Events 2022-23


All seminars and other events are open to the public unless otherwise indicated.
The events are held in the Thunberg Lecture Hall unless otherwise indicated.
In many cases (but not all) it is also possible to attend via Zoom Webinar.
Please see below for detailed information about each event.



Upcoming Events, Spring 2023


16 February, 10:15 a.m. The 5th WITTROCK LECTURE - HYBRID EVENT
Fredrik Logevall, Laurence D. Belfer Professor of International Affairs, Harvard University
Writing a Political Life: On the Challenging Relationship Between Biography and History
Zoom Webinar: https://uu-se.zoom.us/j/61718547470
ABSTRACT:
The relationship between biography and history is complex. No attempt at a “life and times” study can
offer the full person or the full society; instead, the work must strive to illuminate the point at which
they overlap. This requires difficult choices, requires balancing agency and structure at every stage of
the process and taking care to not let the context overwhelm the individual life. For the political biographer,
there are additional challenges, concerning the nature of power and how to assess it. To what extent do
leaders make history, and to what extent are they constrained by time and space, by circumstances
beyond their control? And how to write political biography that does not distort the past by falsely insinu-
ating that history is made only by the rich and powerful? In this the fifth Wittrock Lecture, Fredrik Loge-
vall will consider these and other questions central to the task of “Writing a Political Life.”

Pre-registration is required for the physical event. The number of seats is limited and seats will be
distributed on a first come, first served basis. Register for the event no later than 9 February 2023
here: Registration >>
Download the event flyer/programme (PDF) >>
(SCAS Fellows and Alumni, please use the link in the separate Alumni invitation to register)

16 February, 2:15 p.m. PANEL DISCUSSION - HYBRID EVENT
The Promise and Peril of Biography
Henrik Berggren, Carina Burman, Fredrik Logevall, Anna Williams
Zoom Webinar: https://uu-se.zoom.us/j/61718547470
ABSTRACT:
Biography continues to be immensely popular with the reading public. Among academics, however,
it is often viewed with suspicion, on account of its supposed tendency to view the subject in isolation
from the larger forces, trends, currents, systems, and structures in which he or she operated. How,
then, should we view the biographical enterprise? Are there rules of the genre? Pitfalls to be mindful
of? A distinguished panel of authors will examine these and other questions.

Pre-registration is required for the physical event. The number of seats is limited and seats will be
distributed on a first come, first served basis. Register for the event no later than 9 February 2023
here: Registration >>
Download the event flyer/programme (PDF) >>
(SCAS Fellows and Alumni, please use the link in the separate Alumni invitation to register)

28 February, 2:15 p.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Katharina Ó Cathaoir, Pro Futura Scientia Fellow, SCAS.
Associate Professor of Law, University of Copenhagen
Pregnant Patients and Scandinavian Health Law: A Feminist Appraisal
Zoom Webinar: https://uu-se.zoom.us/j/69177119780
ABSTRACT:
The abstract will be available shortly.


7 March, 2:15 p.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Christopher E. Forth, Short-term Visiting Scholar, SCAS.
Dean’s Professor of History, University of Kansas
Title TBA


14 March, 2:15 p.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Lisa Hellman, Pro Futura Scientia Fellow, SCAS, and the Department of History, Lund University.
Research Leader, Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies, Universität Bonn
Early Modern Globalisation and the Routes of 18th-century Central Asia


21 March, 2:15 p.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Gísli Pálsson, Fellow, SCAS.
Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, University of Iceland.
Formerly Professor II, University of Oslo
The Birth and Significance of Biological Extinction


23 March. SYMPOSIUM - HYBRID EVENT
Going from Haunting Images of the Past to Positive Images of the Future: Interdisciplinary
Perspectives on Emotion, Memory and Mental Imagery

Zoom Webinar: Link TBA
ABSTRACT:
Mental images - the images we ‘see’ in our mind’s eye - have a powerful impact on our emotions,
and allow us to time travel, dream and imagine alternative possibilities as ‘flash forwards’. Mal-
adaptive forms of mental imagery are common across psychological disorders - from distressing
intrusive memories (‘flashbacks’) after trauma to a lack of positive mental images about the future
in depression. This international symposium aims to stimulate interdisciplinary thinking about mental
images, its fundamental nature as well as potential for psychological treatment innovation by bringing
together experts on mental imagery from a range of different domains.

The symposium is organized as part of the Natural Sciences Fellowship Programme.
Pre-registration is required. More details will follow.


28 March, 2:15 p.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Christine Straehle, Fellow, SCAS.
Professor of Practical Philosophy, Universität Hamburg.
Professor of Ethics and Applied Ethics, University of Ottawa
Migration, Climate Change and Voluntariness


30 March. SYMPOSIUM
Indo-European Afterlife
This is an event of the research programme LAMP – Languages and Myths of Prehistory and
the Centre for Studies in Indo-European Language and Culture at Stockholm University, in
collaboration with SCAS.
More details will follow.


