Northern Memory and Identity

University of Oulu, Spring 2012

Scope: Intermediate studies: 010133A 6 pts / Advanced studies 010133A 10 pts


(These lectures can be used to replace many course options in several subjects, for example in 687115A “Marginality and Multiculturalism” in Literature)

Time and place: Wednesdays 10-12 lecture hall SÄ 102, except 8.2. SÄ 112 and 11.4. SÄ 105.


Objectives: The aim of this multidisciplinary course is to introduce students to the many facets of research on cultural memory and identity in the North. Combining the viewpoints of such fields as history, archaeology, literature, the arts, indigenous cultures and linguistics, the course covers a wide range of mental images that people have of their past and their identity. Looking at how cultural memory is transferred and transformed, the course challenges old notions of history, temporality and memory. In a series of lectures the course examines different versions of the past: the official and the unofficial past, the mental and the material past, and the factual and fictive pasts. The course helps the student to understand how these coexist in people’s minds, identities and interactions.


Course outline:


1.2.   Introduction / The idea of the North (Kuisma Korhonen & Nina Työlahti)

8.2.   Cultural memory studies: towards multidisciplinary dialogue (Kuisma Korhonen)

15.2. Archaeology and material memory (Timo Ylimaunu)

22.2. Memory in religious art (Sirpa Vähäaho-Kuusisto)

29.2. Memory and literary history of Northern Finland (Ilmari Leppihalme)


(no lecture on 7.3.)


14.3. Memories of the North in Literary Works of Rosa Liksom (Kasimir Sandbacka)

21.3. Re-writing arctic orientalism (Juha Ridanpää)

28.3. Continuities and Gaps in Sami Memory (Veli-Pekka Lehtola) 

4.4.   Black Metal and Identity in Northern Norway (Aila Mustamo)

11.4. Northern memory and identity in the information age (Henry Oinas-Kukkonen)

18.4. Materialities of Memory – On Crying Stones (Kuisma Korhonen)

25.4. Final Symposia – Student Papers (exact program later)


Working methods: lectures

Target group: Intermediate and advanced level students

Prerequisites: None

Study materials: Lecture notes and selected reading

Assessment method:

For intermediate studies (6 pts): 3 essays of 5-7 pages each, based on the topics of lectures.

For advanced studies (10 pts): in addition to the above, the student participates in the Final Symposia and makes a short presentation on an additional topic to be agreed with the person responsible for the course.


Grading: 0-5

Person responsible: Kuisma Korhonen

Language of instruction: English

Essays can be written in English, Finnish or Swedish

Last updated: 8.2.2012