The 5th Nordic Geographers’ Meeting
University of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland, June 11-14, 2013
The NGM is a biennial meeting of Nordic geographers, taking place in turn in one of the Nordic Countries.
The 5th Nordic Geographers Meeting will be held in Reykjavík, Iceland, at the University of Iceland, 11 – 14 June 2013.
The theme of the NGM 2013 is Responsible Geographies. Both human and physical geographers are encouraged to participate under this broad heading. The conference language is English. http://conference.hi.is/ngm2013/
Variant call for session + workshop papers
Competitive cultural nationalisms across Northern Europe: research practices and cultural policies
In 2006, Scotland’s current first minister Alex Salmond alleged a Northern European “arc of prosperity”, citing Ireland’s boom-time national image. Also in 2006, Marita Muukkonen, then of Finland-based art magazine FRAME, and formerly of the Nordic Institute for Contemporary Arts (NIFCA), wrote:
“Looking at recent policy and political developments in arts and culture in Finland and the EU it becomes clear that cultural-political instrumentalisation and economisation is infused with nationalist and protectionist tendencies, and that is a growing concern.”
With the strengthening tendency of the transformation of cultural politics into cultural economics highlighted – whereby the processes of arts and culture become a competitive factor of national economic growth – the fuller integration of the aesthetic disciplines into the nation’s economic production of value emerges as a most notable concern.
Moreover, the new articulations of existing power relations that are bound up in these processes – i.e. the way in which notions of passion for and pleasure in work serve as disciplinary devices, enabling high levels of (self-) exploitation (Abbing, 2007); the extremely low levels of union organisation in much cultural labour (Hesmondhalgh/Baker, 2010) – evidently reveals that a promised freedom of autonomy and self-realisation for ‘creative’ workers as a means of economic development did not protect from national financial crises.
With many of these debates situated firmly within policy and practice – marking the shift from a framing of cultural to creative economies (Garnham, 2005) – with this session we invite proposals which enquire into the scope and space for a critical geographical engagement with the issues raised, such as:
- the extent to which research practices have explored national ‘cultural intimacy’ (Herzfeld, 1997) across Northern Europe – the complex ways in which state and local practices interact, the nation-state eventually containing disparate groups’ contradictory actions and ideologies within national symbolism and sentiment;
- the impacts on cultural equality and communicative freedom in the context of cultural-economic policy approaches of ‘competitive nationalism’;
- and with these two strands of inquiry firmly in mind, the extent to which research practices and policy measures come to perform the making of (ir)responsible geographies, and, moreover, frame the meaning of such activities.
For us, such debate is central in furthering the understanding of the effects of cultural policy in the context of ‘place-making’ and the production of space, so as to “critically account for the way ‘power is exercised upon and through practices of mediated public communication’” (Barnett, 2003). And in doing so, allow an exploration of the positions taken and interventions made that not only render policy ‘mobile’ but provide insight into the productive capacity of these across cultural policy, practice and geography.
With this call for papers we are seeking contributions to two sessions:
(a) a paper session, centred around 20 mins papers; and
(b) a collaborative facilitated workshop, based on short impulse papers (5 mins) or poster presentations.
Click here for further details.