2020_Seminar Guest: Ann-Sofie N. Gremaud

Date: 06.11.2020

For this seminar WONA invited Danish/Swiss researcher Ann-Sofie N. Gremaud to talk about her most recently published two-volume publication, co-edited with Kirsten Thisted, entitled Denmark and The New North Atlantic. Narratives and Memories in a Former Empire (Aarhus University Press, 2020). According to the publisher, the «…book investigates how the emergence of the Arctic as a new geopolitical arena affects and reshapes the area known as the North Atlantic: Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and coastal Norway. The relationship between the center of the former Danish empire and its subordinates have rested on (varying degrees of) asymmetric power relations, that are intertwined with political as well as emotional bonds.»

In the seminar Ann-Sofie N. Gremaud highlighted how her own research interests fed into the long-term research project that stands behind the publication of the book. Specific terms and notions were discussed especially, including the terms «cryptocolonial» and what «colonialism» means in a Nordic context with all its nuances and geographical specificities. Since Ann-Sofie N. Gremaud is based in Iceland and affiliated with the University of Iceland since 2018, Gremaud especially discussed the relationship between Denmark and Iceland in this context, and how it differed from the relationships with Greenland and the Farøe Islands. Gremaud also highlighted the collaborative aspect of the research project and two-volume publication, which lasted for eight years and were much of the writing was jointly executed, while Kirsten Thisted and Gremaud herself, as editors, took responsibility for binding the contributions together and find a red thread.

Ann-Sofie N. Gremaud is a Danish/Swiss researcher of cultural history, currently based in Reykjavík, Iceland. She studied Art History and Scandinavian Literature at the University of Aarhus and spent a few years working in Iceland. Her PhD thesis was about crypto-colonial elements in Icelandic nation building and the importance of landscape imagery. Kryptokoloniale Landskaber. Tid, sted og rum i billeder af islandsk landskab 1874-2011 (2012) was the culmination of a three year project at the University of Copenhagen (Department of Arts and Cultural Studies) – as well as an onset for new research. 2013-2017 she was affiliated with the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies at the University of Copenhagen as a postdoctoral fellow with the research project Geographies of Crisis: Post-Industrial Landscapes in the North Atlantic as a part of a larger joint research project. September 2013 to August 2014 she was a visiting scholar at the Edda Center of Excellence at Háskóli Íslands (Reykjavík). Gremaud has also worked as a freelance writer and lecturer and taught at Ilisimatusarfik, the University of Greenland.

Since 2018 Gremaud is affiliated with the University of Iceland as an assistant professor at the department of Danish and part of the research network The Art of Nordic Colonialism: Writing Transcultural Art Histories 2019-2022.