The Challenges of Re-Packaging a Heritage

Re-imagining Nordic culture in North America

  • Lizette Gradén Lund university
  • Tom O’Dell Lund university

Abstract

Lizette Gradéns och Tom O’Dells bidrag reflekterar kring hur den nordiska kulturens arv idag ompaketeras i ny form för att slå an i Nordamerika. Vad händer, frågar forskarna sig, med begreppet ”kulturellt arv” när ekonomiska intressen och imperativ blir en central del av kulturförmedlingens villkor? Omvandlingen av The Nordic Heritage Museum i Seattle till The New Nordic Museum tjänar som iögonfallande illustration. Bilden av det ”nordiska”, som historiskt varit kopplat till det arv av kollektivt identitetsskapande som har ägt rum mellan de nordiska nybyggarna och det nordamerikanska samhället, glider här över till att bli en mer samtida och designorienterad tolkning av vad som är nordiskt, där i stället mytologi, bastu, Nordic cuisine och vikingar får ta plats. Arvet blir, likt ett karaibiskt paradis, nyuppfunnet och nyskapat som en del av en marknadsanpassad strategi.

Author Biographies

Lizette Gradén, Lund university

Researcher in Ethnology at the Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences at Lund University, Sweden and Affiliate Associate Professor at the Department of Scandinavian Studies at University of Washington, Seattle.

Gradén has published extensively on various manifestations of Scandinavian and Swedish culture in the United States, and on vernacular and institutional performances of heritage.

Recent publications include “Hip Heritage and Contemporary Tastes: Packaging the Nordic in the American Cultural Market” The Journal of European Museology (2018 with Tom O’Dell). Among her previous publications are On Parade: Making Heritage in Lindsborg, Kansas (2003), Modets Metamorfoser: Den klädda kroppens identiteter och förvandlingar (2009 with Magdalena Petersson-Mcintyre), Performing Nordic Spaces, special issue of Ethnologia Europaea 2010 (with Hanne Pico Larsen and Susanne Österlund Pötzsch) FashioNordic: Folk costume as Performance of Genealogy and Place. Journal of Folklore Research 2014. and Performing Nordic Heritage: Everyday Practices and Institutional Culture (2013/2016 with Peter Aronsson). She has served as Head of Collections and Research Coordinator at the Royal Armory, Skokloster Castle and the Hallwyl Museum and as Chief curator at the Nordic Heritage Museum.

She serves on the Advisory Board for the Society of the Advancement of Scandinavian Study.

Tom O’Dell, Lund university

Professor of Ethnology in the Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences at Lund University, Sweden. He is a guest professor of ethnology at Stockholm University.

Has conducted extensive research on the linkage between cultural and economic processes. Among his previous publications are Culture Unbound: Americanization and Everyday Life in Sweden (Nordic Academic Press, 1997),  Experiencescapes: Tourism, Culture, and Economy (Copenhagen Business School Press, 2005, together with Peter Billing), and Spas and the Cultural Economy of Hospitality, Magic and the Senses Nordic Academic Press, 2012).

Published
2018-07-06
How to Cite
Gradén, L., & O’Dell, T. (2018). The Challenges of Re-Packaging a Heritage: Re-imagining Nordic culture in North America. Rethinking Scandinavia – CSS Publications Web Quarterly, (2). Retrieved from https://journals.lub.lu.se/rs/article/view/22315