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Information for students, faculty and staff regarding COVID-19. (Updated: 26 February 2021)


News at UGPS

Jacqueline van Gent visiting professor at UGPS during May 2019
Published: 30 Apr, 2019

Associate Professor Jacqueline van Gent, Australia, is visiting Umeå Group for Premodern Studies during May.

New Book: Medicine and the Seven Deadly Sins in Late Medieval Literature and Culture

Virginia Langum has written a new book about bodies and souls, or medicine and religion in the Middle Ages.

News archive


Book release: Visions of North in Premodern Europe
D. Jørgensen, V. Langum (eds.)

Wednesday May 16, 2 p.m. The inner courtyard below the pentry in the Humanities building. There will be wine and snacks and a short round of lightening talks from departmental researchers on aspects of "North" in their research.


International Conference ISCH/UGPS Senses, Emotions and the Affective Turn: Recent Perspectives and New Challenges in Cultural History

The next annual conference of the International Society for Cultural History will be held in Umeå, Sweden, 26-29 June 2017.

The general theme this year is 'Senses, Emotions and the Affective Turn - Recent Perspectives and New Challenges in Cultural History'

The history of senses and emotions is an established and vibrant research field within cultural history which has brought new theoretical and methodological issues to the fore of historical and cultural analysis. The ISCH 2017 conference will promote a broad range of perspectives and themes in the history of senses and emotions, including both traditional analyses of representations and discourses and newer emphases on practices, materiality and historical phenomenology. We also want to discuss the even more radical return to bodies and materiality represented by the recent "affective turn". Inspired by Gilles Deleuze and a branch of neuroscience, some scholars distinguish between affect as an initial autonomic bodily response and emotion as part of cognitive meaning-making reflection. In this approach, focus is shifted from cognition and emotional codes to affective dispositions and practices rooted in the body. Is this sharp difference between affect and emotion a false dichotomy as claimed by its critics or a pathway towards a deeper understanding of the embodied and physical nature of the agency and lived experience of senses and emotions, and therefore integral to a historical phenomenology? We take up this question and other reflections on the "affective turn" as key themes for the theoretical and methodological sessions at the ISCH 2017 conference.


Workshop Woman and Credit in Preindustrial Europe
May 30-31, 2016 Venue: Umeå University, HUMlab-X

This symposium aims to address the role and involvement of women in credit transactions in early modern Europe.

That women made economic contributions to their households in the management, care, and sale of livestock and farm products, and in the production of textile items, is incontrovertible. But the significance and extent of their larger economic role has been neglected, especially when it comes to financial exchange and credit. Gender, as a category of historical analysis, is often absent from the concern of economic historians. And yet, women's role, not only as creditors but also as debtors, was significant, and informs us not only about the mechanisms of the local economy but also about patriarchy and gender within the community.

For the most part, however, we are still fundamentally ignorant of the extent of women's capacity to lend and borrow, of gendered practices related to credit, of women's access to credit, of the impact of female involvement in credit networks traditionally dominated by men, and of the effects of female participation in the economic life of their household and community.

One of the main objectives of this symposium is to compare and discuss women's participation in credit markets and highlight the characteristics, common mechanisms, similarities, discrepancies, and differences across various periods of time and regions.

In this symposium, invited scholars examine these issues and bring answers to questions such as: What was the extent of female credit capacity in terms of lending and borrowing? How did women participate in credit exchange in practice? Did specific legal, social, political and economic contexts both influence and have a greater impact on female participation and access in credit markets? What did female participation in the credit market mean for households and the community, especially with reference to the paradigm of patriarchy? Were women empowered by credit? How did women experience the transition to capitalism in terms of credit access and allocation?

This symposium is generously funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond



Antiquity Day 5-6 September
Two days of public lectures and open seminars on Classical Greek and Roman culture.



Special Issue of Scandinavian Journal of History
Special Issue on Gender, Material Culture and Emotions in Scandinavian History (41:3 2016) edited by Jacqueline van Gent and Raisa Maria Toivo, based on the UGPS workshop with the same title at Umeå University, May 27-28 2013.

