Perspectives on the Scandinavian Cultural Imaginary

deadline for submissions: 
September 15, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Studia Universitatis Babeș-Bolyai Philologia


Perspectives on the Scandinavian Cultural Imaginary 




Special issue 2/2023 

Studia Universitatis Babeș-BolyaiPhilologia   


Guest editors  

Dr. Roxana-EmaDreve, Babeș-Bolyai University 

Dr. Raluca-Daniela Duinea, Babeș-Bolyai University 

Dr. Raluca Pop, Babeș-Bolyai University 




The term “imaginary” has had a long tradition in Europe and especially in France due to the works of Gilbert Durand (Les structures antropologiques de l'imaginaire) and Jean-Jacques Wunenburger (L'imaginaire). Throughout the years, the imaginary has reflected the connection of different cultural, artistic, literary, linguistic, religious, social and historical sets of images to the notion of identity, linking the term to aesthetics and reception. Different directions articulate the concept of “imaginary”. Apart from the exploration of the “self” in relation to others, reality, fiction, history and memory have also been re-evaluated though the lens of the imaginary.   

In the light of these perspectives, the present issue aims to analyse the imaginary with regard to Scandinavia. The Norwegian, Swedish and Danish culture, linguistics, and literary canon are often understood as structures that are characterized by multilingual and multicultural complexity andthat are part of a homogeneous Scandinavian imaginary. Deemed as a complex set of structures – from Eddic poems, saga literature, stories or fantasy characters such as trolls, to anthropological, historical or religious beliefs and customs – the Scandinavian cultural imaginary has been constantly gaining ground as a research topic. Per Thomas Andersen discusses in Story and Emotion: A Study in Affective Narratology different experiences and how these elements are addressed in literature, philosophy and psychology starting from a Scandinavian cultural context. The 25 essays on the Norwegian Literary Canon edited by StigSæterbakken and JanikeKampevold Larsen (Norsklitterærkanon, 2008) present the literary imaginary though various reading lens. In Norskidéhistorie. Bd.6. Et lite land iverdenTrond Berg Eriksen, Andreas Hompland and EivindTjønneland portrayNorwegian culture after 1950 through several topics such as literature, politics, media, education, religion. Apart from literature and culture, another element related to Scandinavian imaginary is the use of language, the basis for cultural heritage, identity and social interaction. The Scandinavian imaginary can thus be explored also through the analysis of dialects, contrastive studies on written and spoken language or translations of fictional and non-fictional texts from Scandinavia. In recent decades, an orientation of the Scandinavian literary and linguistic imaginary towards ecology (Henning HowlidWærp, Hele livet en vandreri nature, 2018), space, non-space, temporality, the rewriting of myths or travel literature has been explored. 

Since literature can be understood, according to Nilsson Louise (Mediating the North in Crime Fiction) as “a negotiation between content and contexts [...] which opens up an understanding of the interplay between culturally-rooted imaginaries and contemporary literary production”, we welcome contributions from areas and subdomains that address the complexity of the Scandinavian imaginary or with reference to the Far North, following the topics:  


  • myths and mythology (cultural aspects and symbols in literature, writing and rewriting myths, fabulous characters: Trolls, Huldra, etc.); 

  • literary and fictional universe (reflections on canonical and / or contemporary Scandinavian literature); 

  • Scandinavian literature in connection to space, time and memory; 

  • Scandinavian literature (drama, essay, poetry, novel, short story, children’s literature, fantasy) seen through historical, sociological, and religious lenses; 

  • travel literature within the Scandinavian imaginary as depicted by non-Scandinavians; 

  • translations of fictional and non-fiction literature from the Scandinavian space; 

  • dialects, dialectology, contrastive studies on Scandinavian written and spoken languages. 


The present issue seeks to raise new questions surrounding the Scandinavian imaginary and invites papers of approximately 5,000-7,000 words (including bibliography), written in English, Norwegianand French. Abstracts of approximately 250 words should be written in English and Romanian. The editors are responsible for translating the abstracts from English into Romanian for the papers written by authors who do not have language competence in Romanian.  

