The research environment at Lund University consists of several projects with various forms of funding, including both individual projects and a larger research programme.


The Swedish Press and the Circulation of Knowledge in the 1960s

PIs: Johan Östling and David Larsson Heidenblad

This project sets out to explore how the Swedish press enabled and moulded the circulation of knowledge in the 1960s. The project has a dual purpose. Empirically, we seek to provide new insights into how the press was able to put knowledge in motion during this decade. Theoretically, we aim to refine and substantiate the key analytical concept of the project, “circulation of knowledge”.

“The Swedish Press and the Circulation of Knowledge in the 1960s” runs between 2018 and 2019, and is funded by the Ridderstad Foundation.


Knowledge and Society in Scandinavia in the 1960s and 1970s

PIs: Johan Östling and Niklas Olsen; participant David Larsson Heidenblad

The aim of this project is to develop the history of knowledge as a scholarly field in collaboration between research institutions at the departments of history at universities of Copenhagen and Lund. The project includes two workshops that gather researchers from the Scandinavian countries. Focusing on three areas of knowledge – economics, environment and the humanities – we will discuss how the history of knowledge of postwar Scandinavia can be written.

“Knowledge and Society in Scandinavia in the 1960s and 1970s” runs between 2018 and 2019, and is funded by the Einar Hansen Research Foundation.


Knowledge in Motion: Societal Circulation of Knowledge in Postwar Sweden and Germany

PI: Johan Östling

The aim of the programme is both to improve the general understanding of circulation of knowledge and to contribute to an historical interpretation of the role of knowledge in postwar society. It is inspired by new tendencies in the history of science, global history, media history, the history of the book, the history of the humanities and other adjacent fields. The empirical focus of the programme will be a series of comparative analyses of the public circulation of humanistic knowledge (broadly defined) in Sweden and the Federal Republic of Germany in the 1960s and 1970s.

“Knowledge in Motion” runs between 2019 and 2023, and is funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.


Crop Failure Disasters: Public Knowledge in Circulation and Transformation, Sweden 1695–1870

PI: Erik Bodensten

This project sets out to explore crop failure disasters as an important political, environmental and knowledge phenomenon during the transformative shift from pre-modernity to modernity. Based on a variety of different sources, this project aims to show how the multifaceted and growing field of knowledge concerning crop failure disasters changed and how different forms of knowledge regarding the phenomenon circulated in the Swedish media system, during the period of 1695–1870.

“Crop Failure Disasters” runs between 2018 and 2022, and is funded by the Swedish Research Council.


Rescue Operation “A Democratic Europe”: Émigré Central European social scientists in search of a stable social order, Great Britain 1933–1945.

PI: Lise Groesmeyer

This PhD project studies social scientists who came from Central Europe to Great Britain in the 1930s. It examines the impact of this relocation on what they put forward as social science knowledge, also in the 1940s, and how they, as a way of political participation, promoted specific ideas of social order in their text production and in acting otherwise in Great Britain in contexts related to their professional status.


Conceptual Circulation Between Religion and Science: “Observation”, “Visualizability” and “X” in Early Quantum Physics

Pl: Karolina Enquist Källgren

The aim of the study is to further our understanding of the role that religion played in the development of early quantum physics (before 1934). Drawing on earlier research that has pointed to the presence of religious influences in the works of for example Schrödinger and Heisenberg, the project investigates actual processes of circulation between theologians and physics at the Max Planck seminar in Berlin in the late 1920s. Rather than conceiving of the later statistical and calculus-based development of quantum physics as a shunning of religious questions, the project works with the hypothesis that calculus became a valid method because of the circulation of concepts between theology and physics.

“Conceptual Interchange Between Religion and Science” runs between 2018 and 2020 and is a post doc project funded by Lund University.


Mare Lutheranum: Book Market and Lutheran Confessional Culture around the Baltic Sea 1570–1620

PI: Kajsa Brilkman

The aim of the project is to highlight the circulation of texts among the Lutheran Societies in Northern Europe. The project applies insights from translations studies, book history and church history to unveil the transformation of Lutheran texts in transit and how a Lutheran confessional culture was negotiated in the texts. The source material consists of devotional literature and the period 1570–1620 represents the age of confessionalization.

“Mare Lutheranum” runs from 2016 to 2019, and is funded by the Swedish Research Council.


Futures for the people: The emergence and public influence of Swedish Futures Studies from the late 1960s to the late 1980s.

PI: Karl Haikola

This PhD project examines the public role of futures studies in Sweden, focusing mainly on the Swedish Secretariat for Futures Studies. The Secretariat was founded in the early 1970s with the purpose of exploring issues like economic growth, resources and global interdependencies in a long-term perspective. While earlier research has noted that the Secretariat was originally envisioned as a fundamentally democratic institution, tasked with the responsibility of producing knowledge and ideas for public circulation, little has been done to investigate to what extent this ambition was realized. The present project does this by analyzing not only the works produced by the Secretariat, but also the debates which these works either instigated or influenced. Furthermore, it seeks to highlight the tension between different methods of engaging with the future, particularly prognoses, scenarios and visions.