Kickoff meeting in Norrköping

The project The Power of Narratives: Democracy and Media in Political Turmoil takes off today in Norrköping, Sweden. The project is led by Höfði Reykjavík Peace Centre and funded by the Joint Committee for Nordic Research Councils in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NOS-HS).

The primary objective of the project is to create a multidisciplinary network of Nordic academics focusing on the discourse on immigration issues and national identity in the Nordic countries and the impact of political narratives in a rapidly changing media environment. By pooling expertise from the different Nordic countries, the project will initiate and promote new critical research on the role of political narratives, and how the portrayal in the mainstream media has affected the far right parties’ capacity to further their agenda and make electoral advances.

The project starts with a meeting of the consortium and an open seminar where the focus is on radical right-wing narratives and their manifestations.

Radical Right-Wing Narratives and Manifestations:
Hate speech, Anti-Immigration Sentiments and Racism in Europe
A REMESO Open Seminar
April 25, 2018, Bomullsspinneriet, B 342, 13.15-16.00

Racisms without Racism? On Ignorance and Denial
Marta Araújo, University of London, UK, and University of Coimbra, Portugal
The notion of ‘racisms without racism’, proposed by David T. Goldberg, encapsulates the assumption that racism would, if left alone, evaporate from Westernized societies. This stems from an understanding of racism as born out of prejudice and ignorance. Here it is argued that this view has invisibilized the persistence of institutionalized racism and portrayed struggles against racism as the problem.

Marta Araújo’s research integrates studies of Democracy and Human Rights and looks at of Eurocentrism and racism knowledge production, history teaching, and political struggles, as well as in public policy.

An Alternative World: Racism and Migration in the Present
Kristín Loftsdóttir, University of Iceland
Racism should be seen as part of the wider social and cultural context that populist movements operate within. Their claim of “non-racism” gain legitimacy through discourses of race and difference that are generally not recognized as racist but seen as constituting ‘common sense’. This is discussed from three angles: Covert racism; re-stitching of time, and ‘crisis talk’ as key to mobilization of populist movements.

Kristín Loftsdóttir is a professor of Anthropology. She has focused on racism, whiteness, mobility and crisis. Her most recent publication is the co-edited Messy Europe: Crisis, Race and Nation-State in a Postcolonial World (Berghahn, 2018) and Exotic Iceland: Coloniality, Crisis and Europe at the Margins (Routledge, 2018).

Höfði Peace Centre is coordinating the project in cooperation with two other universities, Linköping University and the University of Helsinki.

Pia Hansson, Director of Höfði Reykjavik Peace Centre, Auður Örlygsdóttir, Project Manager at Höfði Reykjavík Peace Centre, Guðmundur Hálfdanarson, Professor of History and Dean of the School of Humanities, Jón Ólafsson, Professor in Comparative Cultural Studies, and Kristín Loftsdóttir, Professor in Anthropology at the University of Iceland will coordinate it on behalf of Höfði Reykjavík Peace Centre and the University of Iceland, in cooperation with professors from the University of Iceland and the partner universities.