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Study Abroad

Upcoming Events

THURSDAY, 9 September at 5.15 PM in Lucy Ellis Lounge
(reception to follow)

"Toxic Discourse and the Definition of Europe in Scandinavian Literature and Film." Dr. Christopher Oscarson, Brigham Young University

This event is co-sponsored by a grant to the Scandinavian Program from The Nordic Council for Public Diplomacy, Germanic Languages and Literatures, The European Union Center, and Comparative and World Literature.

ABSTRACT: On 27 April 1986, the geography of Europe changed forever. On that day, workers at the Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant in Sweden detected radiation levels fourteen times their normal levels and quickly verified that their plant was not the source of the radiation. The discovery at Forsmark soon led to the admission on the part of Soviet officials that an accident had occurred at the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant in the Ukraine over twenty-four hours earlier. Within just a few days, the trail of radio-active debris from the worst nuclear power disaster in history stretched not only 1,100 kilometers from Chernobyl to Forsmark but all the way from Russia to Ireland and from the Arctic to the Mediterranean seas. This presentation draws specifically upon the Scandinavian context to consider how a sense of place has been altered in Europe by questions of toxicity and pollution. From acid rain, to radioactive fallout, to greenhouse gases, pollution in various forms connects disparate places in new ways and forces a re-evaluation of the human relationship to the natural world reflected in widespread cultural discourses of literature, art, and film.
This talk is free and open to the public.