Touring the magical North : Borealism and the indigenous Sámi in contemporary English-language children’s fantasy literature
Lehtonen, S. (2019). Touring the magical North : Borealism and the indigenous Sámi in contemporary English-language children’s fantasy literature. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 22(3), 327-344. https://doi.org/10.1177/1367549417722091
Published inEuropean Journal of Cultural Studies
© The Author(s) 2017
Discourses of exotic Lapland with its indigenous inhabitants, the Sámi, are widely circulated in the tourist industry and also surface in contemporary English-language children’s fantasy fiction. In contrast to the ‘self-orientalism’ of discourses of tourism, where places and people are represented as exotic to a tourist gaze, the portrayals of the North and its inhabitants gain different symbolic meanings in fictional texts produced by outsiders who rely on earlier texts – myths, fairy tales and anthropological accounts – rather than on their own lived experience of the North or indigeneity. This article applies the concept of Borealism to examine cross-cultural intertextuality and discourses of the Sámi/Lappishness in English-language children’s fantasy by four contemporary authors. The Sámi and their folklore become recontextualised in fictional texts through a Borealist gaze that associates the indigenous characters with feminist and ecocritical discourses and frames indigenous ethnicity in stereotypical ways. ...
PublisherSage Publications Ltd.
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