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17:00 - 19:00 3 May 2018

Borealism: In Search for the North. Public Lecture by Prof. Sylvain Briens


IAS Common Ground | Wilkins Building (link Map)
Gower St | London | WC1E 6BT | United Kingdom

Open to: Alumni | Public | Academic | Student
Admission: Free
Ticketing: Open

Speaker information

Sylvain Briens, Professor, Paris Sorbonne, Dr Sylvain Briens, Professeur, Littérature et histoire culturelle scandinave. Publications include Poétocratie: les écrivains à l'avant-garde du modèle suédois, with Martin Kylhammar, Paris: Les Éditions d'Ithaque, 2016; and Paris, laboratoire de la littérature scandinave moderne. 1880-1905. Paris: L'Harmattan (collection Histoire de Paris), 2010.

Since antiquity the North has fascinated historians, geographers, philosophers and Southern writers, who have projected various forms of discourse onto it, from scientific observations or social and political considerations to dreams, fears and fantasies. This projection can be referred to as “borealism”, by analogy with the term “Orientalism”, as defined by Edward Saïd. Borealism describes the North as a discursive space, produced by and for the South. Unlike orientalism, which is exclusively produced by Occidental discourse, borealism is also sometimes reproduced in Nordic expressions of self-identity. Professor Briens will present aspects of “French borealism” with the example of the reception of Nordic Theater in Paris at the end of the 18th Century.


Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen