barndomens land samt i erindringsbogen Upptäcktsresan (1966) (Opdagelsesrejsen).Tilladelse er givet af Sallys pårørende til offentliggørelse på både dansk og engelsk, der ejer rettighederne til hendes arbejde. Du kan også lytte til en engelske oversættelse af Paul Larkin her. Læs historien her.#nordicsinfo #ReNEWHub.Sounds effects from, including 7-14-Crying (14FSmitakovaK, CC BY-NC 3.0) and Fire In Woodburning Stove (Benboncan, CC BY 3.0).Support the show (
In 1944, the renowned Finland-Swedish novelist Sally Salminen has the short story 'Kommer Far hjem til jul?' (Is Daddy coming home for Christmas?) published in the magazine Juleroser (Christmas Roses). Salminen had shot to fame after winning a Finnish-Swedish literary prize in 1936 for her novel Katrina. Her celebrity status was perhaps not only because of the quality and wide appeal of the novel, but also because she wrote it quite unusually while working as a house maid in New York.Salminen she came from a big family and grew up with many brothers and sisters. She herself had a foster child. She writes about motherhood and war also in two other short stories: 'Et Barn er fodt os (1941) (A Child is Born to Us), and 'Trollet' (1944) (The Troll), and she pictures childhood and the perspective of the child in the novels Lars Laurila and Barndomens land (The Land of Childhood), as well as in the memoir Upptäcktsresan (1966) (The Trip of Discovery).Permission has kindly been granted for publication in both Danish and English by Sally’s descendants who own the rights to her work. The English translation is by Paul Larkin. Listen the original Danish version by clicking here. The story is read out by Anna Kristensen and the podcast is produced by Nicola Witcombe.You can read the story in English or Danish by clicking here.#nordicsinfo #ReNEWHubSound effects from, including 7-14-Crying (14FSmitakovaK, CC BY-NC 3.0) and Fire In Woodburning Stove (Benboncan, CC BY 3.0).Support the show (
Nordisk krimi fiktion

Nordisk krimi fiktion


Siden 1990'erne har nordisk krimi været en vigtig undergenre inden for den globale krimigenre. Normalt kendetegnet ved socialrealisme, dystre omgivelser og gnavne efterforskere. Kriminalromaner og tv-serier fra hele Norden omhandler indviklede mysterier og spændende historier, der bruger kriminelle plot til at undersøge retfærdighed, lighed, sårbarhed og andre aktuelle debatter, der er specifikke for det nordiske velfærdssamfund. Klassiske eksempler på den nordiske krimi inkluderer moderne tv-klassikere som den danske Forbrydelsen 2007-2012, den danske/svenske samproduktion Bron/Broen (2011-2018) og globale bestsellere af norske Jo Nesbø og svenske Stieg Larsson. Men genren inkluderer også mørke og kritiske fremstillinger af bagsiden af de nordiske lande, og strækker sig tilbage i tiden, helt til litterære værker fra det nittende århundrede. Artiklen skrevet af Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen. Det er oversat fra engelsk af, er oplæst af Karoline Corfitz (studentermedhjælper på og produceret af Nicola Witcombe.Læs artiklen her.#nordicsinfo #ReNEWHubSupport the show (
Nordic crime fiction

