Andreas Klein: "Places of knowledge of Lapponia (1673)"

  • Date: –15:00
  • Location: Engelska parken - Eng6-0031
  • Organiser: Department of Literature and Uppsala Interdisciplinary 18th Century Seminar
  • Contact person: Ann Öhrberg
  • Seminarium

Uppsala Interdisciplinary 18th Century Seminar and The Higher Seminar in Literature, Dpt of Literature

Andreas Klein, PhD student from the University of Tromsø: "Places of knowledge of Lapponia (1673)"

Chair: Ann Öhrberg

The seminar will be held in English

1673, Johannes Schefferus finalized Lapponia, the first monograph entirely devoted to the Sámi people, the land they lived in and their ways of life. Written on behalf of rikskansler De la Gardie, it was intended to counter rumours about Sámi sorcerers in the Swedish ranks. Soon, translations and adaptations in English, German, French and Dutch followed.

Making use of reports of clergymen serving in the Northern parts of the Kingdom, Schefferus covered topics such as language, religion, livelihood, pastime, and many more. He never visited the area nowadays defined as Sápmi, the traditional settlement area of the Sámi people. However, now and then Sámi students and merchants would stay in Uppsala or Stockholm for shorter or longer periods. In some cases, Schefferus included their knowledge in his account. He also examined objects of Sámi origin he kept in his museum at St. Erik’s square in Uppsala.

Schefferus’s education in his hometown of Strasbourg laid heavy emphasis on philological thought. In Sweden, he encountered Gothicist ideas and became an important figure in archaeological endeavours. Through his work on Lapponia, he became acquainted with yet another culture of knowledge, namely that of the Sámi. I consider the writing a result of negotiations between those three and many other cultures of knowledge. Following Christian Jacob and David N. Livingstone, I argue that the category of place is decisive to understand and contextualize the knowledges found in Lapponia. In my presentation, I want to present some of the writing’s lieux de savoir and in doing so, reconstruct the genesis of one of the most influential Early Modern writings on the Sámi people.