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Dr. Broemer to Present in the 18th Annual Maple Leaf & Eagle Conference at the University of Helsinki in Dec.

November 24, 2020

Suomi College of Arts & Sciences adjunct professor Dr. Marlene Broemer received her doctorate from the University of Helsinki in Comparative Literature and will return to her alma mater virtually for the biennial Maple Leaf and Eagle Conference in North American Studies. Dr. Broemer’s doctoral studies were on the works of the modernist Finnish poet, Edith Södergran and the Russian, Anna Akhmatova, at the time of the Finnish Civil War and World War I.

Organized by the Department of Cultures in the Faculty of Arts at the University, the conference draws Canadian, American, and international scholars in American studies in an unusual cross-disciplinary study of North America. Papers will be presented on: Political cultures; social phenomena; demographics; religion; economics, media, literary discourses, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality; class; border studies, and the environment among others.

Dr. Broemer has participated in the conference since 2000, and focuses on American, environmental, Native American and Nordic Crime Fiction. This year she will be presenting a paper entitled, “Crime and Culture: A Comparison of Canadian and Nordic Crime Fiction,” which explores the work of Louise Penney and Leena Lehtolainen. The question addressed is, how can readers learn about culture through crime fiction? Penny is a prolific Canadian writer whose book, A Great Reckoning, features inspector Armand Gamache from Quèbec whose language is French, and who must manage a group of cadets who have been led astray by a wily and mean instructor. His star student is a Goth girl, who embodies the mystery of the text. Lehtolainen writes about a female detective, Maria Kallio, with a family, who is haunted by her previous work in Afghanistan. In Where Have All the Young Girls Gone? (Minne tytöt kadonneet?), she addresses the issues of cultural integration in Finland with immigrants of Muslim background and the fretful topic of honor killings, which are also experienced in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.

The three-day conference features keynote speakers and study sessions that will be streamed virtually to allow discussion and the exchange that is so vital for students and scholars who will miss the usual vibrant conference that normally takes place in May. Those unfamiliar with the conference will be surprised at the depth of studies of American history and culture than many Finnish and Nordic researchers undertake on the Civil War, Native American studies, and other aspects of American history.

About the Maple Leaf and Eagle Conference

North America today looks like an increasingly contested part of the world, scarred with discord, disparate realities, and battling truths. In fact, Canada and the United States have long traditions of contestation, conquest, segregation, and exploitation played out in and marked by inclusion, exclusion, and exceptionalism. Yet at the same time, foundational ideas about democracy and justice shaping the two countries have proven regenerative of new visions for the future. The 2020 Maple Leaf and Eagle Conference seeks to address these complicated questions in their myriad of forms, multidirectional entanglements, widespread ramifications, and global implications. We seek submissions on the fluid boundaries and meanings of inclusion, exclusion, and exceptionalism in North American contexts. We encourage proposals focusing on historical as well as contemporary social and political movements, materialities, and ideas made visible in economic, cultural, political, social, and geographical arenas.

For decades, the Maple Leaf and Eagle Conference in North American Studies has presented a dynamic setting for examining and describing the phenomenon that is North America, involving the study of North America itself. We thrive on being interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary, welcoming to academic specialties as varied as history, literature, politics, geography, media studies, ethnic studies, culture studies, law, and economics. Presentations are sought from a wide range of research traditions and from a variety of political and ideological backgrounds.

Papers can discuss, for instance:

  • Political cultures, social phenomena, demographics, religion, and economics
  • Media, representations, and memory
  • Literary traditions and discourses
  • Local, regional, national, comparative, transnational, and global North America
  • Race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class
  • Border studies
  • The environment
  • Materialities, immaterialities, and ephemerality
  • Legal and economic aspects of nation and empire
  • Modes of knowledge production, e.g. participatory methodologies
  • Higher education institutions in a time of change

For more information about the conference, go to our website at https://www.helsinki.fi/en/conferences/maple-leaf-eagle-conference-2020, follow us on Twitter @MLEconference or like our Facebook page at @mapleleafeagle.

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