18 April, 2:15 p.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Mathieu Grenet, Fellow, SCAS.
Assistant Professor of History, Institut national universitaire (INU) Champollion, Albi.
Junior Member, Institut universitaire de France
Servants of Two Masters? Consuls between Multiple Allegiances and Exclusive Loyalty
(17th-19th Century)


25 April, 2:15 p.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Mara R. Wade, Fellow, SCAS.
Professor of German, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
The Emblem Book as Album Amicorum


2 May, 2:15 p.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Skylab Sahu, Barbro Klein Fellow, SCAS.
Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Miranda House, University of Delhi
Title TBA


9 May, 2:15 p.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Paul-André Bempéchat, Artist-in-Residence, SCAS.
Artist-Scholar, Institut Culturel de Bretagne.
Research Associate, Harvard University
Beethoven, Politics and Ecumenism


16 May, 2:15 p.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Carol Upadhya, Fellow, SCAS.
Visiting Professor, School of Social Sciences, National Institute of Advanced Studies,
Bengaluru
Forging an Urban Future? Rise and Demise of a World-city Project in Rural South India


30 May, 2:15 p.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Wally V. Cirafesi, Pro Futura Scientia Fellow, SCAS
Researcher in New Testament Exegesis, Lund University
The Synagogue in the Early Christian Imagination


A few more events will be added shortly.
The list above is subject to change.

Previous Events, Academic Year 2022-23

7 February, 2:15 p.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Eric Cullhed, Pro Futura Scientia Fellow, SCAS.
Associate Professor of Greek, Uppsala University
On the Deeply Moving and the Merely Touching
Zoom Webinar: https://uu-se.zoom.us/j/69177119780
ABSTRACT:
Literary and art critics often link yet distinguish between ‘moving’ and ‘touching’ characters,
scenes and artworks. For instance, one is deeply moved by the Hellenistic statue of the pious
Trojan priest Laocoön and his sons, slaughtered by Poesidon’s sea snakes as he tries to save
the city by revealing the wooden horse’s secret. One is touched by the contemporary sculpture
of a nameless boy trying to withdraw a thorn from the sole of his foot, the so-called Spinario.
It has recently been argued that (a) being moved is a specific emotion, (b) that its formal object
is the thin goodness of exemplified final, important and impersonal thick values, and (c) that being
touched is an attenuated form of that phenomenon (Cova and Deonna 2014; Deonna 2020). First,
I dispute that the values that move us must be impersonal, since we can be moved by the personal
goodness of being loved, free or healthy. Second, I argue that being touched should be considered
a distinct type of affective phenomenon. To support this claim I refer to apparent differences
between the formal objects that the two affective phenomena relate to as well as to dissimilarities in
cognitive sophistication and phenomenology. Drawing on a wide range of examples I suggest that 
we are touched by that which invites love. Vulnerable, innocently suffering and affectionate beings
are touching insofar as they need and will be responsive to love.


31 January, 2:15 p.m. SEMINAR
Valbona Muzaka, Senior Global Horizons Fellow, SCAS.
Associate Professor, Department of Economic History, Uppsala University
Knowledge Leveragers: The Rise of a New Corporate Form
Zoom Webinar: N/A
ABSTRACT:
From the late 19th century onwards, corporations have evolved to become one of the most
representative social institutions of our time whose assets, wealth, and fortunes are created by
and affect millions of people in their capacity as workers, consumers, savers, and citizens. That
we rarely think of corporations as a social institution is partly related to the radical transformations
that the corporate form has experienced under the pressures of what I call the neoliberalisation-
financialisation nexus. Widely used, confused, and abused, these two concepts are nevertheless
useful in capturing distinct but co-constitutive processes that have been transforming the fabric
of social, political, and economic life during the last three decades or so. Focusing on the proprietary
pharmaceutical sector, the presentation aims to shed light on a new kind of corporation that has
formed in the cauldron of neoliberalisation-financialisation pressures: the knowledge leveraging
corporation preoccupied predominantly with leveraging knowledge of two kinds, knowledge pro-
tected by state-backed legal titles, and that specific to orchestrating the various networks where
most of research, development, and production now occurs.


24 January, 2:15 p.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Valentyna Savchyn, Fellow, SCAS.
Associate Professor of Translation Studies, Ivan Franko National University of Lviv
Literary Translation, Dictionaries and Language Policy: Russification in Soviet Ukraine

Zoom Webinar: https://uu-se.zoom.us/j/69177119780
ABSTRACT:
The Soviet totalitarian regime not only violated human rights, it pursued an aggressive policy
of assimilation, seeking Russian cultural and linguistic hegemony over all Soviet republics.
Literary translation was no longer viewed as an apolitical activity and became an ideological
weapon and an efficient “means of forced cultural change” (Monticelli). Regime ideologues
sought control over both the selection of “reliable” authors / texts for translation and the ways
in which these texts were interpreted in the target languages. This policy led to a widespread
practice of indirect translations, with Russian intermediary texts as a criterion of fidelity. On
the other hand, literary translation was used to assert the hegemony of Russian culture and
literature by giving disproportionate prominence to Russian contemporary and classic literature.
Translations from Russian literature significantly outnumbered translations from other literatures
of the world. 

In Soviet Ukraine, however, the policy of Russification went further and targeted the language
itself in order to destroy it from the inside and downgrade its status to a kind of a local patois,
a dialect of the Russian language. The intrusion into the structure of the language resulted in
numerous changes that violated the norms of Ukrainian pronunciation, spelling, word-building,
grammar, and syntax. It was accompanied by a massive use of Russian calques and the substi-
tution of Ukrainian words and idioms with their Russian equivalents. Authentic Ukrainian words,
different from their Russian counterparts, were marginalized and labelled “artificial elements” or
“nationalistic forms,” which purportedly hindered language development and separated Ukrainian
from the Russian language. Such words often faced lexicographical deactivation, because dictio-
naries served as another important tool of assimilative language policy. This lexicographical practice
had a far-reaching adverse effect on literature and book publishing. Dictionaries became prescriptive
reference books and the source of lexical checklists a tool to exercise linguistic censorship by
publishing editors. This meant that the ideological vetting of literary translations was followed by a
linguistic vetting, and this made the Ukrainian experience quite dissimilar from that of other Soviet
republics.

Extensive repressive practices and tight ideological constraints in Soviet Ukraine gave rise to
translators’ activism and cultural resistance.  A number of translators took on new roles, in
particular – the roles of translation gatekeepers and language guardians in a situation of asym-
metrical power relations and under a threat of linguicide.


17 January, 2:15 p.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Mikael S. Adolphson, Fellow and Special Advisor, SCAS.
Keidanren Professor of Japanese Studies, University of Cambridge
Monetization Without Minting: A Challenge to Eurocentric Scholarship
Zoom Webinar: https://uu-se.zoom.us/j/69177119780
ABSTRACT:
“Japan does not exist.” That was the reply I got from my history supervisor at Lund University
in 1983 when I wanted to switch focus from medieval Europe to medieval Japan. What he
meant, of course, was not that the country does not exist but rather that Japan’s history was (is?)
irrelevant to the study of history in Sweden. I disagreed then and I disagree now, but it strikes
me that very little has changed in four decades. Japan is still not part of the curriculum in many
history departments, and at universities where Japanese language and culture are taught, Japanese
history is often ghettoized in area studies.

Is this marginalization justified? Perhaps the Lund old-timer was correct in that we can safely
ignore Japan in the discipline of history? Obviously, it depends on what one expects from the
discipline. If we only want nationalist narratives, then there is no need to study other areas
except to compare them to show the distinctiveness and perhaps even the superiority of our
own culture. But, if we believe that there is value in developing theoretical frameworks for
understanding societal developments, then each theory needs to take into account more than
just the European experience.

A good example of how the non-European world can enhance the discipline and refine its
theories is the question of the monetization of the economy, which has been seen as fundamental
to a strengthening of medieval states and eventually leading to the commercial revolution of the
“long thirteenth century” (1160s-1330s). A fundamental factor in this development is state-
controlled minting of coins, which both enabled efficient collection of taxes and the emergence
of extensive trade networks.

In thirteenth-century Japan, we find similar developments with an expanding and monetized
economy, the emergence of trade networks as well as of new classes of merchants and artisans.
But there the similarities end. Japan’s monetization occurred without the minting of a single coin,
as only imported coins from China were used for four centuries. European scholars marvel at this
development for without state-sponsored coinage, who would vouch for the value of the coins?
How could traders be assured that coins would be accepted as rent and tax payments when the
state itself had not condoned their usage? And why would Japanese rulers decide not take control
of minting with all the benefits it can yield in terms of income and control of trade and taxation?
One way of addressing these questions is to make a comparative analysis of the first minting of
coins in Scandinavia, which like Japan was peripheral to centers of high economic activity and
the minting of coins. Through such a comparison, I contend that we may better understand
Japan’s different trajectory but also be better placed to reconsider our theoretical approaches
and assumptions in economic history.


