The 7th International Hamsun Conference
The 7th International Hamsun Conference: Hamsun and Borders
19 – 20 September 2019, UiT – The Arctic University of Norway
For more than four decades UiT – The Arctic University of Norway has prioritized research into the oeuvre of Knut Hamsun. We hereby welcome you to the 7th International Hamsun Conference at UiT, Tromsø, 19th – 20th September 2019.
The conference theme is Hamsun and Borders. As an author, Knut Hamsun deals with the topic of borders both in his own life and in his writing. As a writer, he moves borders by integrating “popular literature” and the dialects and experiences of Northern Norway into the modernist literary canon. With hybrid texts such as Hunger, Pan and On Overgrown Paths he challenges the borders between prose and poetry and between reality and fiction. A text like Victoria challenges the borders of popular culture and canonical literature, and The Growth of the Soil and the Wanderer trilogy explore the borders of modernity and tradition, on rural life and industrialism. Hamsun forces us to reflect on the ever-relevant issue of the separation between authorial and biographical self in literary texts that seek to conflate the two.
On a personal level, Hamsun crosses geographical borders during a long life of moving from North to South in Norway (and back again), across borders to for example Germany, France and the United States, and the debate surrounding the boundaries between the person and the author Knut Hamsun has yet to cease. This debate also relates to how Hamsun interrogates the boundaries between, for instance, the Norwegian and the Sámi in several of his novels, and how he addresses various forms of gender transgression in both his literary oeuvre and in his work as critic and media personality. Why are the boundaries between nature and culture so crucial throughout Hamsun’s career? And what are the challenges? of Hamsun’s social relevance as a “green” writer?
During the centennial celebration of the publication of Growth of the Soil in 2017, it became apparent that significant challenges remain in terms of understanding and transmitting the complex legacy of Knut Hamsun’s authorship. By delving into the theme of borders, this conference seeks to pave the way for new avenues of critical inquiry in Hamsun scholarship.
We welcome each and every one of you to the conference. In particular, we would like to welcome our two keynotes, Professor Bibi Jonsson from Lund University and Professor Ståle Dingstad from the University of Oslo. Reflecting on Hamsun and his work from a political and bookhistorical perspective illustrates the diversity and complexity of the Nobel Prize-winning author and the fraternizer of the Nazi regime during World war II.
Ends: 20. September 2019 kl. 15.00