Nordic education, culture and media:

Nordic culture, education and media

As well as content on culture, education and media, you will also find articles on art, literature, belief systems and public policy. Phenomena as diverse as Nordic noir, new Nordic cuisine and Nordic design have achieved global recognition more recently, as Nordic literature and architecture have done historically. Culture is taken in its broadest sense, including for example political culture and that of belief systems, such as the Lutheran church. Content about all these issues and more will be found on this page. 


The National Theatre of Iceland (Þjóðleikhúsið) established in 1950 is located in the city capital Reykjavik. Photo: Public Domain, Flickr.

2021.09.16 | The Quick Read, Helena Forsås-Scott, Culture, Literature

Drama in Iceland, 1900-2000

Despite the formation of the Rekjavík Theatre Company in 1897, a National Theatre (Þjóðleikhúsið) was not established until 1950 and the Company did not become fully professional until 1963. The problematisation of values and the critique of materialism became a recurring theme in the drama of the 1960s and 1970s. Social and economic change…

Jan Troell at Stockholm's Film Festival in 2012. Photo: Frankie Fouganthin, Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 3.0.

2021.09.06 | Biography, Lars Gustaf Andersson, The arts

Jan Troell b. 1931

Jan Troell is a Swedish film director and cinematographer who also made a number of internationally successful films, such as 'The Flight of an Eagle' (Ingenjör Andrées luftfärd) in 1982.

Arne Sucksdorff in 1965. Photo: Svenska Dagbladet. Public Domain.

2021.08.06 | Biography, Lars Gustaf Andersson, The arts

Arne Sucksdorff 1917- 2001

The Swedish documentary filmmaker Arne Sucksdorff was born in Stockholm in 1917. Sucksdorff is the most important documentarist in Swedish film, and has been a source of inspiration for younger filmmakers such as Stefan Jarl.

The oldest Finnish speaking professional theatre is the Finnish National Theatre, established in 1872 in Helsinki. Photo: Diego Delso, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia

2021.07.20 | The Quick Read, Helena Forsås-Scott, Culture, Literature

Drama in Finland

Theatre is a dynamic medium in the Nordic countries, and the many plays written and produced, especially since the 1960s, have been characterised by innovation and experimentation. This is the first Quick Read on drama in the Nordics which focuses on Finland. Articles on the other Nordic countries are to follow.

Front book cover of the book 'Det moderne gennembruds kvinder' (1983) [The Women of the Modern Breakthrough] written by Pil Dahlerup. Photo: Permission to use cover kindly granted by Gyldendal.

2021.07.13 | The Quick Read, Helena Forsås-Scott, Literature, Gender

Literary criticism in the Nordics, postwar to today

Literary work and issues pertaining to it were rooted in the historical-biographical tradition following the Second World War in the Nordics. Danish linguist Louis Hjelmslev's work helped paved the way for structuralism which came to prominence in the 1960s, when the wider debate on the role of literature in education and society also began to…

Mary Hilson is Professor of History at Aarhus University and Peter Stadius is Research Director at the Centre for Nordic Studies at Helsinki University.

2021.07.01 | Podcast, Mary Hilson, Peter Stadius, Research, Culture, Aarhus University, University of Helsinki

Uncovering the Nordic Region with Mary Hilson and Peter Stadius

Hot topics in current academic research on the Nordic region include welfare, colonialism and heterogeneity. These – as well as a host of other issues - have been the main themes of the podcast series ‘The Nordics Uncovered: Critical Voices from the Region’ and form the subject of this podcast. In the final podcast of the series, editor of…

The University of Copenhagen is one of the main universities in Denmark. Photo: colourbox.

2021.06.25 | Article, Byron J. Nordstrom, Education

An overview of Nordic universities

Universities are important in the Nordic countries because of a generally held belief that education is essential to democracy and it is a responsibility of the state to provide lifelong educational opportunities. Universities are just one piece in a total educational picture that also includes other on-going options for adults of all ages and a…

British Library digitised image from page 496 of "Illustreret Danmarkshistorie for Folket" (Illustrated History of Denmark for the People). Photo: British Library, Flickr.

2021.05.26 | Article, Johnni Langer, The arts, Views of a Nordic Past

Valkyries and Danish national symbolism in the 19th century

Scandinavian goddesses, gods, and supernatural deities: nowadays it is common to encounter the Norse myths being popularized in the mass media, in electronic games, in cinema and art in general. But in past contexts, they also had a different status, used as elements in the history of nations, in public monuments, in political speeches and in…

2021.04.29 | Article, Helena Forsås-Scott, Gender, Literature

Feminist writing in the Nordics, 1970s-2000

Feminist writing in 1970s, particularly prose fiction, was inspired by second-wave feminism and by the mid-1980s, feminist writing had become a significant element in Nordic culture. Over the following two decades, issues of gender, frequently explored in terms of language, identity and the body, also gave new prominence to genres such as drama…

The Danish flag, the Dannebrog, is often perceived as being important to Danish culture. Photo: Colourbox.

2021.04.23 | The Quick Read, Pirzada Junaid Ahmad, Culture

The Dannebrog in Danish culture

Denmark exhibits a unique culture where the national flag, known by its local name 'Dannebrog', has become an everyday symbol used by Danes. In addition to official functions and ceremonies, Danes use their national flag for birthday parties, graduation ceremonies, advertisements and decorations, among many other occasions. Although personal use…

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