6 December, 2:15 p.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
David Motadel, Fellow, SCAS.
Associate Professor of International History, London School of Economics and
Political Science (LSE)
Spectacles of Sovereignty: Persian Shahs in Imperial Europe
Zoom Webinar: https://uu-se.zoom.us/j/69177119780
ABSTRACT:
The paper will examine the great European tours of the Persian monarchs Nasir al-Din Shah (1873,
1878, and 1889) and Muzaffar al-Din Shah (1900, 1902, and 1905) in the era of high imperialism.
Both monarchs were received with full pomp by emperors, kings, and statesmen in St. Petersburg,
London, Berlin, Vienna, Paris, Rome, Brussels, and Istanbul. A global microhistory, the study will
offer a reinterpretation of the relationship between European and non-European rulers in an age of
European domination. It will explore how participation in the rituals and ceremonials of a state visit –
such as gift-giving, the exchange of decorations, and military spectacle –gave expression to the non-
European monarchs' dynastic legitimacy and their country's sovereignty. Ultimately, it seeks to show
that state visits provided non-European monarchs with a way of integrating themselves and their
countries into a system of international relations that was dominated by the European powers.


5 December, 2:15 p.m. CUSP PANEL DISCUSSION - HYBRID EVENT
A Critically Urgent Discussion about Intercountry Adoption to Sweden and What Remains
to Be Done

Tobias Hübinette, Anna Singer, Gonda Van Steen
ABSTRACT:
International adoption has by now been with us for more than seventy years in a row. First a
post-WWII and postcolonial phenomenon, then a Cold War and thereafter globalization
phenomenon, it is a movement that has placed approximately 1 million children in new geographical,
cultural, religious and racial locations and has given them new names and identities. However, little
critical attention was paid to this phenomenon, which therefore has been called the silent migration,
until the adult adopted persons started to speak for themselves, to question the need for and the
legality of their adoptions, to connect with each other transnationally across the globe, and to speak
openly about the profound racial and class issues involved in the practice. Sweden is the country that
proportionally has"received" the largest number of adopted children from abroad and that has now
committed itself to an in-depth investigation into the corrupt aspects of international adoption. What
is the Swedish investigation and other similar investigations around the world discovering? To what
extent are the investigations hampered by the loss or inaccessibility of records or falsified documents?
Can the sometimes unsettling results of the investigations bring resolution and reconciliation to the most
affected parties? And who has crafted the previous dominating narratives surrounding international
adoption?

The panel participants will each deliver some position points (15 minutes each) and then engage with
the audience in a (moderated) Q&A session.

The event will also be available via Zoom Webinar: https://uu-se.zoom.us/j/68199629353

The panel discussion is organized within the framework of the SCAS CUSP Series.
Read more about CUSP and the panel discussion >>

1-2 December. CONFERENCE
Communicating Diplomacy: Global Comparisons of Oral, Written and Material Early
Modern Negotiations

By invitation only.

29 November, 2:15 p.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Yvette Lind, Junior Global Horizons Fellow, SCAS.
Assistant Professor of Tax Law, Copenhagen Business School
(Tax)Citizen of the World - A Study of Humans as Capital in the Light of Globalization and
Mercantilism

Zoom Webinar: https://uu-se.zoom.us/j/69177119780
ABSTRACT:
The phrase “No taxation without representation” describes a polity that is required to pay taxes to
a government authority without having any say in the policies of that government. This phrase is
applied to the global labour market as a way of understanding how widely accepted norms, such as
linking certain rights and benefits to citizenship and taxing individuals in accordance where they
physically reside, have been developed over time and to what extent these norms have stood the test
of time. In this project, these commonly accepted norms are challenged when arguing that they
perpetuate and exacerbate an unjust access to individual countries and subsequently inequality
between the affluent and the poor in the global labour market.

Globalization and mercantilism provide the underpinning theoretical framework for the overall study.
A study which is premised on the idea that international tax competition, in combination with prior
financial crises and the ongoing erosion of domestic tax bases, have led to a development where
individual countries are deliberately designing their legal systems to either attract or deter individuals.
In other words, to attract affluent individuals who are mobile by choice, such as high-net value- and
high-income individuals, while deterring poorer individuals, most often those who are forced to move,
for instance asylum seekers. Humans are consequently viewed as capital in this global labour market.

The study attempts to explore three core questions through the lens of a tax scholar:

  1. How has the global labour market changed in the light of globalization and mercantilism?
  2. To what extent can we identify differing relationships between the state and differing
    groups of individuals?
  3. How can we mitigate contemporary challenges stemming from the change in the global
    labour market, most noticeable those linked to taxation and citizenship?

22 November, 2:15 p.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Eliel Camargo-Molina, Natural Sciences Fellow, SCAS.
Researcher, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University
Visiting Researcher, Imperial College London
The Phase Transitions of Our Universe: When the Smallest Things Transformed the Largest
Thing We Know

Zoom Webinar: https://uu-se.zoom.us/j/69177119780
ABSTRACT:
In this seminar, we will embark on a journey in space and time. From the smallest things we know,
particles, all the way to our very Universe, the largest there is. But we will also start today and end
up microseconds after the Big Bang. Afterwards, I will present the concept of phase transitions, a
physical process describing diverse phenomena from boiling water to the dynamics of a very young
Universe. I will end by summarizing the state of the art on the dawn of gravitational wave astronomy,
including the prospects of learning about our origins by listening to signals from the early Universe
and what we have learned so far in particle accelerators.


15 November, 2:15 p.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Janina Neufeld, Pro Futura Scientia Fellow, SCAS.
Researcher/Assistant Professor, Center of Neurodevelopmental Disorders at Karolinska
Institutet (KIND), and Department of Women's and Children's Health, Karolinska Institutet
Synesthesia and Its Associations with Autism, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and
Detail-oriented Perception

Zoom Webinar: https://uu-se.zoom.us/j/69177119780
ABSTRACT:
During my Pro Futura fellowship, I am focusing on the link between synesthesia and mental
health. Synesthesia is a non-pathological sensory phenomenon where specific stimuli, like letters,
sounds or smells, automatically trigger additional sensory experiences, such as color or colored
shapes. This condition occurs in approximately 4% of the general population, is associated with
enhanced memory and is believed to be an extreme case of associations like they occur in everyone,
and that build the fundament of language and cognition. Synesthesia co-occurs with autism and
there is preliminary evidence for a co-occurrence with other mental health conditions and alterations
in general sensory processing (i.e. sensory hyper-sensitivity or enhanced attention to details).
In my project, I am exploring these associations, both more generally and with specific focus on
obsessive-compulsive disorder. For this, I am using twin design methods in combination with
behavioral and brain imaging assessments. Monozygotic twins share 100% of their genes and dizygotic
twins on average 50%. Hence, by comparing monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs with each other,
I am  estimating the heritability of synesthesia and the genetic and environmental contributions to its
association with mental health conditions. Comparing measures of sensory perception and brain
connectivity between twins where one twin is more synesthetic then the other allows me further to
investigate the sensory and neural features linked to synesthesia while implicitly controlling for the
genetic and environmental factors shared by the twins.

9 November, 2:00 p.m. sharp. SYMPOSIUM - HYBRID EVENT
Dead Poets and their Undying Fame – Perspectives on the Indo-European Poetic Traditions
Bo Ralph, Peter Jackson, Ola Wikander
Zoom Webinar: https://uu-se.zoom.us/j/65100152155
ABSTRACT:
With this symposium, we wish to shed some light on the Indo- European poetic traditions. The
study of Indo-European poetics has a long history and a well established scholarly basis. Already
in the early 19th century, it was noticed by pioneering comparative linguists that many of the
archaic Indo-European languages share not just a grammar and vocabulary, but also non-trivial
poetic formulae. The best known example being an expression for imperishable fame in Vedic
Sanskrit and Homeric Greek. In more recent years, scholars such as Calvert Watkins, have
made significant progress in relating these poetic formulae to a cultural context, and more
complex parallels between early IE traditions have also been uncovered. Another emerging
area of research, also in focus at the symposium, is the way in which the Indo-European poetic
universe has influenced texts and traditions from other language families and how such contact
phenomena can help illustrate ancient cultural interactions.

The symposium will be followed by a reception. Pre-registration is required for the physical event.
To sign up, please contact rsvp@swedishcollegium.se by 2 November 2022 at the latest.

This is an event of the research programme LAMP – Languages and Myths of Prehistory and
the Centre for Studies in Indo-European Language and Culture at Stockholm University, in
collaboration with SCAS.

Download the invitation/programme as a PDF file here >>


8 November, 2:15 p.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Jeffrey Paller, Fellow, SCAS.
Researcher, Program on Governance and Local Development, University of Gothenburg
Associate Professor of Politics, University of San Francisco
The Contentious Politics of African Urbanization
Zoom Webinar: https://uu-se.zoom.us/j/69177119780
ABSTRACT:
Africa is experiencing a rapid rate of urbanization, yet its impact on politics is unknown. This book
project moves beyond modernization theories and structural political economy analysis and treats
urbanization as a contentious political process involving new and competing claims to urban space
and territory. By analyzing the process of bargaining and negotiation between neighborhoods and the
state, I explain why some populations are able to remain in place and gain access to public services –
while others are displaced, marginalized, or left behind. Drawing from ongoing cross-national data
collection, paired case comparisons between cities and neighborhoods in Ghana and Nigeria, and
historical institutional analysis, I argue that two factors account for variation in urban development: 
local political connections between community members and politicians, and the claims of belonging 
tied to land ownership and first-comer status.

25 October, 2:15 p.m. SEMINAR
Claudia Merli, Senior Global Horizons Fellow, SCAS.
Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Uppsala University
Sterilization: Demographic Statistics, Fertility and the Making of Thailand’s National Body
Zoom Webinar: N/A
ABSTRACT:
During this fellowship I am working on a book project investigating how Thailand’s state and non-state
actors, government as well as transnational organizations directed their attention onto individual bodies
to control individuals and groups, produce and enact knowledge regimes (specifically bureaucratic and
medical ones), and to govern conducts. In this context, bodies are a form of political space and become
the sites where individuals can also manifest political participation and resistance. I examine how the
historical trajectory of specific processes of identity, political, and biomedical practices can be read as
strategies of nation building and governance that were carried out through the making and unmaking of
national, regional and individual identities. While my attention is devoted to Thailand, the primary question
I investigate, the body as political space, is relevant to wider debates in political anthropology and political
science, focusing on state making and political participation.

