Events 2023-24

All seminars and other events are open to the public unless otherwise indicated.

The events are held in the Thunberg Lecture Hall (SCAS, Linneanum, Thunbergsvägen 2,
Uppsala) 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.

The programme is subject to change.

Upcoming Events, Autumn 2024

The programme for the autumn is not yet available.

Previous Events, 2023-24

29 May, 4:15 p.m. BOOK DISCUSSION
Vagabond Princess: The Great Adventures of Gulbadan
Ruby Lal (Former SCAS Fellow 2020-21 & Professor of South Asian Studies, Emory University, Atlanta)
will present her new book Vagabond Princess: The Great Adventures of Gulbadan.
Discussants: Arthur Asseraf (Pro Futura Scientia Fellow, SCAS & Associate Professor of History, University
of Cambridge) & Hannah Field (Fellow, SCAS & Senior Lecturer in Victorian Literature, University of Sussex)
The event will be followed by a reception.
Read more >> (PDF file)
Please note that the event will be held in the Green Room/Library on the fourth floor of Linneanum.

28 May, 10:15 a.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Ulrik Jennische, Junior Global Horizons Fellow, SCAS.
Ph.D. Social Anthropology, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research, Score
Realizing Dreams in the Outskirts of Time, Street Trade, Finance and Development in Ghana
Zoom Webinar:
The street and market trade in Ghana is characterized by normative notions of gradual progress, of
slow and steady expansion enabling self-realization for oneself and one's family. But tough competition,
lack of capital, low turnover, and constant demands from friends, family members, neighbors, and
market peers, make the market for most a site of stagnation rather than growth.

The notion that the market is a place for the realization of dreams and hopes also applies to the govern-
ment, which seeks to fulfill its ambitions of a modernized, technologically advanced Ghana with a well-
functioning welfare system, free from poverty, by developing and strengthening the country's financial

While these spaces and groups of people through political strategies of financial inclusion are already
heading towards a common future, I aim in this seminar also to bring them together into a shared
narrative of anticipation, aspiration and realization.

By reflecting on existing material collected during extensive fieldwork among street and market traders
in northern and southern Ghana, as well as material yet to be collected from the country's financial market,
I will argue how the dreams and hopes often associated with markets are in this context rarely realized for
neither individuals, nor countries, and perhaps not even for research projects.

Mike Hulme, Professor of Human Geography, University of Cambridge
Governing Temperature, Governing the World: From the Earth Summit to the Earth Commission
At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro the world’s nations agreed a goal of seeking to avoid
dangerous climatic change by stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations at a level that would allow eco-
systems to adapt, food supplies to be secured, and economic development be sustained.  Just over 30
years later, the Earth Commission – an international team of natural and social scientists hosted by Future
Earth – called for a “no significant harm” and “just” climate target of less than 1 °C of warming with
respect to “pre-industrial” conditions.  This talk traces the reductionist moves over this 30-year period
that have regrettably made the control of global temperature synonymous with securing “Earth justice”. 
Retrieving modes from the 1970s, or even earlier, of thinking about climate and society relations suggests
alternative and less reductive pathways for framing climate governance.
The lecture will be followed by a panel discussion with Sabine Höhler, Sam Robinson, Richard Staley,
Sverker Sörlin (Chair) and Paul Warde.
Zoom Webinar:
This is an event of the CUSP series.

21-23 May. WORKSHOP
Climate Knowledge and Governance – Past, Presence, and Future
By invitation only.

21 May, 10:15 a.m. SEMINAR
Eileen Lueders, Natural Sciences Fellow, SCAS.
Associate Professor, School of Psychology, University of Auckland.
Visiting Professor, Uppsala University
Human Brain Mapping
In my talk, I will delve into the fascinating world of brain mapping, a rapidly evolving and relatively young
field within the discipline of neuroscience. My research is based on capturing images of the human brain
using structural neuroimaging techniques, specifically magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Structural MRI
enables us to map brain anatomy with millimeter accuracy and to explore many different features, such as
the shape, length, area, thickness, or volume of different brain structures. Much of my work revolves around neuroplasticity, which is the brain's remarkable ability to adapt and transform in response to various stimuli,
whether internal or external. During my presentation, I will discuss three specific projects aimed at shedding
light on neuroplasticity: (1) long-term meditation; (2) pregnancy and postpartum; and (3) menopause. The
findings from these projects not only uncover the dynamic nature of our brains but also highlight their
resilience and capacity for change throughout the lifespan.

14 May, 10:15 a.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Amanda Vickery, Fellow, SCAS.
Professor of Early Modern History, Queen Mary University of London
The Battle for House and Home in Britain, 1945-1970 
Zoom Webinar:
This paper charts the struggle the working classes faced to be truly at home in post-war Britain. The
country emerged from the Second World War with an acute housing crisis. Bomb damage, the priorities
of the war economy, and the inadequacies of pre-war housing stock, combined with demobilization and
baby boom, ensured housing shortage was an urgent keynote of political debate in the 1940s and 50s. 
There were three major housing options in post-war Britain – home ownership, private rental, and social
housing – the council house rented from the state.  The latter was transformative for the living standards,
health, and well-being of swathes of the working classes.  Yet celebration of the New Jerusalem of Wel-
fare State Britain masked considerable variation and outright deprivation.  The case files of Brentwood
house (a rehabilitation centre for mothers and children) operating outside Manchester in Lancashire
between 1943 and 1970 brim with semi-official letters cataloguing the extremities of squalid housing
nationwide well into the late 1960s.   

What did people want?  The majority aspired to live in a self-contained, small house with a garden. Most
recoiled from communal utilities, having experienced far too much involuntary sharing of space and
facilities. An Englishman’s home was his castle.  Post-war architects expected to dictate how people
lived, enforcing conformity, eradicating the working-class parlour, and imposing open plan designs.
Austere all-encompassing modernism did not find a mass market in Britain, but modern elements crept
in by the 1960s - the coffee table, coloured Tupperware, formica – though most homes were a medley
of all sorts.  Official design bodies held popular taste in contempt, finding working-class women at fault. 

House and home were the site of a persistent battle between state actors and experts on the one hand,
and consumers and inhabitants on the other. A phalanx of officials exercised enormous surveillance of the
working classes, especially working-class women in their own homes.  Indeed, the proliferation of agencies
empowered to cross the domestic threshold and check if a woman’s drawers were tidy is astonishing. 
Nevertheless, resistance was lively, as the numerous complaints against female vulgarity themselves testify
:‘an immense number of ugly, inefficient and shoddy goods are purchased daily by tens of thousands of
women’.  The ability to make your own choices and to defend your boundaries and is key to dignity and
social existence.

7 May, 10:15 a.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Natuschka Lee, Natural Sciences Fellow, SCAS.
Researcher, Umeå University.
Affiliated Researcher, Faculty of Health and Society, Malmö University, and
in Microbial Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala
Learning from Earth How to Explore and Colonize Other Worlds in the Universe
Zoom Webinar:
Since the scientific revolution and the emergence of modern science fiction novels, mankind’s relation
to the universe, technology, life, worldviews and imagination has changed tremendously. The impossible
has become next to possible. We have excelled in technology and medicine, but also in destruction and unwillingly promoted the emergence of worse diseases. While discrimination and political conflicts
divide humans, AI forces humans to redefine their role, and we are running out of time to document the
amazing biodiversity on Earth, we still wish to search for life in outer space and colonize a new planet,
such as Mars. Instead of searching for God and religious guidelines like in former days, the today’s
mission is now focused on curiosity, commercial exploitation, and on Aliens, intelligent civilizations or
simple life signatures, such as biomolecules and microbes. As amazing that may be, we lack a substantial
plan for how to deal in a responsible manner with such discoveries that may have an even greater impact
than the Copernical and Darwinian revolutions. This whole endeavour is complicated further by the fact
that we lack a profound understanding of what is life, intelligence, consciousness, death, and what the
future of the universe is going to be, and thus how to secure the survival of mankind in a longer term.
These uncertainties may cause a new type of existential crisis, misuse of science and the emergence of
various conspiration theories, and an escalation in political conflicts and military operations also in space.
This highlights the need for a critical evaluation of fundamental concepts and a deeper interdisciplinary
collaboration between natural sciences and the humanities.

2 May, 10:15 a.m. PANEL DISCUSSION
Contested Temporalities of Governance: A Panel Discussion
Desiree Fields, Christina Garsten, Ulrik Jennische, Jennifer Mack, Dieter Plehwe, Michael J Watts
The politics of global governance, regulation, and norm-setting are historical in two senses. First, they
emerge, are embedded and operate at particular historical moments or eras. Over the last several decades
this historical frame has been characterized variously as neoliberal and/or populist-authoritarian. The
questions of development theory and practice in the Global South, the ‘good governance’ agenda that
emerged in the 1990s and 2000s has been shaped by these historical forces.  The same can be said of
urban governance, green transitions, climate change, or immigration across the North Atlantic economies. 
Temporality is an important dimension of attempts at governing. Second, governance regimes, modalities
and instruments speak to different time horizons or temporalities: the electoral cycle, human lifetimes,
inter-generational, long-term sustainability or survival. These temporalities are often simply expressed in
terms of short, middle or long-term futures.  However, the intricacies of time and temporality in gover-
nance processes are too often taken for granted. Despite the apparent constancy and rigidity of time, the
pliability of time and temporality is integral to the politics of global norm-making, implementation and
resistance. To bring time and temporality more integrally into the understanding of contemporary forms
of governance, attention to perspectives on time amongst different agents, actors and constituencies: the
temporal thinking and practices of social categories of people and professionals – and to how these may
clash, collide, or complement each other – represents interesting and important avenues for research.
What temporalities may be observed amongst policy-makers, climate scientists, corporate leaders,
investors, architects, and local populations, and other groups of people that influence or are influence by
governance initiatives?  What can attention to time and temporalities bring to the study of governance?
What sorts of temporalities are at work among various forms of actually existing neoliberalism?  How
have the so-called crises of democracy associated with deepening authoritarianism and the weakening of
democratic guard-rails, shape and be shaped by, these different temporal logics? In this panel, we invite
discussions around these topics based on ongoing research.

This is an event of the Global Horizons Programme.
Please note that the event will be held in the Green Room/Library on the fourth floor of Linneanum.

23 April, 10:15 a.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Iva Lučić, Pro Futura Scientia Fellow, SCAS.
Associate Professor of History, Stockholm University
Extracting Nature, Making Peripheries: Global Perspectives on the Balkans as Extractive
Periphery, 1870–1990

Zoom Webinar:
What is an extractive periphery? And how can we understand the economic and ecological careers
of such regions as they face radical political change? These questions stand at the core of this lecture,
which will analyze and theorize the dynamics of extraction-based peripheralization processes under a
variety of shifting polities.

