Margaret Hunt and Leos Müller: "The Prize Papers and New Ways to Understand Early Modern Travel and Travellers"

  • Date: –17:00
  • Location: Engelska parken - Eng6-0023
  • Organiser: The Department of Literature, The Department of Modern Languages, and The Cross-Disciplinary Travel Writing Seminar (RELS)
  • Contact person: Paula Henrikson, Christina Kullberg
  • Seminarium

The Cross-Disciplinary Travel Writing Seminar (RELS)

Margaret Hunt, Uppsala University, and Leos Müller, Stockholm University: "The Prize Papers and New Ways to Understand Early Modern Travel and Travellers"

This project studies global knowledge as it was produced, adapted, and communicated by non-elite Scandinavian ocean travelers during the early modern period. Margaret Hunt, project leader, will study Scandinavian sailors’ projects of self-education, including their interest in non-European cultures and informants, the networks they formed, and the challenges they faced. Leos Müller, co-researcher, will study how skippers and low and mid-level merchants learned to negotiate the complexities and risks of neutral shipping and how they circulated that knowledge. The project covers four years, and the main source is the hitherto little-studied records of 3,500 seized Scandinavian ships from the 1600s and 1700s, today housed in the British National Archives. Informed by a view of knowledge as socially situated and emerging through social negotiation, our method involves actor-centered, microhistorical close reading with a focus on networks. The project will produce articles, a handbook on using Prize Papers for Scandinavian research, two conferences and an edited volume. Non-elite knowledge production has been little studied for the early modern period in Scandinavia due to a paucity of sources. This project will supplement prior work on elite and learned knowledge production in Scandinavia with a “view from below,” one that emphasizes non-elite subjectivity and explores the larger impact of non-elite knowledge production and exchange in the Nordic countries and beyond.