New Editor and Call for Papers on Popularism

Simon R. Frost & Jyrki Hakapää

The blog has now an editorial team! Many of our readers may remember Simon R. Frost (University of Southern Denmark) as the organiser of the first thematic SHARP conference in Nordic countries. Published Words, Public Pages, held last year at the Danish Royal School of Library and Information Science (Copenhagen), brought many Nordic book historian together and demonstrated their interest in further collaboration.

And there's more coming from Denmark. Slagmark, journal of the Department of the History of ideas, Aarhus University, has just announced a call for papers for their special issue on popularism, "Det Populaer", which, according to their description, will take an interest in material culture, mass media and the public. That Slagmark tends towards papers having a fair degree of theorisation to them
will in no way disqualify readers of this blog. Their deadline for
submissions is 20 October 2009. For further information, see Slagmark's announcement.


Book Culture from Below: Submit Your Proposal

Jyrki Hakapää

Many of you have probably gotten the message already, but here it is one more time: You can submit now a proposal to Book Culture from Below - The 18th Annual SHARP Conference, to be held in Helsinki 17-21 August 2010. Click the conference logo on the right for the conference website: there you find closer details and the official proposal form. The deadline for submissions is 30 November 2009.


Books from Finland

Jyrki Hakapää

The academic year is about to begin here in Finland. The university buildings are filling with new students running through their introductory lectures and campus tours. Our blog acknowledges the beginning of the academic year with an entry on the Finnish contemporary literature.

A good number of Finnish writers have been translated to foreign languages and some have even risen to international fame: for example all Frenchmen probably know Arto Paasilinna, Matti Rönkä’s criminal novels became recently German critics’ favorites, and Americans might remember how Mika Waltari’s Sinuhe the Egyptian became a Hollywood movie. And who could forget Tove Jansson and the Moomin family? However, Finnish publishers have not traditionally invested much effort in promoting their authors in the international market, and literary agents are only a recent phenomenon in the Finnish book business. For a long time the distribution of information about Finnish literature was largely based on one publication, the journal Books from Finland which is published jointly by the Finnish Literature Society and FILI – Finnish Literature Exchange. Founded in 1967 and published in print form until 2008, the journal is now available online for free.

Books from Finland offers a broad view on Finnish literary culture. It publishes articles and interviews of contemporary writers as well as translations of their works. Besides fiction, the site also offers essays on contemporary literary culture and reviews of academic works in the fields of literature studies and book history.

When it comes to book history and book historians’ interest towards recent developments of literary and print culture as well as publishing business, Books from Finland has interesting articles to offer. In a recent volume, the literary scholar Teemu Manninen writes about ways of re-inventing the book. Though many have eulogised the new media – internet, e-book and digital publishing – Manninen points out dissident voices that foretell the return of the paper. You can also find a mini review of the history and bibliography of Finnish-language literature published in Soviet Union during 1918–1944, Suomi rajan takana, by Pauli Kruhse and Antero Uitto.

PS. We have added some new features to the blog. On the right side you will find a list of blogs and websites who have kindly mentioned our blog or the forthcoming Book Culture from Below – The 18th Annual SHARP Conference. Moreover, there are links to bloggers who have become our followers. Neither list is supposed to be comprehensive sources for book history or book historians; rather they are meant to function as social tools. We are thrilled to have company while blogging about book history!