President of the Romanian Association for Baltic and Nordic Studies, E-mail: silviu.miloiu (at) valahia.ro
The second issue of volume 12 of The Romanian Journal for Baltic and Nordic Studies continues to reflect the academic discussions occasioned by the Eleventh Conference on Baltic and Nordic Studies of May 2020. Prof. Radu Carp was one of the keynote speakers of the conference and his address on Combining soft power with the geopolitical approach – how difficult is it for the EU to change its attitude? elicited a great interest among the presenters and attenders of the scientific event. As in any such scholarly event, especially an international gathering with a critical focus on the construction/reconstruction of Europe in vital moments of its past and recent past aspirations, the viewpoints of the participants, including the analysis of Prof. Carp on the current challenges of the EU are passed on to the wider community of fellow researchers, the public and decision-makers. The call for stepping up to a new level of integration and geopolitical power projection is dissected both in its soft and hard power dimension without eschewing the focus on democracy, climate change mitigation measures or cybersecurity.
Dorijan Hajdu and Sabira Ståhlberg explore conceptually and empirically active citizen diplomacy and meld it with cultural bonds. The relations between Finland and Bulgaria, on the one hand, and Sweden and Serbia, on the other hand, are investigated in order to call for a refreshed research agenda mapping the multifarious implications of citizen diplomacy.
Ioana-Andreea Mureșan tackles in her article the rise of modernity in Norway as a result of mass Norwegian migration to the United States and concentrates on Knut Hamsun and Sigbjørn Obstfelder’s American experiences as evoked in their writings and recollections, while also scrutinizing their modernizing impact on their native country. Although their reminiscences of the American society were overtly derogatory, Mureșan ascertains that paradoxically their New World experiences released the handbrake of Modernism in Norway.
Enikő Molnár Bodrogi instead takes a more lukewarm perspective on modernization when concentrating on some of its side effects such as the assimilation policy directed against minority languages i.e. Meänkieli spoken by the Tornedalian Meänkieli community in Northern Sweden.
The beauty of the Arctic landscape as depicted in Krane’s Café: An Interior with Figures by Norwegian writer Cora Sandel and the complex relations between human being and topography is closely followed in Raluca-Daniela Răduț’s article. Răduț blends two research methods, the close reading technique and the spatial approach, to reflect on a multifaceted literary work which resembles an animated painting, as the author concludes.
Ioana-Andreea Mureșan and Raluca Pop tackle a byproduct of globalization, the diffusion of anglicisms in the Norwegian language. Again two research methods are employed in order to discern the infusion of western culture in the Norwegian teen drama web series “Skam”: code-switching (“inter-sentential and intra-sentential code-switching”) and the study of neologisms.
Adél Furu investigates the second language instruction and teaching in Finland in a globalization setting by using a mixed comparative, linguistic, cognitive, and sociocultural methodology. The research is introduced by four interrelated questions and hypotheses and concludes that “learning English and Finnish as a second language is considered essential to succeed in the Finnish society.”
Rūta Šermukšnytė approaches the museum narratives in Lithuania following the renewal of independence in 1990 and clusters “the tensions between ethnocentric and polycentric, civic, civilizational models of identity in historical culture” as manifesting in the museal and exhibition representations of Jewish history. Anchored on a fertile theoretic approach on historical culture, the author concludes that a wider display of Jewish culture and history, including the Holocaust, derived from both changes in political environment and institutional and individual initiatives.