Workshop Woman and Credit in Preindustrial Europe
May 30-31, 2016 Venue: Umeå University HUMlab-X


New research project
The project: Ambivalent emotions and conflicts between parent and child generations in early modern Sweden and Finland, has been granted 2.310.000SEK from Riksbanken 2016-2017.

Book release
Virginia Langum & Jonas Carlquist Words and Matter: the Virgin Mary in Late Medieval and Early Modern Parish Life. Runica et Mediævalia 2015

Workshop Gender and Status Competition in Premodern Societies Umeå University November 26-27 2015

Although many historical studies have explored relationships between gender and power, few have examined the intersections between gender and status competition. We define status competition here as any activity where individuals compete for superiority in status. In this study, we wish to focus on how gendered behaviours and appearances have been used as a means for status competition, and how such status competition shaped both intra and inter-gender hierarchies. We are particularly interested in the physicality and materiality of status competition, namely the ways in which gender and status were negotiated and performed through speech, emotions, gestures, facial expressions, body language, comportment and clothing as well as material objects and visualized symbols. A central aim of the workshop is to integrate theoretical perspectives on emotions and senses with gender analysis on a micro-sociological and inter-personal level.

We welcome inquiries from a broad range of multidisciplinary perspectives and methodologies on different historical societies and cultures before 1800 CE. Contributions based on digital methodologies are especially encouraged.

The workshop will be organized as working sessions and one or two keynotes/public lectures. Papers will be distributed beforehand. Participants will be invited to elaborate their papers to be selected and published in a volume by an international publisher.

Time: November 26-27, 2015 Venue: Umeå University, HUMLab X Organizers: UGPS Jonas Liliequist, Anna Foka and Lewis Webb.


Elise Dermineur at UGPS has been selected Pro Futura Scientia Fellow 2014

After a rigorous selection procedure Elise Dermineur has been admitted a Pro Futura Scientia Fellowship. Elise is the second of our post-doctors who has been admitted this fellowship during the two last years!
Dolly Jørgensen has been awarded 95.000 SEK for organizing the workshop Northern visions in the pre-modern era

RJ has agreed to fund our next workshop Northern visions in the pre-modern era with 95.000 kr. The workshop is a joint project by UGPS and Arctic Research Centre at Umeå University (Arcum) organized by Dolly Jørgensen at UGPS and Ecology and Environmental Studies. The workshop will be held in Umeå November 27-28, 2014.
Virginia Langum at UGPS is one of four Pro Futura researchers 2013

Virginia Langum, Umeå Group for Premodern Studies at Umeå University, has been chosen as one of a total of four Pro Futura researchers of 2013. Pro Futura is a post-doctoral programme for leading research providing particularly promising young researchers with an extended period of financing for independent research. The scientists selected are expected to belong to the future elite within their fields.

More information in Swedish

PhD student Helena Wangefelt Ström granted C M Lericis scholarship for 6 months in Italy

CM Lericis scholarship aims at strengthening the cultural connections between Italy and Sweden by creating opportunities for students at Swedish Universities to complete their studies in Italy. Helena will use the scholarship to spend time in Rome and Florens where she will search libraries and archives for material concerning Swedish 17th century travellers related to her dissertation project.
UGPS-historians part of 1 million € project

Svante Norrhem, professor of history and Elise Dermineur, post doc in history are part of the project "Marrying Cultures: Queens Consort and European Identities 1500-1800" which now has been granted 1 million € from HERA, Humanities in the European Research Area.
More information in Swedish

Workshop Gender and Status Competition in Premodern Societies
November 26-27, 2015 Venue: Umeå University, HUMLab X Organizers: UGPS Jonas Liliequist, Anna Foka and Lewis Webb
Read more

New book
Anna Foka & Jonas Liliequist Laughter, Humor and the (Un)making of Gender, New York: Palgrave Macmillan 2015