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ERC-European Research Council (ERC)

Norwegian Romantic Nationalisms

Awarded: NOK 25.4 mill.


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Project Period:

2023 - 2027


NORN seeks to uncover both the affective and ideological dynamics of romantic nationalism, examining how collective emotions related to the idea of the nation were harnessed, activated, and constructed through literature and theater, using Norway as a case study. NORN forges a highly innovative approach combining cultural studies, affect theory, critical race studies, and reception studies with qualitative methods taken from literary studies and history as well as quantitative methods from the digital humanities in order to achieve three interconnected objectives: 1) a comprehensive modeling of nineteenth-century Norwegian literature using machine learning, 2) a meta-critical re-assessment of literary historiography as an explicitly romantic nationalist project, and 3) a radical re-evaluation of the impact of transnational romantic performance culture on nation-building. NORN approaches romantic nationalism from two distinctive perspectives: on the one hand the project seeks to understand the affective register of romantic nationalism qualitatively, which entails meticulous investigation of a wide range of sources through an innovative combination of theoretical lenses in order to recontextualize it as what Raymond Williams famously called a “structure of feeling.” On the other hand, NORN profoundly decontextualizes the literary works themselves through so-called “distant reading” methods, carrying out an ambitious computational modeling of the entire nineteenth-century literary field; this will enable an interrogation of prevailing master narratives about periodization and processes of inclusion/exclusion, delineating romantic nationalism based on far more transparent criteria than those that underpin traditional literary historiographical methods.

Funding scheme:

ERC-European Research Council (ERC)

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