Call for Papers: Materiality and the Nordic Model workshop

We invite submissions of abtstracts for Materiality and the Nordic Model workshop, 20-21 June 2023, The National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen.

Materiality and the Nordic Model workshop

20-21 June 2023, The National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen

In the recent historiography of the Nordic model, scholars have particularly focused on the laws, institutions, and political culture connected to social policy, creating a certain amount of theoretical ephemerality. Typically within these studies, the Nordic model has been associated with perceptions of social progressiveness and egalitarianism, yet so far the utopian potential produced by these notions has largely been explored in the context of ideas and political action. Although there is a movement within architectural and design history to explore how the Nordic welfare state manifested in new architectural forms and models, we still know little about how the Nordic model became knitted into and expressed through the materiality of everyday life in the 20th and 21st century.

With this workshop, organised as part of the DFF-project “Nordic Models in the Global Circulation of ideas, c. 1970-2020” with support from ReNEW, we aim to explore the multitude of ways in which everyday materiality and the “modelization” of the Nordic region have been mutually constitutive. We approach ‘materiality’ not just as objects but also as multi-scalar processes, practices and representations through which different societal phenomena materialise and are manifested. We wish to emphasise perspectives on circulations as a means to study these multi-scalar phenomena and thereby how Nordic models and materiality have been connected globally, internationally, and locally.

We invite submissions of abstracts (max 300 words) for papers exploring the relationship of Nordic models and materiality from the interwar period to today, and particularly those including a perspective on circulation. We welcome both abstracts exploring the Nordic model’s influence on human interaction with the world and materiality’s influence on the meaning and viability of the Nordic model concept. Topics may include but are not limited to: consumer goods, public exhibitions, urban architecture, design, infrastructure, social policy, and corporate activity. The goal of the workshop is to draft papers for a special issue in an international journal.

The workshop will be held on June 20th and 21st at the National Museum in Copenhagen. Travel and accommodation expenses for accepted participants will be covered. Abstracts from emerging scholars will be prioritized. Information about selection will be sent by 10 March 2023.

Participants should submit paper drafts or extended abstracts one week prior to the workshop. Participants should be prepared to read and discuss the papers of the other contributors.

Abstract Deadline: 28 February 2023

Paper Deadline: 13 June 2023 

Submit abstracts to and