Search By: SubjectAbstractAuthorTitleFull-Text


Showing 1 through 2 of 2 records.
2017 - ASEH Annual Conference Words: 297 words || 
1. Saikku, Mikko. "Manly Nations through Nature: Frontier, Wilderness, Hunting, and Social Class in North America and the Nordic Countries" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASEH Annual Conference, Drake Hotel, Chicago, IL, Mar 29, 2017 <Not Available>. 2020-02-27 <>
Publication Type: Panel Paper
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: My paper juxtaposes late nineteenth and early twentieth century North American and Nordic ideas about nature, landscape, and masculinity. It attempts to shed light on notions of nationalism and manliness between the two regions, emphasizing the role of recreational hunting in the creation of “national” cultures.
The history of hunting provides an important but in many ways neglected viewpoint to the core of national cultures and history of class relations. This presentation emphasizes the very distinctive Finnish and American experiences. A close examination reveals that—despite obvious differences—the two cultures share many previously unrecognized similarities, and these have broad repercussions. While nineteenth-century Finns and Americans generally saw themselves as industrious farmers, pristine landscapes and the images of wilderness hunters greatly contributed to the construction of a national identity and ideals of manliness in both young nations. It could be further argued that the North American experience with its imagined unrestricted access to the wilderness is not as exceptional as has often been portrayed. The Nordic peripheries shared certain natural, cultural, and even legal features with the famous North American frontier. The great national importance attributed to wild landscapes and pioneer settlers in both North America and the Nordic countries seem to share common roots, especially when contrasted with the general European experience.
Emphasizing environmental determinism and the historic wilderness experience, Theodore Roosevelt and his followers created a new, “de-evolutionary” masculinity, balancing “civilized” urban life with atavistic outdoors physicality. Seasonal immersion in the wilderness with primitive camping and big game hunting was to provide the ideal outlet for this purpose. While Roosevelt described this new manhood as inherently North American and rising from a unique frontier experience, the Nordic discourse at the time utilized many of the same arguments, emphasizing the importance of the “frontier” for the national character.

©2020 All Academic, Inc.   |   All Academic Privacy Policy