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Förmodernitet. Analytiskt begrepp eller kronologisk restpost?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of History.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6175-2909
2015 (Swedish)In: Scandia, ISSN 0036-5483, Vol. 81, no 2 Supplement, 9-18 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Premodernity: a useful analytical concept or redundant chronological term?

In January 2011 the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences (RJ) announced the launch of a particular fund for research on the pre-1800s. Behind the initiative lay amongst other things a desire to increase the number of Swedish researchers studying the “premodern” era. The foundation used the term “premodern” solely to provide chronological demarcation. However, the term premodern also gives rise to questions like: what is meant by premodern; what was the premodern era, and when was this premodernity played out? These questions were addressed in a session at the national historical conference “Svenska historikermötet” in 2015. During the session many of the issues and problems related to premodernity were discussed. Each participant described his or her view of premodernity as a chronological period, and as a theoretical concept, and then concluded with a discussion on how the concept was relevant in their own research.

The participants were invited to write an article based on the session and the results are published in this Supplement of Scandia. Hopefully, the various approaches and perspectives presented here reveal the multifaceted nature of the concept of premodernity. Further to the very simple chronological demarcation of the “premodern”, as given by the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences, this collection of articles shows its wide and varied definitions. Limiting premodern to the chronological interpretation of the concept, risks lumping all pre-1800s history together into “something that happened in the old days”. As several of the contributions to this Supplement shows, premodernity can instead be used as a relevant analytical concept, discussed and applied by researchers. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 81, no 2 Supplement, 9-18 p.
Keyword [en]
premodernity, periodization, research politics, history of concepts
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-124688OAI: diva2:890584
Available from: 2016-01-04 Created: 2016-01-04 Last updated: 2016-03-14Bibliographically approved

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Linnarsson, Magnus
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