Call for Papers: The Rhetorical History of Trust in the Nordics
To sustain the Nordic region's unique tendency for trust into the future, we require a solid research-based understanding of how this tendency came about. This series of workshops fills this gap, by way of an historical exploration of the rhetorical creation and reproduction of trust in the Nordics.
Trustworthiness: The Rhetorical History of Trust in the Nordics
Seminar and Workshop, Aarhus University, Denmark
Thursday 28th - Friday 29th September 2023
The Nordics are consistently among the world's most trusting countries, and this trust is routinely used to explain the stability, prosperity, and even happiness of the citizens in the Nordic countries. Today, however, a long range of factors threaten to overturn Nordic people's propensity to trust each other, including migration and multiculturalism, an increasingly fragmented media landscape, and a more conflictual political atmosphere. To sustain the Nordic region's unique tendency for trust into the future, we require a solid research-based understanding of how this tendency came about, and how it has been maintained over time. While existing research slants toward the social sciences, and generally downplays the importance of communication to the creation and maintenance of trust, this series of workshops fills this gap, by way of an historical exploration of the rhetorical creation and reproduction of trust in the Nordics.
Each workshop focuses on a separate, key period in time: the forging of modern Nordic nations, the heyday of Nordic social democracy in the post-WWII era, and the recent reconfiguration of the Nordic welfare state in the age of multipolar, multicultural neoliberalism. To be held in three different Nordic countries, in September 2023 (Aarhus), May 2024 (Uppsala), and September 2024 (Bergen), these workshops form a historical sequence which develops the overarching theme in three "deep dives" into history, each of which will attract Nordic scholars of rhetoric, communication, and adjacent disciplines such as history and historical sociology, to explore the central theme, using different countries, sites, texts, and artifacts as their starting point.
Workshop #1 Forging Trusting Nordic Nations
The purpose of this workshop is to explore the rhetoric that emerged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, in which modern, democratic Nordic nations were made. The relatively peaceful and egalitarian history of the Nordic countries is sometimes rendered as a central cause of the region’s tendency towards trust, but the reality is that the struggle for inclusive, democratic nations was just that, a struggle – fought largely with words.
This call for papers is looking for participants for the inaugural 2-day seminar and workshop of the explorative workshop series Trustworthiness: The Rhetorical History of Trust in the Nordics.
We welcome presentations on a variety of key issues including, but not limited to:
- How were those one had previously thought of as “others” now rendered as “one of us”?
- How were Nordic citizens persuaded to trust not only each other, but also the state?
- How did the new Nordic rhetors (such as women, peasants, members of the working class) constitute themselves as competent citizens worthy of trust and responsibility?
- How did public communication ensure that previously opposed classes and groups came to see each other as one?
Trustworthiness already has committed participants from different Nordic universities. We are now inviting further participants for this two day event. The event is as follows:
- The first day is a seminar where participants can deliver a 25-minute presentation addressing these questions to a larger audience including scholars and students from across Aarhus University. Presentations will be followed by plenary discussion.
- The second day is a closed session workshop for a smaller group of researchers devoted to taking the study of Trust in the Nordics further. This section is set aside for theoretical explorations on the rhetorical study of trust to establish common theoretical ground and initiate work on shared publications. Thus, the closed session workshop is particularly relevant for researchers who wish to 1) contribute to developing trust as a rhetorical concept, 2) consider contributing to an edited volume on rhetorical trust, and/or 2) consider participating in the explorative workshops in Uppsala (May 2024) and Bergen (September 2024).
The event is free to attend with free lunch for presenters.
The outcome of the workshop series is an edited volume, tentatively titled The Rhetorical History of Trust in the Nordics. The working language of Trustworthiness is English and Scandinavian languages.
Please send a letter of interest, a 300 word abstract (if you wish to present), and a brief bio to Marie Lund firstname.lastname@example.org , or Hanne Roer, email@example.com by June 14th 2023. Please indicate if you want you participate in the closed session workshop on September 29th as well.