CALL FOR PAPERS: Nordicom Review Special Issue (open access)

Title: ‘Dark Screens: The Geopolitics of Nordic Television Drama’
Guest Editors: Robert A. Saunders (State University of New York); Pei Sze Chow (Aarhus University); and Anne Marit Waade (Aarhus University)
Journal: Nordicom Review

Nordic Europe’s dramatic television series – from Borgen to The Bridge to Occupied– currently serve as a model for the rest of the world. Shaped by public service broadcasting traditions which are rooted in providing social critique, these series provide a rich reservoir of representation of how Norden sees itself. While there is growing interest in Nordic noir, not only within film and television studies, but also across Scandinavian studies, International Relations, and geography, collaborations across these disciplines have been relatively absent. We view this lacuna as an invitation to investigate and interrogate the implicit and explicit geopolitical implications of the series, both within and beyond the region.

In the wake of the highly productive workshop “Nordic Noir, Geopolitics & the North,” hosted by the Media Studies Department within the School of Communication and Culture at Aarhus University on 4-5 October 2018, Nordicom Review invites proposals for a special issue entitled “Dark Screens: The Geopolitics of Nordic Television Drama.”

Building on Saunders’ (2017) typology of geopolitical television, this special issue invites contributions from scholars from multiple disciplines (media studies, screen studies, literature, cross-cultural communication, geography, IR, Scandinavian studies, etc.) to examine how Norden’s television series build lifeworlds (Gavins & Lahey, 2016; Tischleder, 2017; Wolf, 2012), and the role that these visually- and textually-produced imaginaries play in contemporary politics, society, and culture. While television series are the primary medium of analysis, we will also consider contributions that use motion pictures as a comparative medium and/or essays that examine serial films such as Varg Veumand the Department Q series.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Critiques of Norden through crime drama (Forbrydelsen, Beck, Arne Dahl, Lillyhammer, Case, etc.)
  • Governance, foreign relations and military issues (Borgen, I am the Ambassador, Nobel, etc.)
  • Ecological concerns, pandemics, disease, human-nature interactions (Jordskott, The Rain, Valkyrien, etc.)
  • Corporate malfeasance and the neoliberal challenge (Follow the Money, Mammon, Deadwind, etc.)
  • Local-global connections and their complications (Trapped, Acquitted, Dicte, etc.)
  • Televisual interventions in national identity (1864, Occupied, etc.)
  • Border zones and frontier spaces (Bron|Broen,Bordertown, etc.)
  • Gender and sexuality in the Nordic context (Borderliner, Fallet, etc.)
  • Regional identities within Norden (e.g. The Look of a Killer, Monster, etc.)
  • Terrorism and political violence (The Fourth Man, Below the Surface, etc.)
  • International cooperation in law enforcement (The Team, 100 Code, etc.)
  • Issues associated with the Arctic and climate change (e.g. Midnight Sun, Fortitude, etc.)
  • Racial, ethnic and religious identity issues (Blue Eyes, Ride Upon the Storm, etc.)
  • The geopolitics of international adaptations (e.g. Wallander, The Killing and The Bridge/The Tunnel/Most/Pagan Peak)
  • The influence of Nordic noir on British, French, Dutch and other ‘national’ TV cultures (Marcella, Hinterland, Black Spot, etc.)
  • Changing production cultures among Scandinavia broadcasters and the impact on representation (especially via Netflix)

Please send a 500-word proposal to Robert Saunders (robert.saunders@farmingdale), Pei Sze Chow ( and Anne Marit Waade ( by 15 January 2019 along with a short CV. Contributors will be notified by 15 February, and their completed articles will be due on 15 April, 2019.


About Nordicom Review
Nordicom Review is an international, open access peer-reviewed journal published by Nordicom (Nordic Information Centre for Media and Communication Research) at the University of Gothenburg. The publication of Nordicom Review is supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers.