Reframing Swedish–American relations by focusing on contacts, crossings, and convergences beyond migration
Studies of Swedish American history and identity have largely been confined to separate disciplines, such as history, literature, or politics. In Swedish–American Borderlands, this collection edited by Dag Blanck and Adam Hjorthén seeks to reconceptualize and redefine the field of Swedish–American relations by reviewing more complex cultural, social, and economic exchanges and interactions that take a broader approach to the international relationship—ultimately offering an alternative way of studying the history of transatlantic relations.
Swedish–American Borderlands studies connections and contacts between Sweden and the United States from the seventeenth century to today, exploring how movements of people have informed the circulation of knowledge and ideas between the two countries. The volume brings together scholars from a wide range of disciplines within the humanities and social sciences to investigate multiple transcultural exchanges between Sweden and the United States. Rather than concentrating on one-way processes or specific national contexts, Swedish–American Borderlands adopts the concept of borderlands to examine contacts, crossings, and convergences between the nations, featuring specific case studies of topics like jazz, architecture, design, genealogy, and more.
By placing interactions, entanglements, and cross-border relations at the center of the analysis, Swedish–American Borderlands seeks to bridge disciplinary divides, joining a diverse set of scholars and scholarship in writing an innovative history of Swedish–American relations to produce new understandings of what we perceive as Swedish, American, and Swedish American.
Contributors: Philip J. Anderson, North Park U; Jennifer Eastman Attebery, Idaho State U; Marie Bennedahl, Linnaeus U; Ulf Jonas Björk, Indiana U–Indianapolis; Thomas J. Brown, U of South Carolina; Margaret E. Farrar, John Carroll U; Charlotta Forss, Stockholm U; Gunlög Fur, Linnaeus U; Karen V. Hansen, Brandeis U; Angela Hoffman, Uppsala U; Adam Kaul, Augustana College; Maaret Koskinen, Stockholm U; Merja Kytö, Uppsala U; Svea Larson, U of Wisconsin–Madison; Franco Minganti, U of Bologna; Frida Rosenberg, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm; Magnus Ullén, Stockholm U.
1. Reservation Borderlands: Gender and Scandinavian Land Taking on Native American Land
Karen V. Hansen
2. Borderlands and Lived Encounters: The Swedish Immigrant, Interiority, and Home
Philip J. Anderson
3. Imagining Borders and Heartland through Legend
Jennifer Eastman Attebery
4. A Musical Borderland: How Jazz in Sweden Became Domesticated, 1920–1960
Ulf Jonas Björk
5. Ancestral Relations: The Twentieth-Century Making of Swedish-American Genealogy
6. Academics on the Move: The Nature and Significance of a Swedish-American Academic Borderland
7. The Role of Design in a Swedish-American Landscape
Part II. Exchanges and Entanglements
8. Borderlands in Another World: How Sweden Envisioned New Sweden, circa 1638–1702
9. Captain Jack’s Whip and Borderlands of Swedish-Indigenous Encounters
10. Double Life: American and Swedish Biographies of John Ericsson
Thomas J. Brown and Svea Larson
11. Swedish-American Cookbooks: Linguistic Borderlands in Recipes
Angela Hoffman and Merja Kytö
12. A Postwar Italian Kitchen Shining in the Swedish-American Borderlands
13. Imaginary Borderlands: Ingmar Bergman’s and Michelangelo Antonioni’s Cultural Contact Zones
14. Political Correctness in Sweden: A Borderland Conceptual History
15. History and Heritage in Bishop Hill, Illinois: Preservation, Representation, and Tourism in a Swedish-American Borderland
Adam Kaul and Margaret Farrar
16. Negotiating the American Civil War: Memories and Gender in Swedish American Civil War Reenactment
Dag Blanck is professor of North American studies and director of the Swedish Institute for North American Studies at Uppsala University and director of the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center at Augustana College. He is author of The Creation of an Ethnic Identity: Being Swedish American in the Augustana Synod, 1860–1917 and recipient of the Carl Sandburg Medal from the Swedish-American Historical Society.
Adam Hjorthén is postdoctoral researcher at the Free University of Berlin and at Stockholm University. He received the Loubat Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters in 2018 and is author of Cross-Border Commemorations: Celebrating Swedish Settlement in America.
"Readable and informative, exploring topics from various angles but always through the lens of borderlands. The essays address issues often neglected in the literature to date, providing welcome new perspectives and discussions."—CHOICE
"The volume is not only a worthwhile read and a valuable resource for researchers in American studies; it is also an invitation for new research on European-North American borderlands."—European Journal of American Culture
"The anthology offers a timely collection of succinct, multidisciplinary essays written by established researchers and some newcomers to the field. Altogether, Swedish-American Borderlands provides a groundbreaking next step in the study of borders, both geographic and metaphoric."—Scandinavian Studies