The research project Late Modern Spatiality in Finland-Swedish Prose 1990–2010 (2014–2017)

At the beginning of the 1990s the Swedish language prose written in Finland transformed and widened greatly when it came to narrative strategies and perspectives as well as milieus. Narratives characterized by fantasy, parody, self-reflexive commentary, historical awareness, extensive intertextuality, and multilingualism became common. The ways in which, for example, subjectivity, identity, corporeality, and spatiality were depicted changed. As a result Swedish minority literature, which resides in Finland in a narrow language setting, flourished.

Changes in literature relate not only to transformations within the literary tradition, but also to social developments. According to scholars, social developments connected to late modernity – i.e. globalization, the rise of even more advanced information technologies, and late capitalism – have transformed the ways people understand time, space, and identity in a profound way. In our research project we examine the transformation of narrative strategies in Finland-Swedish minority literature by using theories and concepts from the works of Fredric Jameson, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Michel Foucault, Rosi Braidotti, and Judith Butler. An analysis of novels by, among others, Monika Fagerholm, Lars Sund, Hannele Mikaela Taivassalo, Malin Kivelä, Henrika Ringbom, Kjell Westö, and Johanna Holmström in terms of spatiality and late modernity will not only enhance our understanding of the development of Finland-Swedish prose and its most important authors and works, but also help us comprehend how a minority literature maps its place in an ever more globalized and complex world.