In this talk at SCAS I will focus on two of the five historical defining moments that I analyse in the book:
I will first introduce Thailand’s post-war period when demographic mapping via statistics and develop-
ment of the national censuses represented the nation in visual forms that are bureaucratically constituting
subjects; then, I will describe the implementation of public health and family planning policies during the
1970s, with a special attention to campaigns of sterilization as medico-political rituals, integrated as part
of larger development programmes of modernization.

18 October, 2:15 p.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Sofia Näsström, Fellow, SCAS.
Professor of Political Science, Uppsala University
Democracy and the Social Question
Zoom Webinar: https://uu-se.zoom.us/j/69177119780
ABSTRACT:
In a time of mounting challenges to democracy worldwide, scholars, politicians and citizens pay
increasing attention to “the social question”. To fight the resurgence of authoritarianism, and recreate
confidence in democracy, it is not enough to support rule of law and elections. A stable democracy
also requires economic security and social integration. It diminishes hostility between groups, and
increases toleration in society.

Still, many political theorists hesitate to include the social question in the concept of democracy.
They argue that doing so undermines democracy: it satisfies material needs at the expense of political
freedom, it confuses democracy with the ideological substance of politics and/or it replaces democracy
with bureaucracy. In a new book project—Democracy and the Social Question—I examine the under-
lying assumptions behind these arguments, and show that they all rely on an overly reductionist under-
standing of democracy, as ideational, procedural and discursive respectively. The hypothesis is that by
redefining democracy as a political lifeform (in Montesquieu’s sense of the term), it is possible to integrate
the social question in the concept of democracy without falling prey to said dilemmas.

In the talk at SCAS, I will introduce three different interpretations of the social question, and indicate
how a reconceptualization of democracy as a political lifeform changes the direction of our inquiry.

The motivation for writing this book is not merely to offer new knowledge on the conceptual link
between democracy and the social question, and so fill a lacuna in contemporary democratic theory.
In a more general and long-term perspective, I hope it can contribute to better theoretical tools to
evaluate and understand trends of democratic decline and renewal, including variation in democratic
resilience.

11 October, 2:15 p.m. SEMINAR
Elizabeth A. Lambourn, Fellow, SCAS.
Professor of Material Histories, De Montfort University, Leicester
Writing Ancient DNA (aDNA) into Medieval Indian Ocean History – Challenges and
Opportunities

Zoom Webinar: N/A
ABSTRACT:
My fellowship project embraces the Collegium’s invitation for “curiosity driven” and even “risky”
research. Entitled Forgotten Frontiers: Islam and the Indian Ocean World 600-1000 CE this project
writes a new synthetic history of Islam’s early impact on the peoples, polities, trade routes and
regional circuits of the Indian Ocean region during the first four Islamic centuries It does so by
retrieving and (re)connecting a heterogeneous body of evidence - archaeological material, visual
sources, multi-lingual primary sources and newer genomic data – from across the vast area between
eastern Africa and East Asia. The project aims to challenge and enrich early Islamic historical study
by integrating an “eastern maritime frontier” – in effect the Indian Ocean - too often overlooked in
the subject’s dominant terracentric and westwards focused frameworks. For historians of the Indian
Ocean, its islands and surrounding terrestrial regions, this analysis promises a new connected history
of these crucial centuries including a more nuanced understanding of regional chronologies and
processes of Islamization.

This talk takes the opportunity to discuss probably the riskiest and most challenging aspect of my
project, namely that of how to integrate and reconcile aDNA evidence from across the Indian Ocean
region into a field of medieval history entirely reliant until now on written, visual and material sources.
With 15 years of archaeological science publications to build on, the time is ripe to address this problem
head on. I do so as a humanities researcher with no science background.

4 October, 2:15 p.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Julia Uddén, Pro Futura Scientia Fellow, SCAS, and the Departments of Linguistics
and Psychology, Stockholm University.
Affiliated Researcher, Department of Neurobiology of Language, Max Planck Institute
for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen
Language Is Not Enough for Brains in Conversation
Zoom Webinar: https://uu-se.zoom.us/j/69177119780
ABSTRACT:
Being able to communicate face-to-face with another person requires skills that go beyond core
language abilities. In dialog comprehension, we routinely make inferences beyond the literal meaning
of utterances. For instance, the utterance "it is hot in here" will in some circumstances mean "can
you open the window?". This would be an example of a so-called indirect speech act. It is however
not known whether communicative skills such as recognizing speech acts, potentially overlap with
core language skills or other capacities, such as Theory of Mind (ToM) skills. I will talk about two
studies where I have investigated these questions using brain imaging. Participants listened to dialogs,
or participated in dialogs themselves, from within the scanner. The latter study allowed us to approach
the question of how intentions are formed when producing speech, during actual conversation. Based
on the results, I will argue that contextualized and multimodal communication requires neurocognitive
networks different from those associated with (1) core language, (2) ToM/complex emotion processing,
and (3) so called cognitive control. I will also touch on issues of interdisciplinary, vs cross- or multi-
disciplinary research.

