Rethinking Nordic


Rethinking Nordic 

Nordic is generally considered a positive brand image that is associated with social equality, high living standard, and happy people. Nordic is also an aesthetical brand especially associated with design and Nordic crime fiction. But what does Nordic mean in a theatrical context? This issue of Nordic Theatre Studies will investigate what the concept “Nordic” in our title means. In many ways, of course, it refers to a geographical location, but can Nordic also be a theory? A method? A way of thinking and being?  A way of performing?  What happens when “Nordic” becomes a brand of performance?  What has Nordic meant internationally? What are the borders of the Nordic and are they in shift?

We welcome articles that examine the concept of Nordic from various aspects. Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • What are the values identified as Nordic and how are they represented and produced in theatrical performances? Is there a Nordic dream? If so how does this get performed? How might this be received when Nordic performances tour internationally?
  • Nordic countries are known for social egalitarianism, efficient infrastructure, and consensus, but are there more complex aspects of the Nordic reality? Are there some discriminatory practices or processes of inclusion and exclusion? Is there such a thing as Nordic or is it a narrative that forces unity and denies variety? How do these get performed in theatre and performance?
  • How are the Baltic countries integrated/integrating into the frame of Nordic - artistically, socially, intellectually? How do they contribute to the development of the Nordic? 
  • What does Nordic mean in an age of globalization and immigration? How do performance practices relate to globalization and immigration? What kind of political and/or ethical consequences does performative usages or representations of Nordic have?
  • How has the history and development of Nordic welfare states affected theatre practices and what are the current circumstances for theatrical production? What are the repercussions of the recent cutbacks in budgets of the welfare state in artists’ life and performance practices?
  • How does the space and landscape in Nordic countries affect its inhabitants? What is the relation between geography and people’s mentality, identity, and the aesthetics they create? How might this be represented through performance?
  • Clean lines, muted colors, wood and other natural materials are some of the trademarks of Scandinavian design. Is there a recognizable Nordic style of representation, scenography, or style of performing and acting?
  • Is “Nordic” a question of specific geographies or can we imagine “Nordic” as a more fluid theoretical, aesthetic, and theoretical approach to theatre and performance?
  • How does “Nordic” function in the global circulation of performances on the international festival / performance circuit?

In addition to these topics, we welcome papers for the open section and suggestions for book reviews.

Abstracts (200 to 300 words) and a short biography (50-100 words) should be submitted to Ken Nielsen ( or Katri Tanskanen ( by September 1st 2020. 

Schedule for contributing:

  • Deadline for the submission of article proposals (abstracts): September 1st, 2020
  • Notification of acceptance: by October 1st, 2020
  • Submission of full article: December 31, 2020
  • Deadline for revised articles – May 1 2021

 Please find the NTS style guidelines at