Nordic crime fiction


Since 1990s, Nordic crime fiction has been a significant sub-genre within the global genre of crime fiction. Usually characterised by social realism, gloomy locations and morose detectives, crime novels and TV series from across the Nordic region provide puzzling mysteries and thrilling stories that use the crime plot to investigate the state of justice, equality, vulnerability and current debates specific to the Nordic welfare societies. The genre includes modern TV classics such as the Danish Forbrydelsen (The Killing, 2007-2012), the Danish/Swedish co-production Bron/Broen (The Bridge, 2011-2018) and global bestsellers by the Norwegian Jo Nesbø and the Swede Stieg Larsson, but it also includes dark and critical images of the underbelly of the Nordic states, which extend further back in history, even to literary works from the nineteenth century. The article is written by Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen and is read out and produced by Nicola Witcombe.You can read the article by clicking here.#nordicsinfo #ReNEWHubSupport the show (
Saamelaisen kirjallisuuden historia voidaan jäljittää 1600-luvulta lähtien, ja sen historiaa voidaan tulkita tärkeiden saamelaisten, kansallisten ja kansainvälisten poliittisten liikkeiden kontekstissa. Saamelainen kirjallisuus on saamelaisten eli saamen kansan jäsenten kirjoittamaa kirjallisuutta. Tässä lyhyessä podcastissa kuvataan saamelaista yhteiskunnallispoliittista kehitystä sekä itsenäisen saamelaisen äänen ilmaisua kirjallisuuden kautta.Tämä podcast on osa sarjaa, joka tarjoaa yhteenvedon tietyistä pohjoismaita käsittelevistä aiheista yhteiskuntatieteiden ja humanististen tieteiden sisällä. Tutkijat ovat kirjoittaneet tekstit, ja nordics.infon ja Aarhusin yliopiston historian laitoksen työntekijät ja ystävät ovat lukeneet ne ääneen eri pohjoismaisilla kielillä ja englanniksi. Tämä podcast perustuu Lill Tove Fredriksonin artikkeliin, sen on lukenut ääneen Tuuli Veikkanen, ja se on nauhoitettu helmikuussa 2020.Jos olet kiinnostunut kuulemaan lisää, vieraile sivustolla #nordicsinfo #ReNEWhubSupport the show (
Sámi literature's history can be traced from the 1600s and the course of this history can be interpreted in the context of important Sámi, national and international political movements. Sámi literature is that written by authors who are Sámi, members of the Sámi people. In this short podcast, the Sámi socio-political development will be illustrated as well as the expression of an independent Sámi voice through literature. It is written by Lill Tove Fredrikson, Associate Professor in Sámi Literature at UiT The Arctic University of Norway, and the article is read out by Nicola Witcombe.You can read the article by clicking here, and watch an interview with the author.#nordicsinfo #ReNEWHubSupport the show (
I 1973 indførte den socialdemokratiske regering et akut indvandringsstop på grund af voksende arbejdsløshed. Indvandring var dog ikke et særligt problematiseret emne i den politiske og offentlige debat i 1970'erne. Fra begyndelsen af 1980'erne kom der stadig flere flygtninge til Danmark, især fra Mellemøsten og den tredje verden, hvor mange lande var hærget af kriser, krige og borgerkrige. I 1983 vedtog Folketinget en ny udlændingelov, der blev kendt som Europas mest liberale. Tilstrømningen til Danmark samt integrationsproblemer fik dog Folketinget til at vedtage en række stramninger af udlændingeloven i 1980'erne. I slutningen af 1980'erne kom udlændingeområdet til at fylde mere i den politiske og offentlige debat, bl.a. fordi Fremskridtspartiet profilerede sig stærkt på området. Artiklen er læst højt af Lasse Byriel Christensen, studentermedhjælper hos kan du læse artiklen på engelsk, og på dansk.#nordicsinfo #ReNEWhubSupport the show (
 In 1973, the Social Democrat government introduced an immediate stop to labour immigration because of growing unemployment. Immigration was, however, not a particularly problematic subject in the political and public debate in the 1970s. From the beginning of the 1980s, more refugees came to Denmark, particularly from the Middle East and the Global South, where many countries were ravaged by crises, war and civil conflict. In 1983, the Danish Parliament passed a new Aliens Act that was known as Europe’s most liberal. The large numbers of immigrants that subsequently came to Denmark, together with integration problems, led to parliament passing a number of limitations to the Act in 1980s. At the end of the 1980s, immigration became more important in the political and public debate due to, amongst other things, the Progress Party (Fremskridtspartiet) strongly highlighting the issue. The article is read out by Brian Witcombe.You can read the article in English by clicking here, and in Danish by clicking here.#nordicsinfo #ReNEWhubSupport the show (
Umiddelbart efter afslutningen på 2. verdenskrig i 1945 begyndte en verdensomspændende diskussion om afvikling af kolonierne i verden. Diskussionen foregik i det nyligt oprettede FN og kom til at få betydning for Grønlands afkolonisering. Grønland havde været knyttet til Danmark siden missionæren Hans Egedes ankomst til landet i 1721, og landet blev styret som en dansk koloni. I årene 1945-1954 blev spørgsmålet om Grønlands statsretlige stilling et vigtigt led i dansk FN-politik. Den danske regering forsøgte ihærdigt via en række forhandlinger i FN at bevare Grønland som en del af det danske rige. Det lykkedes for regeringen, og ved ændring af Grundloven den 5. juni 1953 ophørte Grønlands status som koloni, og landet blev formelt en ligestillet del af Danmark. Statusændringen blev i 1954 anerkendt af FN. Artiklen er læst højt af Karoline Corfitz, studentermedhjælper hos Her kan du læse artiklen på engelsk.#nordicsinfo #ReNEWhubSupport the show (
An international discussion on decolonisation followed in the aftermath of the Second World War in the mid-1940s. The newly formed United Nations created some of the most important platforms for these discussions. Consequently, Danish politicians and civil servants feared that Greenland, the last of the Danish colonies, would attract negative international attention. Greenland had joined the Danish colonial empire when the missionary Hans Egede (1686-1758) began colonisation in 1721. Denmark governed Greenland as a colony for the following two centuries. From 1945 to 1954, the question of Greenland’s colonial status formed one of the most important aspects with respect to Danish ambitions in the UN. Denmark conducted a series of meetings and sat on several committees in order to influence the international community to accept a continued Danish presence in Greenland. It succeeded. When the Danish electorate voted for changes to the Danish constitution in 1953, Denmark simultaneously integrated Greenland as a county. The UN recognised Greenland’s new status in 1954. The article is read out by Brian Witcombe.You can read the article here.#nordicsinfo #ReNEWhubSupport the show (
Comments (1)

Keith McConnell

poor audio quality. not listenable.

Aug 29th
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