Finland's "Great Hunger Years" Memorials : A Sesquicentennial Report

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Title: Finland's "Great Hunger Years" Memorials : A Sesquicentennial Report
Author: Newby, Andrew G.
Publisher: Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
Date: 2017-04-12
Language: eng
Belongs to series: "The Enormous Failure of Nature" : Famine and Society in the Nineteenth Century
Belongs to series: COLLeGIUM: Studies across Disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences ; 22
ISSN: 1796-2986
Abstract: This article provides an interim report, and gazetteer, on the enumeration and categorisation of memorials to Finland’s Great Famine Years, an element of the Academy of Finland’s 2012-17 project, “‘The Terrible Visitation’: Famine in Finland and Ireland ca. 1845-68 – Transnational, Comparative and Long-Term Perspectives”. To outside observers, it can sometimes seen as though Finland’s famine of the 1860s has been “forgotten”, particularly in comparison with catastrophes in Ireland (1845-51) and Ukraine (1932-3). In the latter cases, political circumstances have influenced historic narratives, and placed the Great Famines at the centre of a national narrative that emphasises the baleful role of an external other. In Finland, which was responsible for its own economic and political administration by the 1860s, commemoration has been more local in focus. The memorials nevertheless highlight the existence of an idealised national autostereotype, which stresses stoicism and forbearance, along with a persistent belief that the nation could be crystallised by shared suffering.
Subject: Famine
Great Hunger Years Memorials

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