Studia Universitatis Babeș-Bolyai. Philologia is a double-blind peer reviewed journal published both in printed form (ISSN: 1220-0484) and online (2065-9652), and is indexed in the following international databases: ERIHPLUS, EBSCO Host, CEEOL, PROQUEST and Web of Science ESCI



Indicative Bibliography: 

ANDERSEN, Per Thomas. Story and Emotion: A Study in Affective Narratology. Translated from Norwegian by Marthe Hult. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 2016. 

BACHELARD, Gaston. The poetics of space (revised edition). London: Penguin Classics, 2014. 

BERG ERIKSEN, Trond; HOMPLAND, Andreas; TJØNNELAND, Eivind. Norsk idéhistorie. Bd.6. Et lite land i verden (1950-2000). Oslo: Aschehoug, 2003.  

BRAGA, Corin (ed). Enciclopedia imaginariilor din România. Imaginarulliterar (vol.1). Iași: Polirom, 2020. 

CHARTIER, Daniel. Qu’est-ce que l’imaginaire du Nord? Principeséthiques, Montréal and Harstad: Imaginaire Nord, Arctic Arts Summit, 2018. 

DREVE, Roxana-Ema. J.M.G. Le Clézio et GöranTunström. Analyse fractale du thème de l'enfance. Cluj-Napoca: Casa Cărții de Știință, coll.”Nordica”, 2014. 

DURAND, Gilbert. Les structures antropologiques de l’imaginaire. Paris: Dunod, 2016.  

FIDJESTØL, Bjarne; HAUGEN, Odd Einar and RINDAL, Magnus. Tekstkritisk teori og praksis. Oslo: Novus, 1988. 

FERGUSON, Robert. Scandinavians: In Search of the Soul of the North. New York: Abrams Press, 2018. 

HAUGEN, Einar Ingvald. The Scandinavian Languages: An introduction to their history. London: Faber & Faber, 1976. 

HAUGEN, Odd Einar (red.). Handbok i norrøn filologi. Fagbokforlaget: Bergen, 2004.  

KNUTSEN, Nils Magne. Litteratur i Æventyrland. Tromsø: Angelica Akademisk AS, 2013.  

NILSSON, Louise.“Mediating the North in Crime Fiction: Merging the Vernacular Place with a Cosmopolitan Imaginary”. In Journal of World Literature, nr. 1, 2016, pp. 538-554. 

RĂDUȚ, Raluca -Daniela. The Poetry of Jan Erik Vold and the Norwegian Lyric Modernism in the 1960s. Cluj-Napoca: Casa Cărții de Știință, coll. ”Nordica”, 2018.  

RYALL, Aanka, SCHIMANSKI, Johan and WÆRP, Henning Howlid. Arctic Discourses. UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010.  

SÆTERBAKKEN, Stig and LARSEN, Janike Kampevold. Norsk litterær kanon. Trondheim: Cappelen Damm, 2008.  

TOMESCU-BACIU, Sanda. Peer Gynt si miturile nordice. Cluj-Napoca: Napoca Star, 2000.  

VIKØR, Lars. The Nordic languages. Their status and interrelations. [3rd edition] (Nordic Language Secretariat. Publication 14). Oslo, Norway: Novus, 2001. 

WÆRP, Henning Howlid. “Hele livet en vandrer i naturen” - Økokritiske lesninger i Knut Hamsuns forfaterskap. Stamsund: OrkanaAkademisk, 2018.  

WUNENBURGER Jean-Jacques. L'imaginaire, Paris: PUF, Que sais-je?, 4th edition, 2020. 





• 15 September 2022 – proposal submission deadline (200-word abstract, 7 keywords, 5 theoretical references, 150-word author’s bio-note);  

• 15 October 2022 – notification of acceptance;  

•1 February 2023 – submission of full papers (instructions for authors regarding formatting rules and style sheets can be found on the journal’s webpage:

• 30 June 2023 – publication of the issue  


Please send your abstracts and papers to all email addresses: