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Cultures of Dependence: Identity and Conflict in Postcolonial Greenland and Denmark




Department of Culture & Social History invites to a public lecture with cultural geographer Adam Grydehøj, PhD.

The public lecture is titled: "Cultures of Dependence: Identity and Conflict in Postcolonial Greenland and Denmark".

Adam Grydehøj is research associate at the University of Prince Edward Island (Canada), director of the Island Dynamics research organization, and editor of Island Studies Journal.

He studies the interaction between culture, politics, and economy in island communities worldwide and has researched islands in Scotland, Norway, Denmark, China, Taiwan, and Indonesia. Since 2014, he has been a visiting lecturer in political science at Ilisimatusarfik. Despite his very Danish name, Adam was born and raised in the USA and thus has an outsider’s perspective on Greenlandic and Danish culture.

Greenland is a territory that has gained exceptional political autonomy without losing the benefits of association with Denmark. However, at present, neither Greenlanders nor Danes seem satisfied with the relationship between their two nations. Among the dozens of highly autonomous overseas territories in the world today, most of them former colonies, only Greenland possesses an overwhelming public desire for independence. Adam Grydehøj investigates Greenland and Denmark’s competing but cooperatively constructed national identities. These identities, he argues, draw upon colonial representations and involve a discourse of Greenlandic dependence on Denmark: Whereas many Greenlanders feel exploited by the Danes, many Danes feel underappreciated by the Greenlanders. Grydehøj suggests a de-colonial approach to Greenland’s history and political development. Before the country can become truly independent, it must overcome its culture of dependence.


When: Wednesday, 5 April, at 19.30

Where: Auditorium at Ilimmarfik


The lecture will be held in English.

Tea, coffee and cake will be served afterwards, and there will be time for questions and discussion.

Everyone is welcome.


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