University of Oulu

Juha Ridanpää (2019) Dark Humor, Irony, and the Collaborative Narrativizations of Regional Belonging, GeoHumanities, 5:1, 69-85, DOI: 10.1080/2373566X.2018.1536444

Dark humor, irony, and the collaborative narrativizations of regional belonging

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Author: Ridanpää, Juha1
Organizations: 1Geography Research Unit, Oulu University, Oulu, FI-90014, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Informa, 2019
Publish Date: 2020-05-26


In literary geography there is a relatively long history of studying regional narratives, but less focus has been placed on how senses of spatial belonging and identity become actualized through the reception and reinterpretations of regional literatures. This article discusses how Meänkieli-speaking minorities in northern Sweden narrativize their shifting spatial identities through regional literature, specifically Mikael Niemi’s successful humorous novel Populärmusik från Vittula (2000). The article approaches the literary work simultaneously through the critical analysis of the book’s content, readers’ interpretations, and the interconnections between the author, the reader, and wider social circumstances. The analysis is based on group discussions conducted in northern Sweden between September 2015 and February 2016. As an outcome of these discussions, it emerged how different manners of approaching the irony and dark humor of Niemi’s book divide people’s senses of regional belonging and launch the alternative, confronting conceptions of “who we are.”

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Series: GeoHumanities
ISSN: 2373-566X
ISSN-E: 2373-5678
ISSN-L: 2373-566X
Volume: 5
Issue: 1
Pages: 69 - 85
DOI: 10.1080/2373566X.2018.1536444
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 519 Social and economic geography
6122 Literature studies
6121 Languages
520 Other social sciences
616 Other humanities
Funding: Research was financially supported by the Kone Foundation–Finland.
Copyright information: Copyright © 2019 Informa UK Limited. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in GeoHumanities on 26 Nov 2018, available online: