Refereed article in compilation book (A3)

Colonialism, Race, and White Innocence in Finnish Children’s Literature: Anni Swan’s 1920s’ Serial “Uutisasukkaana Austraaliassa”

List of AuthorsMerivirta Raita

EditorsRaita Merivirta, Leila Koivunen, Timo Särkkä

Publication year2021

Book title *Finnish Colonial Encounters: From Anti-Imperialism to Cultural Colonialism and Complicity

Title of series Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies

Start page171

End page197




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This chapter focuses on colonialism, race, and White innocence in Finnish 1920s’ children’s literature, arguing that children’s literature was an influential channel through which colonial discourse and public colonial imagination were created, consumed, and circulated in Finland in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. As an example of such literature, Merivirta examines the Finnish children’s author Anni Swan’s serial “Uutisasukkaana Austraaliassa” (“Living as Settlers in Australia”, 1926). The serial depicts a Finnish settler family’s life in Queensland, focusing on their encounters with First Nations people. The chapter explores how colonialism and race in the Australian context are depicted and racial and cultural hierarchies constructed in Swan’s text. The chapter shows that Swan’s text circulates a number of common European and American colonial tropes and portrays Finnish settler colonialism in Australia as innocent and noncolonial.

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Last updated on 2023-22-03 at 15:50