Articles in English

Peter K. Andersson: “I am a real human being” Characters and Deviants in Town and Country in Late Nineteenth Century Southern Sweden

In the folklore records collected by the folklore archive in Lund in the first half of the twentieth century, we find hundreds of stories about “characters” (frequently referred to as original in Swedish). What is a character? Anyone who has grown up in a Swedish village or small town in the last century is probably familiar with the term. However, the definition becomes less clear the more we try to narrow it down, based on the fact that a review of the material indicates that the term could be used quite widely at the beginning of the twentieth century and that stories about characters include accounts of most people who were seen as deviants or outsiders. Some statements appear to have a very wide notion of what constitutes a character.

Sverker Sörlin: Swedish historians’ significance deficit – and possible remedies

When beginning to read history at university at the end of the 1970s, I had no plans to become a “historian”. The word was too big for me. I was actually thinking of becoming a forest officer, doctor or psychologist. But instead of saying yes to the offers of course places I received for these roads towards comprehensible professions, I instead chose, perhaps guided by some vague self-knowledge, to at least for a time flee to history.

Lina Sturfelt: Introduction - Scandinavia and the First World War

In European history, 1914 is a symbolic milestone. The outbreak of the First World War marked a watershed, which, with the distance a century brings, is now often described as the actual starting point of the twentieth century, the ur-catastrophe. It also seems to be a war that we will never be finished with. The centenary has been widely marked, not least by the victors Britain and France, who have spent some 60 million euros on commemorating the anniversary. In Germany, however, interest has been that much weaker.

Maria Ågren: Why I am a historian

A long time ago I read a newspaper interview with one of Uppsala Council’s immigrant interpreters. This was a man often tasked with interpreting between a newly-arrived refugee and a council official. If I remember correctly, the refugees at this juncture came from the Balkans, where they had experienced traumatic events. Naturally, they spoke no Swedish, nor English, but needed to be able to communicate with a representative of official Sweden prior to being moved to the next stage in the immigration process. The interpreter’s job consisted of facilitating dialogue.

Klas-Göran Karlsson: The post-historian

By using the title “The post-historian” my intention is not to claim that the professional historian is gradually disappearing as an occupational category, or that the historian’s specific competence is devoid of relevance in our society. Neither do I wish to reflect over why many historians nowadays seem to spend far more time sending e-mails than writing books, even if this – taking into account the continuing bureaucratization of our universities and our profession – would undoubtedly be an important matter for consideration.

Joakim Landahl: The sound of authority - the rise and fall of the silent school

"The sound of authority: the rise and fall of the silent school", by Joakim Landahl, was originally published in Scandia 2011:1, with the title "Ljudet av auktoritet. Den tysta skolans uppgång oct fall". The article has now been translated by Charlotte Merton.

Review: James Mark, The Unfinished Revolution (by Sune Bechmann Pedersen)

The Unfinished Revolution: Making Sense of the Communist Past in Central-Eastern Europe

James Mark

Yale University Press, 2010, 312 Pages.

Harald Gustafsson: The lava-fields of Östergötland. Identities in Icelandic travel accounts of Sweden

This article, written by professor Harald Gustafsson, was originally published in Scandia 2009:2, with the title "Över Östergötlands lavafält. Identiteter hos tre isländska Sverigeresenärer". We are now very happy to publish this article in English, with the title "The lava-fields of Östergötland: identities in Icelandic travel accounts of Sweden", translated by Charlotte Merton.