The presentation addresses a particularly fascinating case: forest exploitation in Bosnia and Herzegovina
between 1850 and 1990, a period marked by advancing extractive industries in Europe and globally along
with dramatic socio-economic and environmental transformations. Bosnia became a global provider of
timber in the later 19th century and remained so throughout the 20th century, exporting its oaks, beeches,
black pines to destinations like Australia, the Middle East, and across Europe. In parallel, it experienced
multiple geopolitical recontextualizations, functioning as an integrated part of four political entities of
very different kinds: two empires (Ottoman and Habsburg Empire), post-imperial multi-national state
(Interwar Yugoslavia), and a multi-national socialist federation (Socialist Yugoslavia). Whereas these
four political regimes were engaged in exploiting Bosnian forests on an industrial scale, they did so
under markedly different circumstances: different legal systems, changing economic ideologies, and
shifting ecological conditions. Moreover, Bosnia’s forest extraction did not lead to any economic
development of the region. Instead, it resulted in multiple irreversible ecological damages.

My talk will discuss in depth two regime shifts in particular: the inter-imperial transition from Ottoman
to Habsburg governance and the post-imperial transition from Habsburg Empire to Interwar Yugoslavia.
More broadly and on a theoretical level, I propose an analytical model for analyzing the dialectics of
continuities and discontinuities across different regime shifts and their impact on the dynamics of
extractivism that pivots around four inter-related aspects that all lie at the heart of extraction-based
peripheralization: property relations, state-capital relations, global timber trade, ecological transforma-

Sciences against Misinformation - Open Lectures
Zoom Webinar:
1:30 p.m – 2:15 p.m
Digital Media, Democracy, and the Challenge of Misinformation
Anastasia Kozyreva & Philipp Lorenz-Spreen, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin
The rapid global uptake of digital media and the proliferation of misinformation in online social networks
are intricately linked, presenting a significant challenge to the public welfare and the stability of democratic
systems. This talk synthesizes insights from two comprehensive review projects focused on digital media
effects on democracies and on evidence-based interventions against misinformation. Drawing on a sys-
tematic examination of 496 studies, we assess the impact of digital media on democracy, identifying both
positive and negative outcomes such as enhanced political engagement and increased polarization. After
addressing the various challenges facing democracy, we concentrate on the issue of misinformation and
the measures to counteract it. We introduce a toolbox of behavioral and cognitive interventions, developed
based on an expert review by 30 misinformation researchers. Our presentation aims to provide a grounded
understanding of the mechanisms through which digital media interacts with democratic processes and to
outline practicThis is an event of the Natural Sciences Programme (Human Brains & Societies). al approaches for mitigating the effects of misinformation, thereby contributing to promoting
individual autonomy and democratic discourse online.
2:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Nobody’s Fool: Why We Get Taken In and What We Can Do About It
Christopher Chabris, Geisinger Research Institute, Pennsylvania
Misinformation is, like fraud, scams, and false advertising, a form of deception. Successful deceptions
work because they target our cognitive habits: they exploit thinking patterns and shortcuts that normally
serve us well, but can be exploited to take us in. Using examples from fields like political disinformation,
financial crime, scientific fraud, art forgery, sports cheating, targeted cons, and AI hype videos, this talk
will illustrate a framework for understanding how misinformation and other forms of deception work and
what measures we can take as individuals to reduce our vulnerability.

This is an event of the Natural Sciences Programme (Human Brains & Societies).

16 - 18 April. SYMPOSIUM
Sciences against Misinformation
By invitation only.
The symposium is an event of the Natural Sciences Programme (Human Brains & Societies).
(Please see above for the two open lectures)

11 April, 11:15 a.m. SYMPOSIUM
Indo-European Food: Linguistic, Archaeological and Biomolecular Perspectives
The symposium Indo-European Food – Linguistic, Archaeological, and Biomolecular Perspectives aims
to explore the intricate relationships between the spread of Indo-European languages, the archaeological
evidence of food production and consumption patterns, and biomolecular insights into ancient diets. This
interdisciplinary event brings together leading experts from linguistics, archaeology, and biomolecular
sciences to discuss the latest research findings and theoretical frameworks that illuminate the role of food
in the migration, settlement, and cultural integration of Indo-European populations.

Download the programme >> (PDF)
Pre-registration is required for the event by 4th April 2024 at the latest.
It is no longer possible to register for this event.

9 April, 10:15 a.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Iryna Mogilevkina, SCAS-VUIAS Fellow, SCAS.
Professor of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Perinatology, Bogomolets National Medical
University, Kyiv.
Invited Researcher, Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Uppsala University
Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Dynamics in Post-socialist Ukraine:
Humanity in Maternal and Child Care

Zoom Webinar:
Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) are paramount for the overall well-being
and survival of individuals, while also fostering economic progress and being crucial for the
welfare of humanity as a whole. The essential package of sexual and reproductive health
interventions includes sexual education, contraceptive services, HIV/AIDS and other sexually
transmitted infections (STIs), safe abortion care, gender-based violence prevention and response,
maternal and newborn care, infertility treatment, cervical cancer prevention and treatment, as
well as counseling and care for sexual health and well-being.

Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine gained independence and embarked
on a transition from socialist political and economic systems to establishing an independent demo-
cratic state with market economies. This transition brought significant changes to the healthcare
system, including the provision of maternal and child care services.

This project investigates the dynamics of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) policies,
services, and status, with a particular focus on maternal and child care in post-socialist Ukraine
(1991-2014). An extensive literature review was conducted, encompassing academic articles, reports,
policy documents, national protocols and guidelines, theses, and conference materials in both English
and Ukrainian. Policy analyses were performed, and previously published qualitative and quantitative
studies in Ukraine were analyzed to examine the link between SRHR policies and humanity in maternal

During the transitional period in Ukraine, national SRHR policies mostly aligned with international
standards. However, translating these policies from paper to action was influenced by various
factors at different levels resulting in violation of SRHRs and affecting the humanity of the care
provided. Indeed, despite these challenges, notable improvements in sexual and reproductive health
indices were observed during the transition period. Addressing the challenges identified in SRHR
policy implementation is crucial for the future development of implementation strategies to ensure
humanity in maternal care and further improvements in sexual and reproductive health in Ukraine.

This research contributes to the existing knowledge on SRHR and humanity in maternal and child
care in post-socialist Ukraine. The findings of this study can inform the development of policies
aimed at addressing SRHR issues and promoting humanity in maternal services in countries under-
going transition.

19 March, 10:15 a.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
David Karlander, Pro Futura Scientia Fellow, SCAS.
Assistant Professor of Scandinavian Languages, Uppsala University
Constructed Languages and Linguistics
Zoom Webinar:
The term constructed languages denotes languages that were purposefully created by one or several
language makers at a specific point in time. In this talk, I will, first, introduce and discuss some such
languages along with the metalinguistic practices which brought them into being. Secondly, I will
analyse the visions and intentions of a handful language makers, highlighting the intended social and
psychological powers which the creators of E-prime, Toki Pona and Ithkuil ascribed to their languages.
Embodying a reversed linguistic relativity of sorts, these constructed language projects are all grounded
in the view that alleged improvements in linguistic form can result in enhanced cognition and improved
logical thinking. Yet, despite being underlain by a shared vision of language, cognition and linguistic
design, these languages are fundamentally distinct in form. Finally, I will discuss some of the implications
of these constructed languages and, more generally, of language making for some of the foundational
assumptions of linguistic research.

12 March, 10:15 a.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Kathrin Glüer-Pagin, Natural Sciences Fellow, SCAS.
Professor of Theoretical Philosophy, Stockholm University
Knowledge Resistance and Irrationality
Zoom Webinar:
Many Western countries appear to be experiencing deepening political polarization, including fact
polarization. Fact polarization is “intense, persistent partisan contestation over facts that admit of
scientific evidence” (Kahan 2016, 1). Knowledge resistance -- understood as a form of irrational
resistance to the available empirical evidence -- might well be involved, especially when at least
one side of a political divide denies robust and easily accessible scientific consensus. And in fact,
the explanation of fact polarization most influential in the empirical literature is in terms of
(politically) motivated reasoning. Experimental evidence for "the motivated reasoning hypothesis",
however, is importantly confounded, and there is a growing number of philosophers questioning
explanations of fact polarization in terms of irrationality. In this talk, I will survey these issues
and discuss some ideas as to how to "rationalize" the phenomenon.

Universalism, Cosmopolitanism, and Identity Politics in a Globalized World
Bruce Buchan, Sten Hagberg, Tora Holmberg, Michèle Lamont
Moderator: Paul W Werth
Zoom Webinar:
In recent years, the implications of intensified globalization have brought about a discussion around
social and cultural identity, sharedness, difference, and variation among communities and collectivities.
Cosmopolitanism, the longstanding idea that human beings have equal moral and political obligations
to each other based solely on their humanity, without reference to state citizenship, national identity,
religious affiliation, ethnicity, or place of birth, has been put to the test. Cosmopolitanism has lately
also become associated with a critique of certain qualities of global capitalism, as well as a search for
ways of constraining it. The panelists will engage in a discussion on the challenges and possibilities
of universalism and cosmopolitanism in our contemporary world.

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 29 February 2024.
It is no longer possible to register for the event.
Read more/download event flyer >> (PDF)

8 March, 1:15 p.m. The 6th WITTROCK LECTURE - HYBRID EVENT
Michèle Lamont, Professor of Sociology and of African and African American Studies &
Robert I. Goldman Professor of European Studies, Harvard University
Seeing Others: How to Redefine Worth in a Divided World
Zoom Webinar:
Growing inequality and the decline of the American dream are marked by a mental health crisis
across all social classes in the United States. I consider what alternative hopes are taking shape
based on interviews with 80 Gen Zs and 185 agents of change who are producing new narratives
in entertainment, comedy, advocacy, art, impact investing, and other fields of activity. They are
offering alternatives to neoliberal scripts of self by producing narratives that emphasize inclusion,
authenticity, and sustainability. They contribute to social movements that aim to extend recogni-
tion to the largest numbers, even in a context where political backlashes are multiplying. These
transformations point to how to broaden cultural citizenship, not only in the United States but in
other societies.

