Launch Post – Camping, Landlig, Mjølner, Saklig: A Project Exploring Norway’s National Identity
Greetings to all digital cultural heritage enthusiasts! Today I formally announce the launch of my 2017 Cultural Heritage Informatics Fellowship project: Camping, Landlig, Mjølner, Saklig: A Project Exploring Norway’s National Identity.
Camping, Landlig, Mjølner, Saklig: A Project Exploring Norway’s National Identity
This project is my narrative of my explorations of expressions of Norwegian national identity. It is the culmination of my graduate coursework for my master’s thesis in sociocultural and linguistic anthropology, my experiences studying abroad in Oslo at the International Summer School, and my participation as a graduate fellow in the Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative at Michigan State University. It is my endeavor to explore answers to the question of “What does it mean to be Norwegian?” through the use of digital cultural heritage tools to explore new methodologies to answer this question.
The intellectual merit of this project lies in exploring the implications of national identity and its usage in defining authenticity and belonging within a greater community. Exploring national identity in Norway is important because expressions of identity in Norway and early attitudes of nationalism often had repercussions and consequences for those who did not fit into these identities; your status as a Norwegian hinged upon your participation and identification with these themes which constituted a national identity, and could lead to marginalization and exclusion if one did not “fit in”. Because of this historical trend, this evolution of national identity has continued to have implications for the people of Norway, and understanding this evolution and place of national identity in an increasingly multicultural society is important to the livelihood of those who call Norway home.
Description of the project:
The specific aim for this digital project examines different concepts and markers of Norwegian national identity and the occurrences of markers of Norwegian national identity as expressed in literature and narrative, using digital tools to examine trends and changes in national identity markers over time. I have explored different tools and applications in the area of digital cultural heritage to try different avenues of methodology to find answers to my many questions regarding Norwegian national identity, questions which fall into two overarching broader questions:
• What is Norwegian national identity and how is it expressed?
• In what ways has this national identity been changed and challenged over time, in what historical contexts, and especially with respect to changes in modern times?
For this current iteration of the project that focuses upon Norwegian national identity as expressed in literature, a website with a heavily customized Bootstrap theme serves as the space in which my explorations of meaning-making and the evolution of cultural heritage and Norwegian national identity becomes embodied in a digital medium. Since this portion of the website investigates concepts of national identity as expressed in literature, that section is presented, from a user’s perspective, as that of reading a book. The overall landing page of the site gives an introduction to the site and contains links to the different sections I have built and will be working on this summer, much like the table of contents of a book. I include an overview of my theoretical frameworks and the methodologies of this project, as well as some of the problems and difficulties in interpretation of data I’ve experienced with some of the digital tools I’ve used in this project.
For more information on the data, tools, methods, and theoretical frameworks used for this project, see my detailed explanations under the Motives and Investigation pages.