27 September, 2:15 p.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Sverker Sörlin, Non-resident Long-term Fellow for Programmes on Environmental Humanities, SCAS.
Professor of Environmental History, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm
The Rise of Global Environmental Governance - A View from Stockholm
Zoom Webinar: https://uu-se.zoom.us/j/69177119780
ABSTRACT:
Since the emergence of the modern understanding of 'the environment' in the immediate post-WW II
period, attempts have been made to organize a reformed human-earth relationship. This has grown to
a massive global effort demonstrated in conferences, organizations, regulation, and a lot of policy
instruments, now encompassing hundreds of international agreements, 17 Sustainable Development
Goals, the IPCC, and countless other tools and measures, including a range of concepts and ideas
including 'Sustainable Development', 'Planetary Boundaries', and 'the Anthropocene'.

In an ongoing ERC Advanced Grant Project, SPHERE -- Study of the Planetary Human-Earth
Relationship
,
I am researching the history of this rising phenomenon, sometimes called 'Global
Environmental Governance'. In this seminar I will present a part of SPHERE which is a book-length
study on the relative contribution of Sweden and Stockholm to this large global enterprise by myself
and my KTH colleague Eric Paglia. Sweden hosted the Stockholm UN 1972 conference on the human
environment and it has contributed, we argue, way above expectation for a long period of time both
before and after 1972.  In contrast to much environmental history, this is a progressivist rather than
declensionist version of a prominent feature of the modern world. It is also a book focusing on the
urban, institutional, scientific, and policy dimensions of the modern environment. The book, The
Human Environment:
Stockholm and the Rise of Global Environmental Governance is under contract
with Cambridge University Press.

22 September. CEREMONY & LECTURE
An Event in Honour of the Newly Appointed Scholars of the Pro Futura Scientia Programme.
In collaboration with Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.
By invitation only.

20 September, 2:15 p.m. SEMINAR
Gonda Van Steen, Fellow, SCAS.
Koraes Chair of Modern Greek and Byzantine History, Language and Literature,
King’s College London
The Face of Forced Consent in Post-war Adoption Dealings: What Does It Look Like?
Zoom Webinar: N/A
ABSTRACT:
Greece facilitated the migration of some 4,000 of its children for adoption overseas. Between 1950
and 1970, the vast majority of these Greek-born children went to couples in the USA (to some Greek
American couples, but also to many more white American couples of any background and religion).
Some 600 Greek infants and toddlers were sent to the Netherlands for adoption. Some forty to fifty
to Sweden. These three countries were the largest recipients of Greek “orphans,” who are more
appropriately called “adopted persons,” because, in many cases, one or both parents were still alive
but did not have the means or family support to keep their child. In this presentation I look at the
coercive circumstances in which some of these "historic" adoptions took place.

13 September, 2:15 p.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Fredrik Logevall, Fellow, SCAS.
Laurence D. Belfer Professor of International Affairs, Harvard University
John F. Kennedy’s Cold War
Zoom Webinar: https://uu-se.zoom.us/j/69177119780
ABSTRACT:
How should we think about the relationship between biography and history? Is it the case that
biography is a sub-genre of history, and that any biographer who fails to write history fails to
produce something worthwhile? Or, as some argue, is the opposite true: the trick is to know
that biography is not history; it’s the story of a life. In this talk I will explore this question,
through the case of John F. Kennedy, one of the iconic political figures of the 20th century,
a leader known universally by his initials. To understand JFK and his role in American and
international politics, I will suggest, we have no option but to take a contextual approach,
one that considers the times as well as the man. And there’s a payoff here, indeed a double
payoff: situating Kennedy within the wider setting of the era helps us better comprehend not
only his rise, but his country’s rise, first to great-power status and then to superpower status.
The more we understand JFK and his ascent to the pinnacle of power, in other words, the
more we understand the world of which he was a part.


