Title Thumbnail

The Humanities and the Modern Politics of Knowledge

The Impact and Organization of the Humanities in Sweden, 1850-2020

294 pages
Amsterdam University Press
This book addresses the shifting status of the humanities through a national case study spanning two centuries. The societal function of the humanities is considered from the flexible perspective of knowledge politics in order to historicize notions of impact and intellectual organization that tend to be taken for granted. The focus on modern Sweden enables an extended but still empirically coherent historical analysis, inviting critical comparisons with the growing literature on the history of the humanities from around the world. In the Swedish case, the humanities were instrumental to the construction of modern societal institutions, political movements, and professional education in the second half of the 19th century, while in the 20th century, the sense of future-making shifted towards science and medicine, and later technology and economy. The very rationale of the humanities was thus put under pressure as their social contract required novel negotiations. Their state and connections to society were nevertheless of a complex and ambiguous character, as is demonstrated by this volume whose contributions explore the many faces and places of the modern humanities.
Author Bio
Anders Ekström is professor of History of Science and Ideas at Uppsala University. He has published broadly on modern cultural, intellectual and media history and theory. Among recent publications is Times of History, Times of Nature: Temporalization and the Limits of Modern Knowledge (Berghahn Books, 2022; with Staffan Bergwik). His current research is focused on two areas: the history of publicness, and cultural processes of temporalization in the context of climate change. Hampus Östh Gustafsson is a researcher at the Department of History of Science and Ideas, Uppsala University, currently engaged in a project on collegiality and history of universities. His doctoral thesis concerned the legitimacy of the humanities in twentieth-century Sweden. Recent publications include articles in History of Humanities and History of Education Review. Isak Hammar is associate professor at the Department of History, Stock_x0002_holm University. His research focuses on the history of humanities, and particularly on the relationship between the humanities and the natural sciences during the nineteenth century in Scandinavia. Recent publications include “Classical Nature: Natural History, Classical Humanism and the Value of Knowledge in Sweden, 1800–1850” in Journal for the History of Knowledge (2021).Contact: isak.hammar@historia.su.se Martin Jansson is a PhD student at the Department of History of Science and Ideas, Uppsala University. His research interests include media history and the interplay between temporalities and historiography. His disserta_x0002_tion examines temporal dimensions of translation and the relationship between perceived historical transitions and language standardizations in late nineteenth-century Sweden. Contact: martin.jansson@idehist.uu.se Joakim Landahl is professor of Education at Stockholm University where he leads the research group “History of Education and Sociology of Education.” Currently he works in two projects on the history of educational research and one project on the history of the pupil movement. His latest book is Moderna pedagogiska utopier (Södertörns högskola, 2021, co-edited with Anders Burman and Daniel Lövheim). Contact: joakim.landahl@edu.su.se Anna Larsson is professor of History of Science and Ideas at Umeå University where she leads the research group “History and Education.” Her main research interests concern history of education and history of the social sciences. Currently, she leads the projects “Swedish Pedagogy: A Contested Discipline in Historical Perspective” and “Controversial Issues in Social Studies Education.”Contact: anna.larsson@umu.se Johannes Siapkas, PhD, associate professor. Researcher in Classical archaeology and ancient history, Stockholm University. Siapkas has published extensively on a wide variety of matters relating to the epistemology and historiography of classical studies. See https://johannes.siapkas.se/publikationer for an updated list of publications. He is currently working on the book series Antikvetenskapens Teoretiska Landskap. Contact: johannes@siapkas.se Johan Östling is the director of the Lund Centre for the History of Knowledge (LUCK) and Wallenberg Academy Fellow, Lund University. Östling’s research encompasses various aspects of modern European history, in particular the history of knowledge, intellectual history, and the history of the humanities. His recent publications include Humboldt and the Modern German University(2018), Circulation of Knowledge (2018), Forms of Knowledge (2020), and Histories of Knowledge in Postwar Scandinavia (2020). Contact: johan.ostling@hist.lu.se Anton Jansson is associate professor of History of Ideas and Science at the University of Gothenburg, and researcher at the Department of History, Lund University. He works mainly within the fields of intellectual history and the history of knowledge, and in particular with questions of religion and secularization in modern society. His previous work has been focused on both German and Swedish history. Recent publications include “A Swedish Voltaire” in Secularism and Nonreligion (2018) and “Things Are Different Elsewhere” in Global Intellectual History (2021). Contact: anton.jansson@hist.lu.se Ragni Svensson is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of History, Lund University. Her research interests include European history of knowledge and book history, particularly during the postwar era. Among her most recent publications is the doctoral thesis Cavefors: Förlagsprofil och mediala mytbilder i det svenska litteratursamhället 1959–1982 (2018). Contact: ragni.svensson@hist.lu.se Sven Widmalm is since 2010 professor of History of Science and Ideas at Uppsala University. He is currently PL of the HERA-funded project “The Scientific Conference: A Social, Cultural, and Political History.” Recent publications include Communicating the History of Medicine: Perspectives on Audiences and Impact (Manchester UP 2020, ed. with Solveig Jülich) and Intellectual Collaboration with the Third Reich: Treason or Reason? (Routledge 2021, ed. with Maria Björkman and Patrik Lundell). Contact: sven.widmalm@idehist.uu.se Jenny Andersson is professor of the History of Science and Ideas, Uppsala University, and on leave from the French research council, CNRS. She is the author of several works on the history of social science and politics, including the 2018, The Future of the World: Futurology, Futurists and the Struggle for the Cold War Imagination. Contact: jenny.andersson@idehist.uu.se David Larsson Heidenblad is associate professor of History and deputy director for Lund Centre for the History of Knowledge (LUCK). He is the author of several works on the history of knowledge, environmental his_x0002_tory, and academic writing, including The Environmental Turn in Postwar Sweden: A New History of Knowledge (2021) and A Year of Academic Writing: Experiences and Methods for Early Career Researchers (2021). Contact: david.larsson_heidenblad@hist.lu.se Fredrik Bertilsson (PhD) is a researcher at the Division of History of Science, Technology, and Environment at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology. His research concerns knowledge management and research policy. He is exploring the influence of the human sciences on Swedish civil defense and public risk and crisis management. Contact: fredrik.bertilsson@abe.kth.se Anna Tunlid is researcher in History of Ideas and Sciences at Lund University. Her research includes the relationship between knowledge production and various societal and political interests. Her latest publication is “Prenatal Diagnosis: The Co-Production of Knowledge and Values in Medical Research and Public Debate” in Movement of Knowledge: Medical Humanities Perspec_x0002_tives on Medicine, Science and Experience (Nordic Academic Press, 2020). Contact: anna.tunlid@kultur.lu.se