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Det nära främmande: Svensk lärdom och politik i en tysk tidning, 1753-1792
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History of Science and Ideas.
2009 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The Proximate Other : Swedish Erudition and Politics in a German Journal, 1753–1792 (English)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation analyzes the representations of Swedish learning and politics in the well-known review journal Göttingische Anzeigen von gelehrten Sachen during the time period 1753–1792. The overarching purpose is to investigate how a European country could be imagined and put to use in a nearby state, where it had the status of a proximate “other”. The dissertation conceptualizes Anzeigen as a collective agent, as a node in the vibrant Swedish–Hanoverian networks, and as a conduit for the interaction between cosmopolitan and patriotic sensibilities in the eighteenth century. The analysis shows that Sweden and Swedish men of erudition were usually represented in a positive manner due to the potential or actual usefulness of inspirational and imitation-worthy Swedish experiences, the transnational network exchanges, and Anzeigen’s identification with Swedish estate society, especially its upper echelons. In addition, the journal perceived Sweden as closely related to Germany in terms of history, culture, and language, which meant that the northern kingdom was both “the same” and “the other”. Anzeigen thus identified with Sweden on several levels, although its nature and climate, the Lapps, and the remaining Baltic provinces–Swedish Pomerania and Wismar–constituted a basis for representations of Sweden as “the other”.

From a theoretical point of view, the dissertation challenges traditional, nation-oriented history writing as well as research efforts characterized by the explicit or implicit axiom that representations of otherness are necessarily negative and oppressive. The investigation into Anzeigen’s reporting on Sweden also suggests the existence of a transaction system alongside the Hanoverian–Swedish networks, a “patriotic–cosmopolitan economy”, through which national and particularistic experiences could become universal phenomena and be transferred to different, equally national and particularistic, settings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , 296 p.
Uppsala Studies in History of Ideas, ISSN 1653-5197 ; 40
Keyword [en]
Sweden, Germany, Göttingen, Hanover, Göttingische Anzeigen von gelehrten Sachen, enlightenment, eighteenth century, patriotism, cosmopolitanism, network, review, history of the press, Albrecht von Haller, Carolus Linnaeus
Keyword [sv]
Sverige, Tyskland, Göttingen, Hannover, Göttingische Anzeigen von gelehrten Sachen, upplysning, 1700-tal, patriotism, kosmopolitism, nätverk, presshistoria, Vetenskapsakademien, Albrecht von Haller, Carl von Linné
National Category
History of Ideas
Research subject
History Of Sciences and Ideas
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-107432ISBN: 978-91-554-7582-6OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-107432DiVA: diva2:229326
Public defence
2009-09-25, Geijersalen, Hus 6, Thunbergsvägen 3P, 751 26, Uppsala, 10:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-09-01 Created: 2009-08-11 Last updated: 2009-09-01Bibliographically approved

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Persson, Mathias
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