Previous Events, Spring 2022


9 June, 10:15 a.m.. The 3rd WITTROCK LECTURE - HYBRID EVENT           
Hans Joas, Ernst Troeltsch Professor for the Sociology of Religion, Humboldt-Universität
zu Berlin, and Professor of Sociology and Social Thought, University of Chicago
Moral Change and the Ambiguity of Religions: Christianity Between Racism and the
Struggle Against It

Pre-registration is required by 3 June 2022 at the latest. The number of seats is limited and seats
will be distributed on a first come, first served basis. The lecture will also be available via Zoom
Webinar.
Register here for the 3rd and/or 4th Wittrock Lectures (physical events) >>
Register here for the Zoom Webinar/s >>


ABSTRACT:
The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s led to significant moral change in the United States.
The same is true for its predecessor, the abolitionist movement in the 19th century. Both movements
were deeply influenced by Christian convictions and actors. But could not the same be said about the
other side of the conflicts, the defenders of slavery and the proponents of racial segregation? Had not
Christianity, despite its morally universalist message, always accommodated itself to the institution of
slavery? This lecture attempts to offer a sociological explanation for the relative success of these morally
motivated social movements. In this connection, the main focus will be on their “prophetic” features.
From this particular case study, some generalizing conclusions regarding the complex interplay of
“religious” and “moral” traditions will be drawn. Neither religious nor secular traditions prove to be as
unambiguous as their proponents often pretend.

ABOUT HANS JOAS:
Hans Joas is Ernst Troeltsch Professor for the Sociology of Religion at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin,
and Professor of Sociology and Social Thought at University of Chicago. For many years, he was a
Non-resident Long-term Fellow of the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study. From 1990 to 2002 he
was Professor at the Freie Universität Berlin and from 2002 to 2011 Director of the Max-Weber-Kolleg
in Erfurt. He had visiting professorships at the universities of Toronto, Madison (Wisconsin), New York
(New School for Social Research), Uppsala, Vienna, and Gothenburg. Among his most important recent
book publications in English are Faith as an Option. Possible Futures for Christianity (Stanford University
Press 2014), The Sacredness of the Person. A New Genealogy of Human Rights (Georgetown University
Press 2013), War in Social Thought. Hobbes to the Present (with W. Knoebl, Princeton University Press
2013), and The Power of the Sacred. An Alternative to the Narrative of Disenchantment (Oxford Univer-
sity Press 2021). He holds honorary doctorates from Universität Tübingen and Uppsala University. Among
his numerous awards are the Max Planck Research Award 2015 and the Prix Paul Ricoeur 2017.


9 June. ALUMNI EVENT: PANEL DISCUSSION
Is There Anybody Out There? Searching for Life in Outer Space
Jennifer Greco, Anna Neubeck, Nikolai Piskunov, Locke Rowe
Moderator: Pim Edelaar
By invitation only.

10 June, 10:15 a.m. The 4th WITTROCK LECTURE - HYBRID EVENT      
Linda Colley, Non-resident Long-term Fellow for Programmes in Early Modern and
Modern History, SCAS.
Shelby M.C. Davis 1958 Professor of History, Princeton University
Constitutions in Times of Crisis
Pre-registration is required by 3 June 2022 at the latest. The number of seats is limited and seats
will be distributed on a first come, first served basis. The lecture will also be available via Zoom
Webinar.
Register here for the 3rd and/or 4th Wittrock Lectures (physical events) >>
Register here for the Zoom Webinar/s >>


ABSTRACT:
Just two years ago, in 2020, the constitution of Russia was revised so as to proclaim that country’s
commitment to ”the peaceful co-existence of states and peoples”, and its support for ”international
peace and security”. These Russian amendments touch on the vital relations that have always existed
between written political constitutions on the one hand, and order and conflict on the other. Manifestly,
however, these same amendments also raise the question of how these sorts of political documents and
initiatives are usefully to be approached and understood. Increasingly spreading across continents from
the mid-18th century onwards, constitutions have rarely ever been pure legal and intellectual statements,
and they have frequently been bound up in some way with violence. In this lecture, Linda Colley traces
the close links that have existed over time between constitution-making and crises of different sorts, and
explores some of the newer pressures confronting constitutions now.

ABOUT LINDA COLLEY:
Linda Colley is Shelby M.C. Davis 1958 Professor of History at Princeton University, a Long-term Fellow
in history at SCAS, and a current Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. A Fellow of the British Aca-
demy, she is also a former member of the Board of the British Library, where, in 2008, she organized an
exhibition of historical texts to do with rights entitled “Taking Liberties”, opened by the then UK Prime
Minister. She has also served on the Research Committees of the British Museum and Tate Britain. She
holds seven honorary degrees, of which the last was awarded by the University of Oxford in 2021. The
author of seven books, including Britons: Forging the Nation 1707-1837, a winner of the Wolfson History
Prize, she also writes regularly on history and politics for the New York Review of Books, the London Review
of Books
, and the Guardian and Financial Times newspapers. Her latest work, The Gun, the Ship and the
Pen: Warfare, Constitutions and the Making of the Modern World
, will come out in paperback this spring,
and has just been awarded the 2021 Book of the Year Prize by the International Forum on the Future of
Constitutionalism.