Conference on Hamlet and the Nordic countries, November 12-14, 2021

deadline for submissions: 
November 30, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
University of Gothenburg
contact email: 

Hamlet and the North: Origins, Exchanges and Appropriations The story of Shakespeare’s Nordic play is also, inevitably, one of cultural exchanges before, during and after the early modern period. From its origins in Nordic tradition to its re-introduction in the Nordic countries through Shakespeare’s play, the story of Hamlet from the middle ages to present time is inextricably bound up with Nordic history and culture. This conference, co-hosted by the Nordic Shakespeare Society and the Early Modern Seminar at the University of Gothenburg, is the first to explore the specific Nordic dimensions of Hamlet. Gothenburg, the site of the first recorded performance of Hamlet in Scandinavia (1787), will be the location of an event that explores the historical connections between Hamlet and the North as well as the continuing importance of the play throughout the Nordic countries. The conference will take place on 12-14 November 2021 at the University of Gothenburg. Confirmed keynotes include Michael Dobson (Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham), Nely Keinänen (University of Helsinki), Philip Lavender (University of Gothenburg) and Richard Wilson (emeritus, Kingston University). Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • The Scandinavian origins of the Hamlet narrative
  • The depiction of the Nordic countries in the play as related to Elizabethan and Stuart history and politics
  • The early history of Hamlet in the Nordic countries – performances, translations and readership
  • Contemporary representations of Hamlet in the Nordic countries, including stage productions and translations
  • The emergence of Hamlet in relation to cultures of nationalism and national revival
  • Intertexts and allusions to Hamlet in Nordic literature, music and visual arts
  • Approaches to teaching Hamlet in or from a Nordic context

 Presentations are strictly limited to 20 minutes. Paper proposals of no more than 250 words plus a bio of 50 words should be submitted by 30 November 2020 to Nely Keinänen ( and Per Sivefors ( Enquiries should also be sent to both.