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 29 February 2024.
It is no longer possible to register for the event.
Read more/download event flyer >> (PDF)

5 March, 10:15 a.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Paul W Werth, Fellow, SCAS.
Professor of History, University of Nevada, Las Vegas  
Russia Within: The Romanov Empire, the USSR, and the Problem of Territorial Scope
Zoom Webinar:
For a good part of its modern history, Russia has in fact constituted only part of a larger state, whether the Romanov Empire before the Revolution of 1917 or the USSR after. This talk posits 
that “Russia” could refer not only to the expansive, multinational country ruled from St. Peters-
burg or Moscow, but also to a smaller entity within that larger state—the “Russia within.” The
emergence of this distinction in the nineteenth century and the attendant challenge of defining
Russia's territorial scope represent central issues for conceptualizing Russia's historical
experience and for resolving the question of national borders today.

27 February, 10:15 a.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Jennifer James, Natural Sciences Fellow, SCAS.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Uppsala University
Molecular Evolution and Mutation: The Good, the Bad, and the Neutral
Zoom Webinar:
New mutations provide the vital raw input for evolution. But how do mutations affect species?
Are they on average, bad, good, or neutral for an individuals’ survival and reproductive success?
Or somewhere in between?  During this talk I will discuss how our understanding of mutations
and how they contribute to genetic variation has developed, and touch on a number of exciting
standing questions in the fields of population genetics and molecular evolution. I will also explain
some of my own recent findings. These include: 
- how the average effects of mutations differ between species.
- how the average effects of mutations differ between populations of a single species.
- how the average effects of mutations differ across the genome within a species, depending
on aspects of genome biology.

13 February, 10:15 a.m. SEMINAR
Yaffa Epstein, Pro Futura Scientia Fellow, SCAS.
Associate Professor of Environmental Law, Uppsala University  
Developing Rights of Nature Jurisprudence in Europe
Zoom Webinar: N/A
Rights of nature laws, which recognize legal rights for natural entities such as ecosystems, bodies of
water, or even Mother Earth, have been enacted in a growing number of jurisdictions around the world.
This legal tool has gained the greatest traction in Latin America, where a lack of effective environmental
laws helped spur legal innovation. In 2022, Spain enacted the first European rights of nature law, granting
legal personhood and other rights to the Mar Menor Lagoon and its basin. Several other European juris-
dictions have or are considering following suit. In this presentation, I discuss some challenges as well as
possibilities for these new laws to be effective in European legal systems.

8 February, 10:15 a.m. SEMINAR on occasion of the United Nations International Day of Women
and Girls in Science
Critical Storytelling: Experiences of Power Abuse in Academia
Ester Oras, Pro Futura Scientia Fellow, SCAS.
Associate Professor of Archaeology and Analytical Chemistry, University of Tartu  
Introductory words on the UN Initiative and Reflections on Implementing the Agenda
Julie Hansen, Associate Professor of Slavic Languages, Uppsala University
On Critical Storytelling: Experiences of Power Abuse in Academia
Michal Zawadzki
, Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering and Management, Uppsala University

6 February, 10:15 a.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Jennifer Mack, Pro Futura Scientia Fellow, SCAS.
Associate Professor of Theory and History of Architecture, KTH Royal Institute of
Technology, Stockholm
Creepage and Seepage in the Modernist Suburb That Never Was
Zoom Webinar:
Modernist designers of the mid-20th century envisioned new utopian environments built from the
ground up, imagining a totalizing project. In Scandinavian countries like Denmark and Sweden, such
design ideals combined strategically with welfare-state social and economic reforms, and mass
housing construction through governmental initiatives rapidly transformed the housing stock. Yet by
the late 1960s, journalists and politicians portrayed modernist neighborhoods as unequivocal “failures,”
drawing causal links between their “ugliness” and social problems like crime, alcoholism, and unem-
ployment. This triggered innumerable renovations. Today, longing for the modernist suburb that never
was – a space of environmental control and mid-20th century social conditions – continues, with
anxieties about them materialized through privatizations, extreme makeovers, and even demolitions.
In this seminar, I explore histories of modernist suburbs through creepage (such as the persistence of
punitive discourse) and seepage (such as the arrival of “unplanned” humans and nonhumans) to ask
why such suburbs are still evaluated according to impossibly hegemonic ideas about architecture’s
power over nature and people. I reconceptualize suburban modernism in Scandinavia as a practice
of built environmentalism deeply rooted in, affected by, and produced through both human and non-
human actions. Through alternative histories, scales, and actors, I suggest a more forgiving view of
the present and the need for new modes of intervention into the “problems” of modernist suburbs.

30 January, 10:15 a.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Erik Zackrisson, Natural Sciences Fellow, SCAS.
Associate Professor of Extragalactic Astronomy, Uppsala University
Why Here? Why Now? Anthropic Reasoning in the Search for Extraterrestrial Life
Zoom Webinar:
In recent years, astronomers have established that nearly all stars host planets, and that some of these
planets may have properties somewhat similar to Earth. This finding has revitalized the age-old question
“Are we are alone in the Universe?”, and significant resources are now being devoted to making the
first detection of life beyond Earth.  Despite the widely held view in astronomy that only empirical
searches can set meaningful constraints on the presence of life on cosmic scales, there is a controversial
line of reasoning that suggests that strong conclusions about the spatial and temporal distribution of
extra-terrestrial life can be drawn from our own position in space and time, when coupled to the
assumption that we are typical observers of the Universe. If correct, this would imply that many of
the current efforts in the search for life in outer space are misdirected. In this seminar, I will explain
how such conclusions come about and explore some of the underlying assumptions.

