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. 


Gustav Wentzel's painting "Emigrants" from 1903, an iconic depiction of Norwegian emigration. (Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons).

2021.06.09 | The Quick Read, Jan Eivind Myhre, Culture, The Borders of the Nordics, University of Oslo

Population movement to and within Norway, 1830-1914

From the 1830s to the 1920s about 800,000 Norwegians emigrated, mostly to America. There is less general awareness of the fact that between 100,000 and 200,000 people immigrated to Norway during the second half of the 19th century. The migrants came largely from Sweden, but also from other parts of Europe. Moreover, the population was on the move…

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…

Cathie Jo Martin is Professor in Political Science at the University of Boston.

2021.04.15 | Podcast, Cathie Jo Martin, Education, Labour markets

Denmark: Uncovering Nordic Collectivism with Cathie Jo Martin

Examples of a collective mindset include: Denmark’s introduction of the earliest mass education system in the world in 1814. Nordic social democracy in the 20th century had full employment as a key aim. Different national organisations which represent employers on the one side and workers on the other (the social partners) have managed…

Bank offices in Copenhagen, Denmark. Photo: Sandro Katalina, Unsplash.

2021.04.09 | Podcast, Robert A. Saunders, Media, Reputation

Television and Geopolitics: A Conversation on the Nordics

The interplay between popular culture and the ’real’ world is interesting. While it is clear that many creators of television, comic books and songs etc take inspiration from live events, the influence of popular culture on events themselves is perhaps less obvious. Frequently quoted examples are The Games of Thrones influencing the…

Portrait of the influential Danish writer and critic Georg Brandes, taken in 1903. Photo: Det Kgl. Biblioteks billedsamling (The Danish National Library's collection of Prints and Photographs).

2021.03.19 | Podcast, Janet Garton, Paul Larkin, Culture, Literature

The Scandinavian Modern Breakthrough

The social, political and literary movement from around 1870 to 1900 in Scandinavia was called the Modern Breakthrough. It was a backlash against conservatism, both culturally and politically, and led to countless challenging and fascinating pieces of fictional and non-fictional literature and art. Authors were like celebrities, propounding social…

Vilgot Sjöman outside Folkets Bio Malmö in 1987. Photo: Jonn Leffmann, Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 3.0.

2021.03.19 | Biography, Lars Gustaf Andersson, The arts

Vilgot Sjöman 1924 - 2006

The Swedish novelist and film director Vilgot Sjöman was born in Stockholm in 1924. Sjöman’s output was extensive and included novels and essays as well as political statements and contributions to debates on moral topics; but first and foremost he was a film director.

Gunnþórunn Guðmundsdóttir is Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Iceland.

2021.03.15 | Podcast, Gunnþórunn Guðmundsdóttir, Literature, University of Iceland

Iceland: Uncovering the past in Nordic Literature with Gunnþórunn Guðmundsdóttir

Literature can tell us a lot about a society and Nordic literature is no different – especially when it envisages the past in new ways, filling the gaps that have been left by dominant narratives. Gunnþórunn Guðmundsdóttir, Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Iceland, specialises in literatures and cultures…

Elisabeth Staksrud is professor in media and communications at the University of Oslo.

2021.03.04 | Podcast, Elisabeth Staksrud, Media, Education, University of Oslo

Norway: Uncovering Nordic Childhood in an Online World with Elisabeth Staksrud

Children being exposed to a certain level of risk is not always seen as a bad thing in the Nordics; exposure can give children the tools to deal with risk and help them to become resilient and independent. The attitude of caregivers, teachers and children in the Nordics to online risk also reflects this approach - while elsewhere in the world a…

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