20th Nordic Migration Research Conference & 17th ETMU Conference: Colonial/Racial Histories, National Narratives and Transnational Migration

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


“Flaming American Fever”: Emotions and Coloniality in Anna and Edvard Skogman’s Letters from Argentina 1906–1907

On May 12, 1906, Anna and Edvard Skogman and their daughter Elisabeth embarked on a voyage to the New World to become pioneer settlers of a Finnish agricultural colony in Misiones, Argentina’s tropical frontier. However, the life of the Finnish family in Colonia Finlandesa lasted only until July 1907, when Anna died of tuberculosis in Buenos Aires and Edvard and Elisabeth, by then impoverished, began their journey home. This conference paper, based on my journal article of the same title, draws connections between the local and the global: between one family and a wider framework of coloniality. The letters of Anna and Edvard Skogman describe a settler colonial setting and a contact zone that are complex and escape rigid categorizations. The letters reveal the ways in which everyday life in the Selva Misionera was emotionally and corporeally experienced by the settlers, as well as the ways in which otherness of nature and indigenous people was confronted and imagined by them. Taking the Skogman family and settler colonial Argentina as its case study, this paper contributes to the discussion of Finns’ participation in colonial practices in the making of global modern world.
Period11 Jan 202114 Jan 2021
Held atUniversity of Helsinki
Degree of RecognitionInternational