23 January, 10:15 a.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT (moved from 23 April)
Bruce Buchan, Fellow, SCAS.
Professor of History, School of Humanities, Languages, and Social Science,
Griffith University
Charting Time While Visualising Race: How History Became Entwined with
Empire and Colonisation in Scotland’s Enlightenment

Zoom Webinar:
The second edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, published in Scotland between 1778 and 1784,
included an “Historical Chart” purporting to show “at one view” the “rise and progress of the Principal
States & Empires of the known World.” Appearing as it did toward the end of the eighteenth century,
the Chart was one of a range of similar graphic chronologies of human history which began to appear
in European publications in these decades. What makes the Encyclopaedia Britannica’s chart notable
was that it had been “Designed by Adam Ferguson” the famed “Professor of Moral Philosophy, in the
University of Edinburgh.” I will argue in my presentation that Ferguson’s Chart deserves close attention.
What the Chart’s abbreviated, simplistic design accomplished was not simply to offer a chronology, but
to produce (borrowing Bakhtin’s term) a chronotope, where time and space are superimposed upon one
another. By making space and time visible as imperial and ethnic divisions among humanity, the Chart
imprinted race onto the universal history of humanity, and made its dispensations in the modern world
visible “at one view”.  

16 January, 10:15 a.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
H. Orri Stefánsson, Pro Futura Scientia Fellow, SCAS.
Professor of Practical Philosophy, Stockholm University.
Research Fellow, Institute for Futures Studies, Stockholm
Ethical Evaluation of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Small and Medium Sized Countries
Zoom Webinar:
Sweden will probably not have a decisive role when it comes to the climate crisis. Whether the worst
climate catastrophe occurs or not depends primarily on the greenhouse gas emissions of much larger
countries. Does that mean that it makes no difference whether Sweden reduces its greenhouse gas
emission? I will try to convince you that the answer is “no”. The fact is that Sweden’s annual emissions
can be expected to cause several thousand people to die prematurely in the coming decades, most of
them in poorer countries. This fact gives those who make decisions on Sweden’s behalf a strong moral
reason to take measures to reduce these emissions. Even if they cannot ensure that a climate disaster
is avoided, they can significantly reduce the harm that Sweden causes. And that, I shall argue, is worth
the modest cost that this reduction imposes on Swedish citizens. 

15 December. WORKSHOP
Elites, Higher Education and Democracy
By invitation only.

12 December, 10:15 a.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Jonathan Kimmelman, Fellow, SCAS.
James McGill Professor of Biomedical Ethics, McGill University
The Moral Machinery of Drug Development
Zoom Webinar:
Pharmaceutical development is shot through with a moral tension. On the one hand, societies empower
scientists and companies to develop new drugs to address illness and to promote opportunity. On the
other hand, the feedstock for this science consists of animals and human patients- beings whose opportu-
nities are compromised by captivity and illness. Approaches for navigating this moral tension emerged a
lmost a half a century ago and have stemmed the abuses motivating their creation. Yet such approaches
leave whole swaths of drug development vulnerable to research practices that fail to meet the moral
objectives of drug development and that fail to honour the contributions and sacrifices of animals and
patients. The present talk will summarize central themes for the book I am writing at SCAS. I will begin
by describing how drug development mints human opportunity from deprivation and disability. I will
next argue that researchers and oversight systems should strive to maximize “moral efficiencies,”- that is,
minimize the amount of welfare animals and patients expend for society to achieve medical breakthroughs.
I will then describe some of the many ways researchers and oversight systems abide and sometimes
encourage significant moral inefficacies. I’ll close by describing some of the ways the notion of moral
efficiency might guide practice and policy in pharmaceutical research. 

5 December, 10:15 a.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Hannah Field, Fellow, SCAS.
Senior Lecturer in Victorian Literature, University of Sussex
Rejected and Uncollected: Legal Deposit, Negative Bibliography, and Cultural
Value in Nineteenth-Century England

Zoom Webinar:
This paper examines the rejects of legal deposit: the printed texts excluded from the ostensibly universal
archive promised by copyright libraries. Legal deposit works to preserve every text published in a specific
group of libraries. While this principle is egalitarian, the cultural promiscuity of print has often troubled
the prestigious deposit libraries, as deposit brings such historically maligned forms as novels, children’s
books, almanacs, and pamphlets into elite collections. Taking up this circumstance in a case study based
in nineteenth-century England, the paper models approaches to deposit’s rejects drawn from book history,
distant reading, and digital humanities. In what ways does looking at deposit’s rejects offer us new per-
spectives on the canon (its reverse image, even)? How can we work out what deposit libraries rejected
when they are not always honest about this? And why should any individual rejected text be preserved

28 November, 10:15 a.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
John Stinchcombe, Natural Sciences Fellow, SCAS.
Distinguished Professor of Ecological Genetics, University of Toronto
Understanding Natural Selection: Challenges and Prospects
Zoom Webinar:
Natural selection is the engine of adaptive evolutionary change, the causal mechanism behind the intricate
adaptations we see that make organisms so suited to their environments, and an inexorable force acting on
traits, individuals, and populations. While it was once thought that natural selection was a slow, imperceptible
process that would only have consequences on geologic timescales, we now know that natural selection is
occurring all around us, all the time, and can be observed, measured, and manipulated. The last 40 years have
seen a revolution in how evolutionary biologists understand the magnitude, presence, and ubiquity of natural
selection in nature. In my seminar, I’ll describe some of the basic mechanics of how evolutionary biologists
measure natural selection, as well as some of the challenges in applying these approaches to complex traits
like genome-wide gene expression.

