Saami Women at the Threshold of Disappearance: Elsa Laula Renberg(1877–1931) and Karin Stenberg’s (1884–1969) Challenges to Nordic Feminism
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Original versionFeminisms in the Nordic Region 10.1007/978-3-030-53464-6_8
Why have Saami women’s political and intellectual contributions been left out of the Nordic feminist canon, and which challenges are raised by including them? This chapter engages with the political writing of Saami activists and intellectuals Elsa Laula Renberg (1877–1931) and Karin Stenberg (1884–1969). They were both central in the early twentieth-century Saami anticolonial movement, and published critiques of racist policies, attitudes, and knowledge production in the Swedish and Norwegian national contexts. While their contemporaries in the women’s movement were well aware of their work, the insights that their writing offers about racism and colonialism in the Nordic context were not taken up by this movement. Many of the insights that Laula and Stenberg formulated in their 1904 and 1920 publications about racism in the Swedish context were taken up much later by Nordic feminism, in the form of black feminist and postcolonial literature in the 1980s and 1990s. This chapter outlines the key contributions to anticolonial and antiracist thinking that Laula’s and Stenberg’s writing offers, and discusses what it would imply for feminism in the Nordic region if these insights were to be understood as relevant to feminist thinking.