Research

The following is a brief outline of my past scholarly work and current research interests. For more details and a complete bibliography please see my personal page at the Department of Historical Studies website or my CV. A few of my writings, some of them in English (including a summary of my dissertation and the entire catalogue of Löfling’s ”Letter-Book”), are available for download here.

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In my doctoral dissertation Bilder av Mittens rike (”Images of the Middle Kingdom”, 2001) I examined continuity and change in images of China in Swedish travel accounts between 1749 and 1912. Since then I have mainly worked and published on 18th century natural history travel, especially the long distance expeditions undertaken by the ‘disciples’ of Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus. On these and related subjects I have written several articles and, with Hanna Hodacs, the book Naturalhistoria på resande fot (”Natural History on the Move”, 2007). I have also published an annotated catalogue of Pehr Löfling’s Letter-Book in the Archives of the Real Jardín Botánico in Madrid (2008).

Recently I completed a three-year research project, funded by the Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, with the title ”Pehr Löfling and the globalization of knowledge, 1729–1756″. Here I studied the life and work of one Linnaean disciple who travelled to Spain and present-day Venezuela before he died from a fever, probably malaria, at a young age. A summary of the objectives and outcomes of the Löfling project, which was carried out as part of a larger research collaboration with Spanish historian Manuel Lucena Giraldo, can be found here. While I am currently evaluating where to go next in my research, my interests continue to be focused on Sweden’s global history in the early modern era, especially the role played in that history by scientific travel and the social practices associated with it.