"Research smorgasbord – with Maja Bondestam, Maria Florutau, and Frans Lundgren"

  • Date: –15:00
  • Location: Engelska parken 6-3025 (Rausing Room)
  • Organiser: Department of History of Science and Ideas
  • Contact person: Hanna Hodacs
  • Seminarium

Higher Seminar in the History of Science and Ideas

At this week Higher Seminar three members of the department will present their current works; Maja Bondestam on monsters, Maria Florutau, on the enlightenment in the periphery and Frans Lundgren, on the average man. 

The seminar will be held in English. 

Maja Bondestam: Monstrosity. On extraordinary bodies and the limits of human identity

Within the framework of a wider research program on fetuses and the borders of life between the 17th century and today, Medicine at the borders of life, I have studied the discourse of such bodies that early modern doctors and natural historians called prodigies, wonders, or – as they were classified in particularly astonishing cases in Latin – monstrum. The overall question is why doctors, naturalists, botanists, statisticians and embryologists began to collect and examine this category in the 17th and 18th centuries, what the concept monster meant, and why it disappeared from Swedish medicine and science in the first decades of the 19th century.

Maria Florutau: Transfers of Knowledge in the Enlightenment: the case of József Fogarasi Pap (c.1740-1790)

My presentation will provide an overview of my book manuscript, itself a re-working of my doctoral thesis. In it, I am exploring the role academic prize contests, non-canonical actors, especially from Enlightenment peripheries, and religion played in the development and cementing of philosophical ideas in the second half of the eighteenth century. To do so, I am following a Transylvanian philosopher, József Fogarasi Pap, his geographic context in Transylvania and institutional context in the Netherlands and Berlin and investigating what looking at the Enlightenment from unusual starting points can reveal about the phenomenon. 

Frans Lundgren: Average man: A short history

The concept of average man is a rather recent phenomenon. In for example Sweden it begins to circulate in the 1910s and soon becomes an important point of reference in public debate and popular culture. How should the birth, life and death of average man be interpreted as a cultural phenomenon and what new knowledge can this particular history provide?

Image: Maja Bondestam, De utomordentliga: normaliseringen av monster och naturens utkant 1600–1830 (2022), Makadam förlag