Nordisk Netværk for Retorikkens Historie

The Nordic Network for the History of Rhetoric, 1999-2011


The Nordic Network for the History of Rhetoric was founded in 1999 at the initiative of Pernille Harsting (then a research fellow at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark) in order to further the collaboration of Nordic scholars and to contribute to the internationalization of Nordic scholarship in the field. In the beginning of 2000, the NNRH already had 90 members,
a number that rose to a stable membership of 125 from the five Nordic countries.

In November 2000, Harsting arranged, together with Stefan Ekman (then a Ph.D. student at Gothenburg University, Sweden), the first - well-attended - Nordic conference of the Network, at the University of Copenhagen. In November 2009, we were able to celebrate NNRH's 10th birthday with the Network's 5th Nordic conference, arranged by Ekman and Harsting at the University College of Skövde, Sweden. Copies of the Copenhagen 2000, Helsinki 2002 (local host: Prof. Päivi Mehtonen), Gothenburg 2004 (local host: Prof. Mats Malm), Kolding 2008 (local host: Prof. Roy Sellars in collaboration with Margreet Smit),
and Skövde 2009 conference programs, including lists of speakers and titles of papers, are published here and here.

In 2008 the NNRH published volume 2 in its series of Nordic Studies in the History of Rhetoric:
Rhetoric and Literature in Finland and Sweden, 1600-1900, edited by Pernille Harsting and Jon Viklund. The volume was published as a free-access web book, and, in addition to this, printed in 100 'preservation copies', which have been donated to university and research libraries, first and foremost in Europe and North America. The first volume in the series, Ten Nordic Studies in the History of Rhetoric, edited by Harsting and Stefan Ekman, can be ordered here.

While the book series of Nordic Studies in the History of Rhetoric, which is edited and published by Pernille Harsting in collaboration with Jon Viklund (Assistant Professor at the University of Uppsala, Sweden), will be continued,
the Nordic Network for the History of Rhetoric was closed down in July 2011.

The decision of closing down the Network is due to the fact that, at this point of time as opposed to 12 years ago, the interest in rhetoric in the Nordic countries increasingly focuses on contemporary, applied rhetoric; in fact, there are only a handful of Nordic scholars dedicated to in-depth studies of various parts of rhetoric's history. This appears to reflect not only changing university politics and scarcity of research funding, but also a new, marked tendency to steer away from historical scholarship in general.

– – – – – – – – – – – –


To end on a personal note:

Good luck to all members of the former Network – and thanks much to Prof. Stefan Ekman (Skövde, Sweden), Prof. Päivi Mehtonen (Tampere, Finland), Prof. Roy Sellars (Kolding, Denmark), and Prof. Maria Salenius (Helsinki, Finland), who have served, in turns, as Vice-Presidents of the NNRH; and to Sissel Höisæter (Stord/Haugesund, Norway), Dr. Tua Korhonen (Helsinki, Finland), and Dr. Jon Viklund (Uppsala, Sweden), who have served as local contact persons and members of the NNRH board.

It's been a lot of hard work - but it's been a lot of fun, too: thanks for your various contributions to the work and to the fun!

All best wishes,

Pernille Harsting
NNRH's President 1999-2011



The NNRH homepage was launched on March 7, 2000
Last update: July 25, 2011 (