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Artifacts and AllegiancesHow Museums Put the Nation and the World on Display$
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Peggy Levitt

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780520286061

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520286061.001.0001

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The Bog and the Beast

The Bog and the Beast

The View of the Nation and the World from Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Gothenburg

Chapter:
(p.14) 1 The Bog and the Beast
Source:
Artifacts and Allegiances
Author(s):

Peggy Levitt

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520286061.003.0002

This chapter examines how the different stages in the arc of nation building and world claiming affect the position of Danish and Swedish museums on the cosmopolitanism–nationalism continuum. It first looks at the New Danish Prehistory exhibition and Sweden’s Museum of World Culture, which features exhibitions about human trafficking, migration, and Bollywood. It suggests that both countries use museums to make sense of their place in the world, not to claim to be its leader. In Copenhagen, museums used the global to reassert the national, while in Stockholm and Gothenburg they put the country’s inherent cosmopolitanism on display, as a good thing in and of itself that also strengthens the nation. This chapter also considers the differences in immigration and integration policy between Denmark and Sweden and why Swedish museums drive forward cosmopolitanism while their Danish counterparts generally reference global ideas and values to celebrate Danishness. Finally, it explains why both countries showcase diversity in ways that somehow set immigrants and their children apart.

Keywords:   cosmopolitanism, nationalism, museums, immigration, Denmark, Sweden, exhibitions, diversity, nation building

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