The 7th International Hamsun Conference

The 7th International Hamsun Conference: Hamsun and Borders

19 – 20 September 2019, UiT – The Arctic University of Norway

For more than four decades UiT – The Arctic University of Norway has prioritized research into the oeuvre of Knut Hamsun. We hereby invite abstracts for the 7th International Hamsun Conference, to be held at UiT, Tromsø, 19 – 20 September 2019.


The conference theme is Hamsun and Borders. Knut Hamsun is an author who deals with the topic of borders both in his own life and in his writing. As a writer he moves borders by integrating “popular literature” and the dialects and experiences of northern Norway into the modernist literary canon. With hybrid texts such as On Overgrown Paths he challenges the borders between prose and poetry and between reality and fiction. In these and other works Hamsun forces us to reflect on the ever-relevant issue of the separation between authorial and biographical self in literary texts that seek to conflate the two.


On a personal level Hamsun crosses geographical boundaries during a long life of moving from north to south in Norway, across borders to Germany, France and the United States, and the debate surrounding the border between the person and the author Knut Hamsun has yet to cease. This debate also relates to how Hamsun interrogates the boundaries between, for instance, Norwegian and Sámi in several of his novels, and how he addresses various forms of gender transgression in both his literary oeuvre and in his work as critic and media personality. Why are the boundaries between nature and culture so crucial throughout Hamsun’s career? And what are the limits of Hamsun’s social relevance as a “green” writer?


During the centennial celebration of the publication of Growth of the Soil in 2017 it became apparent that significant challenges remain in terms of understanding and transmitting the complex legacy of Knut Hamsun. By delving into the theme of borders, this conference seeks to pave the way for new avenues of critical inquiry in Hamsun scholarship.


Suggested topics of relevance to the conference theme:


  • Genre boundaries
  • Places and “placelessness”
  • Geographical borders; ecocriticism; postcolonialism
  • Linguistic borders: dialects, sociolects, neologisms
  • Boundary states: medicinal/psychological, religious, gender-related, ethical
  • Society and media
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Starter: 19. september 2019 kl. 09.00
Slutter: 20. september 2019 kl. 15.00
Hvor: UiT The Arctic University of Norway
Studiested: Tromsø
Målgruppe: Ansatte, Studenter, Gjester / eksterne
Kontakt: Henrik Johnsson

Vedlegg / Bilder
Program Hamsun and Borders 2019