Tim van Gerven (Amsterdam, 1989) studied European Studies at the University of Amsterdam and the University of Oslo and graduated with distinction in 2012. His master's thesis addressed the representation of the EU in contemporary Norwegian literature. Since 2016 he is working on a PhD project at the Amsterdam School for Regional, Transnational and European Studies (ARTES). The objective of the research is to gain insight in the relationship between Scandinavism - understood as a primarily cultural movement - and the various nationally-specific manifestations of cultural nationalism in Denmark, Norway and Sweden in the nineteenth century. He is furthermore involved in the ERNiE-project (Encyclopaedia on Romantic Nationalism in Europe) of the Study Platform on Interlocking Nationalisms (SPIN).
In the European nation-building process, the shifting demarcations and power relations between the states of Northern Europe, and the emergence of a separate ethnolinguistic self-awareneness among Norwegian, Finnish, and Icelandic groups, has been well studied. The resulting model risks being both finalistic (in that it highlights those processes which were eventually consolidated in state-formation) and competitive-secessionist (in that it highlights processes where ethnic groups opt out of existing states).
A proper intellectual-historical and comparative-macroregional approach should also take intoaccount those processes which, without achieving political consolidation, played a more transnationalrole in cultural mobilization by propounding alternative cultural identities across existing state structures. Besides a widespread Romantic interest in a putative Nordic sea empire involving the shores of North America, the most salient phenomenon is that of Scandinavism. While Scandinavism has been well studied, particularly as a failed political ideal, the current PhD-project aims to thematize Scandinavism as a primarily cultural movement, which, notwithstanding its failure as a political mobilizer, strengthened and extended national consciousness-raising in the various Nordic nationalities by stressing common ethnolinguistic, mythological and historical roots. This cultural vision is to be traced in the ‘Long 19th Century’ specifically in its cultural presence (as critical discourse and literary activism) and in its interactions and overlaps with the various nationally-specific manifestations of cultural nationalism, following the model of the ‘cultivation of culture’ developed by the Study Platform on Interlocking Nationalism.
The project is supervised by prof. dr. Joep Leerssen, prof. dr. Henk van der Liet and dr. Suze van der Poll.