Lisa Svanfeldt-Winter

Visiting Research Fellow


I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of History at Stockholm University,

Sweden, and a visiting research fellow at King’s College.

In my current project, I study a debate on the shape of Earth in 19th century Britain.

Scholars and professionals applying astronomical knowledge, such as seafarers, defended

conventional astronomical knowledge. The challengers were a mixed group of public

speakers, publishers etc, claiming that Earth was flat. Both sides argued that they had obtained their knowledge in a more objective, rational and empirical way than the other. I am interested in how the debaters tried to convince their audience, often by highlighting seemingly the same scientific ideals, and how the debate could continue even after joint experiments had confirmed the stance of the scholars and professionals. The project is funded by Anna Ahlströms och Ellen Terserus stiftelse and runs from January 2021 to December 2022.

For my doctoral dissertation, Where Scholars are Made (2019), I studied how young folklorists acted in order to gain recognition as good scholars in their field in early 20th century Finland. I argued that a folklorist’s persona was formed in a variety of academic contexts, often beyond university walls. Different contexts formed different dimensions of the scholars’ persona, and the practices in each context carried their own gendered implications. The autumn semester 2017, I was a visiting PhD student at the Department of Folklore at Tartu University, Estonia.

After receiving my PhD, I have worked in an anthology project on letters as sources in the study of emotions in academia, and a smaller project on female scholars’ international travel and connections. I have also taught on courses in modern history and supervised bachelor theses in gender history and history of knowledge.

Recent Publications:

Svanfeldt-Winter, Where Scholars are Made. Gendered Arenas of Persona Formation in Finnish Folkloristics, 1918–1932. Stockholm University Press (Stockholm, 2019).

Svanfeldt-Winter, “Writing a folklorist’s persona in the field: How defining the object of study defines the scholar”. Peer-reviewed article, Persona Studies (1:2018).

Svanfeldt-Winter, “Kansakouluun sopimattomaksi katsotut oppilaat Turussa 1921–1939. Apukouluun siirtojen perustelut sukupuoli- ja luokkanäkökulmasta” [“Pupils considered unsuitable for elementary school. Arguments for special school transfers from a gender and class perspective”]. Peer-reviewed article, Ennen ja Nyt (3:2016).


Grants, Awards, and Prizes:

2020     Anna Ahlström och Ellen Terserus Stiftelse. Two-year postdoc grant.

2019     Åke Wiberg Stiftelse. Research grant.

2019     Birgit och Gad Rausings Stiftelse för Humanistisk Forskning. Research grant.

2017     Helge Ax:son Johnsons Stiftelse. Grant for language editing of the dissertation.

2017     The Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities. Internationalisation scholarship.

2016     Makarna Strandbers Stiftelse. Award for best master’s thesis on the history of Turku.

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