21 November, 10:15 a.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Gunnel Ekroth, Fellow, SCAS.
Professor of Classical Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University
Eating with the Gods? Preparation and Consumption of Food and the Use of Greek
Sanctuary Space

Zoom Webinar:
Ancient Greek sanctuaries were set apart for the gods and their worship, and this space was perceived
as divine property. Humans would visit sanctuaries to communicate with the gods through sacrifice and
dedications, and they were also the caretakers and administrators of divine space. My seminar will explore
the use of ancient Greek sanctuary space from the perspective of food, especially the meals which follow-
ed after animal sacrifice, the main ritual of ancient Greek religion. Where in the sanctuary did these meals
take place, and were there installations for the preparation and the consumption of the food, permanent or
temporary, such as kitchens and dining rooms? How was the waste from the meals dealt with, for example,
animal bones, ash and broken pottery? Gods and humans clearly had different relationships to food, related
to their immortal and mortal status, respectively, and the uses of food served to define distinctions between
gods and humans, but also to bridge the divide and establish communication. Exploration of the full spectrum
of dining will inform us not only about the use and allotment of space for mortal visitors to sanctuaries in
relation to the space allotted for the gods, but also about the Greek view of the divine.

14 November, 10:15 a.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Jerome de Groot, Fellow, SCAS.
Professor of Literature and Culture, University of Manchester
Race, Genetics, History
Zoom Webinar:
Genetic data is increasingly shifting the ways in which history is researched and represented. This
raises a number of key questions for historians of all kinds. What are the implications of such
expanded genetic datasets for the practice of history? How can genetic data change experience of
the past, and our way of conceiving what that past is? How does genetic knowledge challenge nor-
mative versions of what historical information might be, or how it might be presented? Given the
focus on ethnicity inherent in much work, what does this mean for the study of race? ‘DNA analysis
is re-creating how we know the past and even how we now define the social world’ argue Alondra
Nelson, Keith Wailoo, and Catherine Lee. My work seeks to understand and to critique this ‘recreation’
in relation to historical understanding, practice, and imagination. I outline a set of approaches for com-
prehending and understanding the ways that we think about the past. Consideration of different modes
of ‘reading’ the past reconfigures our understanding of what that past is, how it is constructed, and
what it might mean.

At the Vanguard of Colonialism: Global Perspectives on Timber Colonialism during
the Age of Industrialization

Zoom Webinar:
Download the programme >>

7 November, 10:15 a.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Ester Oras, Pro Futura Scientia Fellow, SCAS.
Associate Professor of Archaeology and Analytical Chemistry, University of Tartu
Biomolecular Archaeology for Dietary Analysis: From Big Transitions to Social Foodways
Zoom Webinar:
How do we know what people ate centuries or even millennia ago? To what extent are ancient food-
ways environmentally or socially prescribed?  What kind of stories can dietary analysis reveal on past
communities? Modern analytical techniques applied to ancient materials have opened new avenues for
understanding distant past, shifting the borders of archaeology from humanities to natural sciences.
In my talk I will introduce the principles of biomolecular dietary analysis from ancient skeletal remains
and pottery. Thereafter I will present case studies from the north-eastern Baltic to exemplify how bio-
molecular analysis can be used to understand e.g. big economic changes like forager-farmer transitions,
and socially embedded dietary practices. I will close the talk with a reflection on the merits and possible
drawbacks of the increased share of natural science methods in archaeology, hoping to show that the
technological innovations can be only as good as the socio-culturally embedded questions we ask from

The VUIAS Initiative – A Joint Effort in Founding an Institute for Advanced Study for Ukraine

Daniel Schönpflug, Head of Academic Programs, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. Professor of History,
Freie Universität Berlin. Co-Chair, Virtual Ukraine Institute for Advanced Study (VUIAS)
On Academic Integrity
Sverker Sörlin
, Non-resident Long-term Fellow for Programmes on Environmental Humanities, SCAS.
Professor of Environmental History, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm

Zoom Webinar: (both events)

"A Week on Academic Freedom" is organized in collaboration with Democracy and Higher Education
and HERO. To view the full programme (23-27 Oct), see A Week on Academic Freedom website, or
download the programme here (PDF)

17 October, 10:15 a.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Mikiya Koyagi, Barbro Klein Fellow, SCAS.
Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern Studies, The University of Texas at Austin
Muhammad, Mesopotamia, and the Making of a Pan-Asian Civilization in Imperial Japan
Zoom Webinar:
Until the last few decades of the nineteenth century, nobody considered themselves “Asian.” This
situation changed drastically by the early twentieth century, when nationalists from Japan, China,
India, Iran, and the Ottoman Empire were calling for solidarity among Asian nations. This seminar
traces how Asia, an external label imposed by Europeans, was reappropriated as a self-referential
term among Asians. We will focus on the case of a particular geographical imaginary of Asia that
emerged in imperial Japan, which conceptualized Asia as a single civilizational space that stretched
from Japan to the Ottoman Empire. In the context of Japan’s imperial formation, this imaginary of
Asia was concretized by mobilizing race, religion, and their material manifestations that proved the
oneness of Asia.

11-12 October. SYMPOSIUM
Writing Transcultural Literary History in a Globalized World
By invitation only.

