The North, a Literary, Musical and Artistic Myth


International Symposium: The North, a Literary, Musical and Artistic Myth.
March 30-31,.2012 Musée d’Orsay and Institut Finlandais, Paris.

In connection with the exhibition on the Finnish artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela presented at Musée d’Orsay during the spring of 2012, the association /The Birch and the Star – Finnish perspectives on the long nineteenth century/ is organising jointly with Musée d’Orsay and Institut Finlandais an international symposium on “The North, a Literary, Musical and Artistic Myth.” It intends to explore the representation of the North in fin-de-siècle literature, music and arts, with a focus on the mythical images of the North created by Naturalist and Symbolist artists as an arctic space for isolation, melancholy and silence; the kind of symbols and myths used in the narration of the North, and how these images were understood and interpreted in different cultural contexts. By emphasising a comparative study on the images of the North, the symposium encourages discussion on the possible diverse “Norths”.

We invite submissions for twenty-minute original papers on the following aspects:
· Nordic Landscapes: representations and symbols of the northern flora and fauna, the wilderness, landscapes and seasonal rhythm.
· Nordic Emotions: representations of melancholia and nostalgia in Naturalist and Symbolist literature, music and arts.
· Nordic Primitivism: representations of the archaic and the mythic, meeting of “civilised” and “primitive” cultures.

Keynote speakers:
Anne-Marie Thiesse, CNRS, Ecole normale supérieure, Paris: “Esthétiques nationales“.
Pirjo Lyytikäinen, Professor, Department of Finnish, Finno-Ugrian and Scandinavian Studies, University of Helsinki, Finland: “The Swan on the River of Death: Nordic melancholy and Symbolism”.

March 30th, 2012 (papers in French): Musée d’Orsay Auditorium, 1, rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris.

March 31st, 2012 (papers in English): Institut finlandais, 60, rue des Ecoles, 75005 Paris.

*Please email proposals for papers (max. 500 words) with a short CV or a biographical summary no later than October 30th to:*

Riikka Rossi:
Laura Gutman-Hanhivaara:

The applications will be selected by the Scientific Comittee of /The Birch and the Star/ (Anna-Maria von Bonsdorff, Ateneum Art Museum/Finnish National Gallery; Riitta Ojanperä, Central Art Archives/Finnish National Gallery; Itha O’Neill, Amos Anderson Art Museum; Anne Pelin, The Gallen-Kallela Museum; Riikka Rossi, University of Helsinki; Juha-Heikki Tihinen, University of Helsinki; Helena Tyrväinen, University of Helsinki).

Please note that only accepted applicants will receive an invitation.