Nordic Exceptionalism: Workshop 1

The NOS-HS-funded project ‘Nordic Exceptionalism – Perspectives from Outside’ will host the first of three workshops 10-11 May 2023 at the University of Copenhagen, South Campus.

The workshop will feature discussions of our theme and methodologies, and we will plan publication activities. The Copenhagen event and the following workshops are an opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with other researchers from across Scandinavia. If you are interested in the network, you can contact Robert Rix.


Wednesday 10 May

Time Activity
From 12:00 Registration
13:00 Lunch
13:45 Welcome by Eva-Lena, Merethe, Cian, and RobertThe project, the series of workshop, publication plans
14:15 Introductions (two to three minutes from all participants on current work etc.)                 
15:00 General discussion of Nordic Exceptionalism (terminology, concepts, history of ideas)
15:45 Coffee break
16:00 Keynote: Gert Tinggaard Svendsen (Aarhus University), ’Trust – The Nordic X-Factor’
18:00 Dinner at restaurant Llama 

Thursday 11 May

From 09:00 Coffee and croissants 
09:30 Data Sprint: intro, work, and discussion of results* 
Facilitated by Lars Kjær and Muhamed Fajkovic (Copenhagen Faculty Library)
12:30 Lunch
13:15 Publication Plans  (themes, channels, timeline)
14:15 Break
14:20 Two presentations and discussion:Eva-Lena Bergström,’ With the Gaze Turned towards the North. Reflections on  Nordic Art in the World Exhibitions’Merethe Roos, ‘Nordic Exceptionalism in Education? British Interpretations of the Norwegian Contributions in the 1854 Educational Exhibition in London'
15:00 Coffee and conclusion
15:30 Optional drinks (out of own pocket)

*The Data Sprint is a workshop activity that was singled out for praise in the feedback we received from the NOS-HS evaluation board. A Data Sprint is a hands-on concept for examining large datasets as a group and making discoveries about a theme as this is represented in documents (books, journals, newspapers etc.). The corpus of documents will be prepared for us in advance (we will contact you for suggestions). Using our laptops, the workshop participants will examine frequently used words and word clusters, which represent certain ideas or historical change. 

In essence, mining texts for its significant concepts is what each one of us would do individually and on a much smaller scale. By pooling our resources, we will explore a sizable corpus of primary texts. After examining the corpus, we will discuss the results and visualise them using data analytical tools. The new insights and visualisations will provide the participants with new empirical evidence related to the topic of Nordic Exceptionalism, which everyone is free to use in their publications.  

We emphasise that no IT skills are required for activity. Everything will be carefully explained and guided by Lars Kjær and Muhamed Fajkovic (Faculty Library), who have much experience with organising successful Data Sprints.