Kristina Leganger Iversen: Reading “ScanGuilt” in Contemporary Poetry

A talk by Kristina Iversen Leganger, Oslo University

Reading “ScanGuilt” in Contemporary Poetry: Whiteness, Privilege, and Guilt in Kristian Lundberg’s Vi är de döda, nu snart and Julie Sten Knudsen’s Atlanterhavet vokser

In Lundberg’s and Knudsen’s works of poetry the relationship between whiteness, privilege and guilt is set at the center stage. These works have in common that they narrate tales of lost dear ones, a refugee friend who commits suicide after being deported from Sweden and a non-white half-sister who emigrates to the U.S. to escape Danish racism. As part of a larger group of “ScanGuilt”-poetry, these works invite questions on the relationship between the individual, the nation and the world. Who is allowed to belong in the privileged Scandinavian nations? How does a colonial past or a dehumanizing migration policy and discourse affect and frame our identity and our relationships? And what kind of feelings of guilt or responsibility is left for the white Scandinavian lyrical I?

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