Disseminating Shakespeare in the Nordic Countries, 1789-1914

deadline for submissions: 
April 30, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Nely Keinänen (University of Helsinki, Finland) and Per Sivefors (Linnaeus University, Sweden)

Extended Deadline: Anthology project, ‘Disseminating Shakespeare in the Nordic Countries, 1789 - 1916’

We are still seeking a few contributions for our planned anthology on the early reception of Shakespeare in the Nordic countries during the ‘long’ 19th century. In particular, we would welcome contributions from scholars working on Shakespeare in Iceland, and can also consider materials covering other Nordic countries, particularly Denmark and Norway. Articles on Nordic Tercentenary celebrations in 1916 are also of interest. And finally, we would be interested in essays examining issues of gender, e.g. the possible influence of Shakespeare on Nordic female writers active in the years being examined; representations of madwomen (e.g. Ophelia, Lady Macbeth); translations/productions which challenged Shakespeare’s or cultural gender stereotypes.

 For reference, here is the original CFP:

While the transmission of Shakespeare into other languages and cultures was always highly complex, the early dissemination of his works in the Nordic countries was particularly multifaceted due to the importance of German and French translations and theatre companies in the early part of the period, as well as extensive political, cultural and linguistic influences between the Nordic countries themselves. Variously affected by significant political developments in Britain and on the Continent (e.g. the French Revolution) and by changing aesthetic ideals (notably Romanticism), the introduction of Shakespeare in the Nordic countries was arguably an inter-European process that happened in different ways and at different points in time. The long 19th century was moreover a time of national revivalism, and the role of Shakespeare in the establishment of national Nordic cultures and literatures is a significant though still underexamined field.


We would be especially interested in contributions that address one or more of the following questions:

  • In what ways and through which channels were the works of Shakespeare transmitted into the Nordic countries? What importance did for example German and French translations and reworkings have?
  • What were the cultural and economic links between Great Britain and the Nordic countries in the period, and in what respects were they important to the dissemination of Shakespeare?
  • To what extent was the introduction of Shakespeare in the Nordic countries linked – or not linked – to projects of national revival? Are there significant differences between the countries in this respect?
  • What influence did Shakespeare have on specific authors in the period (e.g. canonical authors such as Ibsen, Kierkegaard, Kivi or Strindberg, but also less known figures)?

We will need abstracts of ca 500 words, outlining the scope and basic research questions of your contribution, by 30 April, 2019. A selection of the submitted abstracts will be included in a book proposal to an international publisher. Although we do not solicit finished essays at this stage, it may be useful to know that the actual chapters are to be 6000-9000 words and that the selected essays are to be completed by the end of 2019.


The volume will be edited by Nely Keinänen (University of Helsinki, Finland) and Per Sivefors (Linnaeus University, Sweden). Abstracts should be sent to both at nely.keinanen@helsinki.fi and per.sivefors@lnu.se.