10 October, 10:15 a.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Desiree Fields, Fellow, SCAS.
Associate Professor of Geography and Global Metropolitan Studies, University of California, Berkeley
Digital Experiments with Landed Property: Robots, Race, and Rent
Zoom Webinar:
“Robot landlords are buying up houses”. Headlines like this one are not unusual these days. What are we
to make of digital experiments with landed property? We should not mistake the technological novelty of
such digital experiments for a break with the geographic and historical specificities of property and infor-
mation politics. The yoking of property to modernity and civilization makes technological progress a fun-
damental part of how relationships to land are constituted and reconstituted, and in whose interests,
throughout global capitalism. In this seminar, I situate 21st century housing market technologies within
sedimented relations of landed property in the United States. I first show that the history of property inno-
vation in the US is also a history of racialized wealth accumulation and dispossession. Second, I interpret
current anxieties about “robot landlords” as anxieties about how the shifting landscape of property owner-
ship appears to threaten the unearned economic benefits associated with racial dominance. Despite claims
of disrupting and revolutionizing the housing market, digital experiments with landed property are insepa-
rable from the role technological progress has historically played in organizing relationships with land that
serve dominant interests.

5-6 October. SYMPOSIUM
Tools, Trades, and Technologies - Exploring Prehistory through Archaeolinguistics
With the symposium Tools, Trades, and Technologies – Exploring Prehistory through Archaeolinguistics,
we aim to facilitate interdisciplinary dialogue, providing a deeper understanding of prehistory through
the lens of archaeolinguistics. Topics range from wealth acquisition and trade emergence in early Indo-
European societies to Tocharian agricultural tools, and Anatolian writing terminology. By intertwining
linguistic and archaeological evidence, we seek to learn more about the Indo-European speakers and
their material culture.

Download the programme >> (PDF)
Pre-registration is required for the event by 2 October 2023 at the latest.
The registration has closed.

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.

3 October, 10:15 a.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Arthur Asseraf, Pro Futura Scientia Fellow, SCAS.
Associate Professor of History, University of Cambridge
When Race Cannot Be Said: Social Scientists and Rumors in Postwar France
Zoom Webinar:
Most people agree that racism exists, but nobody wants to be called a racist. This is a fairly new
understanding of how racism works: when did this ‘racism without racists’ emerge? This seminar
will trace this process through one conflict of interpretation over a racist incident in 1960s France.
By looking at the events and analysis of the ‘rumor of Orléans’ in 1969, we will see how understand-
ings of race changed, and made race into something fundamentally diffuse that remains with us today,
something like a ‘rumor’. By drawing on French examples, we will see how anonymous citizens, state
actors and social scientists analyzed an ambiguous series of events to coproduce a new understanding
of racism as fundamentally diffuse that remains with us today. 

28 September. CEREMONY & LECTURE
An Event in Honour of the New Pro Futura Scientia Fellows.
By invitation only.

26 September, 10:15 a.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Dieter Plehwe, Senior Global Horizons Fellow, SCAS.
Senior Research Fellow, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
Privatdozent, University of Kassel
Transnational “Strategy Mobility”: The Role of Think Tanks and Their Constituencies in
Climate Policy Controversies

Zoom Webinar:
With the time left for decarbonization getting short before catastrophic levels of global warming
for many species become reality, political conflict with regard to ambitious climate change mitigation
has become more intense rather than less. How can we explain this paradox? Beyond most common
explanations focusing on nation states, which divides countries in leaders and laggards in global
climate policy negotiations, private sector interest groups and their allies within and across borders
as well as transnational circuits and strategies of climate policy obstruction need to be brought into
the picture more strongly. Focusing on the global Atlas network of neoliberal and conservative think
tanks and their corporate and academic constituencies, the paper examines proposals and controver-
sies at the intersection of energy and labor market policy. Early in the new millennium, the shift from
fossil to renewable sources of electricity generation in a number of countries was additionally support-
ed with arguments related to positive labor market effects of energy transition suggesting a double
dividend– ecological and social. Efforts to add momentum to international renewables’ policy transfer
ran into intense opposition around the time of the great financial crisis, however, when additional public
investment became available for economic stimulus programs, some of which earmarked for the pro-
motion of renewable energy. As a consequence of internationally orchestrated campaigns, successful
programs have been aborted in a few countries. Technocratic perspectives of policy learning and policy
mobility fail to take coordinated action across borders in opposition to policy transfer into account,
which turns international policy mobility into global policy conflict. The evidence gathered on the multi-
country origins, strategies and arenas of campaigns directed against “green jobs” supports the need to
add the category of “strategy mobility” and “strategy learning” to the roaster of concepts required to
properly address the global climate policy conflict constellation, and similar patterns and developments
in a number of other policy areas.

19 September, 10:15 a.m. SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT
Anat Biegon, Natural Sciences Fellow, SCAS.
Professor of Radiology and Neurology, Renaissance School of Medicine, Stony Brook University
The Long Road to Equity for Women in Medicine
Zoom Webinar:
Women have been receiving inferior medical treatment relative to men from the dawn of modern
medicine. This is reflected in higher proportion of late or missed diagnosis leading to worse outcome,
in higher rates of adverse effects resulting  from medical treatment and in frequent dismissal of
women’s complaints. The reasons for this are complex, involving physiological as well as social
factors. The talk will examine these reasons in some detail and provide support for the idea that
the end of  long road to equity for women in medicine can be reached through education of the
next generations of medical practitioners on the specific factors impacting women’s health.

24 August. SYMPOSIUM
Forum for the Future of Neuroscience: What Will the Next 10 Years of Neuroscience
Look Like?
By invitation only.