The seventh annual conference organized by the Network of the Nineteenth Century Studies in Finland

Tampere, Finland 29th-30th January 2015

Papers can be delivered in Finnish, Swedish or English

We invite scholars across humanities and social sciences interested in exploring real and imaginery spaces and borders as well as transitions and movements across them in the long nineteenth century. The period in question, and its latter half especially, was a time when boundaries and norms were established and stabilized. It was also an era when social, cultural and political roles and conventions were challenged and borders, both concrete and abstract ones, were tested and tried. Nation-building and modernization – which were at least partly simultaneous processes – created new arenas for collective participation and action and new ways of transgressing borders between societies and communities.

The disappearance or obscuration of old localities, did not, however, only mean cultural or social disciplining and streamlining: especially fin de siècle was a period of such intense transformations that boundaries seemed to vanish momentarily and different phenomena on the social, cultural, political and religious fringes became visible. On the other hand, during the nineteenth century legislative measures were taken to restrict for example sexual minorities and thus new norms and borderlines were created.

The heading of the multidisciplinary conference draws attention to these partly contradictory and tense processes, with a special focus on the phenomena of the transnational, transregional or ”transcultural” scale. Movements and transitions can be approached from the point of view of literature, art or widely defined culture. Movement can also be understood in terms of circulation or diffusion of political discourses or history cultures or as social, economic or mental changes. Representations can discuss movements between and across centres and peripheries, ethnical and other social communities or different real and imaginary spaces. The idea of continuous movement and border crossing may also enable deconstructing methodological nationalism and other spatially restricted theoretical and methodological points of departure.

Areas of discussion could include:

  • movement of ideologies and causes across national or other social borders; transnational diffusion of political and religious movements
  • alterations in the relationship between centralized power and citizens; new means of communication and transport, and concrete and abstract movement and change they initiated
  • ”inter artistic” activities; border crossings between and within visual arts, performative arts and fictive and non-fictive genres of writing; alterations in the conventions of art or in literary conventions or genres
  • the circulation of cultural phenomena between societies and communities (for example as translations, adaptations or critiques)
  • transnational comparisons of history cultures; deconstruction of national discourses of authenticity and self-sufficiency
  • the concrete movements of individuals and social groups; grand tours to the European centres of art and science; means of communication between immigrants or other distant individuals and their societies of origin
  • breaks and ruptures in gender and class identities; changes in corporeality and bodily experiences
  • regionality in relation to nationness and transnationality; rules, borders and spaces of social life and their relationship to local and national structures
  • the international trade and transnational current of commodities and innovations
  • international events such as world expositions, industrial expositions and sports events
  • resistance to transnational phenomena and change in the nineteenth century.


Scholars are welcome to offer a 20-minute paper within a general session or a proposal for a thematized session (3-4 papers). If you would like to submit a paper proposal, please send an abstract of half a page to the e-mail address provided below. If you would like to submit a session proposal, please send a short description of the session, including the names of the presenters and of a possible moderator. If possible, include also the short abstracts of each of the papers. All abstracts should contain information about the affiliations and fields of study of the scholars mentioned.

Papers can be delivered in Finnish, Swedish or English.

All proposals must be submitted by 20th October 2014. Proposals will be posted to the e-mail address

For updated information about the event, please visit the web-pages of the network

The Conference is organized by the Network of the Nineteenth Century Studies in Finland. The network organizes annual conferences which seek to provide an interdisciplinary forum for the discussion about all aspects of the nineteenth century related studies. ”On the Move: Real and Imaginary Spaces, Borders and Transitions in the Nineteenth Century” is the seventh annual conference organized by the network.

The Conference is organized in collaboration with the Finnish Literature Society and the Zacharias Topelius Society.

Organizing committee
Kati Launis, University of Turku
Ilona Pikkanen, University of Tampere and the Finnish Literature Society
Hanna-Reetta Schreck, University of Helsinki
Sami Suodenjoki, University of Tampere