Essays on Bodies and Violence

In the spirit of keeping the Nordic Summer University ethos and collegial, non-hierarchical, benevolent atmosphere, the following essays reflect the work done during the Summer Symposium week (27 July–2 August) to create an experimental online publication. Essays were written, shared, read, edited, and discussed throughout the week and by people coming from all corners of the world.

This trace experimented with working together by engaging in peer-feedback review. This decision kept the spirit of generous communication that is proper of the Nordic Summer University and at the same time fostered the creation of a group based on equal exchange, mutual learning and personal/professional growth. This is, of course, a conscious and political act against the toxic dynamics and aggressive competitiveness encouraged by research institutions. As a group that investigates narrative representations of violence(s) and the ways these violences can be counteracted, we want to openly address the structural violence of the neoliberal university.

By engaging in a process based on peer-feedback, we join the conversation launched by Sevasti-Melissa Nolas and Christos Varvantakis (2019), who have beautifully argued that ‘peer-feedback’ is ‘about nurturing collegiality, something which in the current academic moment often feels like a scarce resource, and therefore a political issue. To nurture, to care, to be concerned is also, like feminists have long argued, a distinctly political position, and one by which we are happy to stand firmly’.

  • ‘There are worse things than getting beaten up’: Masochism and Neoliberalism in Normal People
    Orlaith Darling
  • Signs of Violence on Human and Non-Human Bodies in Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones
    Eric Doise
  • Deconstructing the Space of Speech in the Poetry of Edwin Torres: Hegemony, Nuyorican Identity, and the Recovery of Linguistic Safe Havens
    Allie Oh
  • Broomhilda’s Back: Seeking Signs as Enduring Testimony
    Silvia Pierosara
  • How to Become Big: Masculinity Written in the Body of Populist Politician Tony Halme
    Jyrki Pöysä
  • Wounded Bodies in Narratives: Understanding Physical Violence and Trauma through (African-American) Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction and Online Discourse
    Roxanne Tan

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