Elisabeth Oxfeldt, “Scandinavian Narratives of Guilt and Privilege in an Age of Globalization”

A lecture by Elisabeth Oxfeldt, University of Oslo and Visiting Scholar, UC Berkeley.

ScanGuilt is the title of a research project located at the University of Oslo (2014-18). The project involves graduate students, a postdoc, and more than a dozen international Scandinavian-Studies scholars. We examine contemporary narratives about Scandinavian Selves confronted with global, suffering Others. They are us-them accounts in which the Scandinavian Self is marked by welfare, affluence, safety, peace, happiness and equality (gender and economic). In a globalized world, this Scandinavian Self is then confronted more or less directly with the awareness that he or she exists in relation to – maybe even at the expense of – suffering Others: victims of child labor, trafficking, war, etc. This Other tends to trigger feelings of guilt. Introducing this phenomenon, the lecture will take as its point of departure Lars von Trier and Jørgen Leth’s film The Five Obstructions (2003), and subsequently discuss further examples of ScanGuilt narratives.

For more information on the project, see: http://www.hf.uio.no/english/research/theme/scandinavian-narratives-of-guilt-and-privilege/


Reception to follow.

With questions, contact issa@berkeley.edu or (510)642-4484