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Dissertation: 17.2.2017: L’histoire du livre saami en Finlande: ses racines et son développement de 1820 à 1920 (Capdeville)

Sophie Alix Capdeville
Sophie Alix Capdeville

M.A. Sophie Alix Capdeville defends her doctoral dissertation in Applied Linguistics “L’histoire du livre saami en Finlande: ses racines et son développement de 1820 à 1920”. Opponent Professor Håkan Rydving (University of Bergen, Norway) and custos Professor Outi Merisalo (University of Jyväskylä). The event is in French and in Finnish.


This study examines Saami book history in the context of Finland. After considering the earliest recorded Saami history from the 17th century after the Reformation, the study seeks to understand the evolution of the book history from 1820 to 1920. It is shown that the Saami book history has unfolded slowly, and occasionally, has appeared to fall into decline. The study draws from the French school of book history and uses multidisciplinary methods to examine books as a reflection of ideology in the context of a given culture at a given time. The approach allows us to see how a minority can express itself, what possibilities there are and at what stage it is possible to express oneself with one’s own voice. To gain a better understanding of this process, one needs to study the multilingualism that is characteristic of the period of investigation: what were the languages that were used in this “minor literature” and what kind of functions did the languages serve? The present study examines the types of printed books and texts in Saami and aims at giving some explanations for the scarcity of publications by relating the findings to the cultural history of the time. Furthermore, a consideration of the personalities involved – translators, authors and others – has been crucial in this study. A highly significant perspective – often neglected – is a focus on the involvement of Saami speakers themselves: while the first Saami-language books were published at the beginning of the period of this investigation, in the early 1800s, the first Saami-language novel written by a Saami-speaker in Finland was published only at the beginning of the 20th century.

The dissertation is published in the series Jyväskylä Studies in Humanities, number 304, 367 pp., University of Jyväskylä, ISSN 459-4323, ISBN 978-951-39-6945-5, ISBN 978-951-39-6946-2 (pdf). E-publication http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-39-6946-2. It is available at the Soppi University Shop and University of Jyväskylä Web Store, tel. +358 (0)40 805 3825, myynti@library.jyu.fi

Further information:

Sophie Alix Capdeville, soalcapd@jyu.fi, 050 462 7264
Communications Officer Anitta Kananen, tiedotus@jyu.fi, tel. +358 40 805 4142

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