Can Social Democracy Save America? Examining a Millennium of Nordic Fiction to Evaluate the Cultural Exportability of the Scandinavian Political Model
CERS graduate student lecture by Mads Larsen (UCLA, Germanic Languages/Scandinavian Section).
"Democratic Socialists of America march in New York in 2011." Photo: David Shankbone; cropped. CC BY 3.0.
Tuesday, November 10, 202012:00 PM - 1:00 PM (Pacific Time)
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
** After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Zoom webinar. Please note, you will only be able to join the webinar at the specified time and date.
ABOUT THE WEBINAR
If you register for and attend a CERS Zoom webinar, you will not be seen or heard via video or audio, but may submit questions via the Q&A tab at the bottom of your screen.
In addition to the webinar, this event will be live streamed on CERS' Facebook page. While Facebook allows you to watch the event in real time, you will only be able to ask questions if you register and attend through the webinar link above.
As the past decade built toward today’s cultural-political crisis, the Nordic Model was frequently suggested as an alternative that could reform capitalism. When a majority of young Americans express that they would prefer socialism, they do not long for Soviet or Cuban style politics, but something akin to Scandinavian social democracy. As other regions spiral downward with civil unrest, widening inequalities, and political despondency, the Nordic countries remain a relative oasis, for which income equality, gender equality, low-conflict politics, and prosperous economies with generous benefits contribute to high levels of happiness and general wellbeing. This lecture examines influential works of fiction to trace the Nordic cultural evolution from the Viking Age onward, to evaluate whether social democracy could be suitable for universal export, or if its political practices are likely only to work well within a Scandinavian context. By analyzing the mechanisms through which fiction has helped communities adapt to change in the past, we see how made-up tales could help humanity adapt to disruptions from the Fourth Industrial Revolution, as well, which could become humanity’s greatest challenge.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Mads Larsen is a Ph.D. candidate in Germanic Languages at UCLA’s new Department of European Languages and Transcultural Studies (ELTS). He has an M.A. in Scandinavian and an M.F.A. in Screenwriting from the same university. Larsen’s dissertation project, “Evolution Toward Social Democracy in a Millennium of Nordic Fiction,” examines literature and other fictional formats as evolutionary tools that help individuals and cultures adapt to change. Eighteen of his course papers have been accepted for publication in ranked journals, including Memory Studies, World Futures, The European Legacy, Journal of European Studies, Scandinavian Studies, Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture, Journal of English and Germanic Philology, Adaptation, Literature/Film Quarterly, and International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.
Cost : Free and open to the public. Registration is required at above link.
Sponsor(s): Center for European and Russian Studies