The purpose is to create a dynamic research training environment where supervisors and doctoral students meet across disciplinary, cultural, generational and geographic boundaries. By connecting traditional humanities studies with studies of global processes and expressions of human thought and creativity from all over the world, the programme aims to train researchers in the humanities who are competent to tackle some of the most important global challenges facing the world today. This aim is achieved through curiosity-based research, open and respectful scientific conversations, and collaboration with non-academic organisations and actors.
The doctoral students in the programme are trained in analysing historical and cultural processes from multivocal and intercultural perspectives by means of both traditional and novel scientific methods, including global archaeology, global history, world literature, postcolonial studies, digital humanities, human natural sciences, and futures literacy.
An important part of the four-year programme are research training courses (equivalent to 60 ECTS, corresponding to one year of fulltime study), which include both disciplinary specialisations and programme-wide courses in Global Humanities. Through the courses, the programme students are introduced to current theories and methods of relevance both to their individual discipline and the field of Global Humanities. The courses also allow the students to acquire skills in research project design and management, ethics, academic publishing, and research communication aimed at both scholarly and non-scholarly audiences.
A major feature of the programme is the emphasis on research focusing on the future and the emergence of new fields of knowledge to understand and manage change and uncertainty, based on an understanding of how past and contemporary practices are related to anticipation and future expectations.
- Elliott Berggren Doctoral student
- Beatriz Carlsson Pecharroman Doctoral student
- Martin van der Linden Doctoral student
- Franklin Martinez Doctoral student
- Maria Hasfeldt Long Doctoral student
- Tamara Ann Tinner Doctoral student
- Brinda Kumar Doctoral student
What is Global Humanities?
In recent years, many of the major disciplines in the humanities and social sciences have moved to become less Eurocentric and more global in terms of their empirical scope as well as in terms of theories, methods and perspectives. These tendencies are evident in, for example, the expansion over the past decades of environmental humanities, world archaeology, global history, world literature, postcolonial studies, and greater interest among researchers in religious studies in the global and transcultural aspects of religious doctrines and practices.
As a field of research and postgraduate training, Global Humanities aims to put these concurrent tendencies into conversation with one another and with other recent developments in the humanities, such as the possibilities offered by digital methods and materials, big data, new and creative forms of interdisciplinarity, visualization techniques, and natural scientific analyses and information.
A priority of Global Humanities research is to highlight non-European and Indigenous cultures and knowledge systems and to promote dialogue between these and the traditional humanities. In doing so, Global Humanities both challenges and develops the traditional humanities disciplines, and stimulates comparative, cross-border, intercultural, and interdisciplinary research.
The central premisses of Global Humanities and of the programme are:
- the ambition to make decisive contributions to the understanding of global processes through theoretically and empirically based and curiosity-driven research;
- the striving to transcend boundaries and challenge methodological nationalism, that is, the tendency to more or less unreflectively take the nation-state as the empirical and analytical framework for research;
- the effort to explore new ways of understanding cultural identity beyond essentialism through research-based knowledge;
- the desire to overcome presentism, that is, the tendency to unreflectively assume that the ideas, values, and perspectives of today are applicable to historical or future societies;
- theoretical awareness, innovation, and openness to interdisciplinary and other cross-border theories and perspectives;
- a scientifically based questioning of Eurocentric ideas and ontologies with the ambition to critically integrate other parts of the world and non-European perspectives in the study of global processes;
- a focus on cultural encounters and interaction between different communities and on the relationship between humans and their natural environment;
- the knowledge that the humanities are essential for understanding and addressing the global challenges facing the world today and in the future.
Programme Structure and Syllabus
The programme comprises four years of full-time study. Of these four years, three years (180 ECTS, or credits) consists of thesis work, whereas one year (60 credits) consists of obligatory and elective courses (see below). Depending on the needs of the university, doctoral students may also to a limited extent work with education, (artistic) research assistance, or administration, in which case the period of employment will be extended proportionally. Such work may not exceed 20 per cent of full-time work.
Doctoral students will be assigned a main supervisor, usually a senior member (professor or associate professor) of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, a co-supervisor, and an examiner. At the start of the Ph.D. training, students will make an individual study plan, which will be revised and followed up by the Doctoral Supervisory Committee (handledarkollegium) at least once a year. For more information about the organisation and practical matters related to the doctoral programme, see the information for doctoral students at the website of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.
The programme organises the following activities in which all doctoral students are required to participate throughout their enrolment in the programme:
- an introductory week at the start of the four-year cycle;
- regular research seminars about twice per month, at which the doctoral students present and discuss their research, as well as the research of invited speakers and published work;
- obligatory programme courses comprising altogether 30 credits (see further below);
- week-long retreats once per semester at which all doctoral students and supervisors gather to discuss each other’s research and the progress of the students’ thesis work;
- special programme days on specific themes of relevance to the field of Global Humanities or the progress and career of the programme students.
In addition, students follow the syllabus (general study plan) for their respective discipline, which contains additional obligatory courses and other requirements. For more information about these, see:
For archaeology, history, and religious studies:
General syllabus for third-cycle studies in subject within cultural sciences
For comparative literature:
General syllabus for third-cycle education in the field of literary studies
In addition to participating actively in the programme activities, students are also expected to contribute to the research environment of their respective departments (the Department of Cultural Sciences for doctoral students in archaeology, history, and religious studies and the Department of Film and Literature or the Department of Languages for doctoral students in comparative literature).
Depending on their research interest and the orientation of their thesis, students may also be members of a research centre or network at the faculty, such as:
- the Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies
- the Linnaeus University Centre for Intermedial and Multimodal Studies
- the Centre for Applied Heritage
- the UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures
- the Archaeothanatology Working Group
- the Medieval Forum Linnaeus
- the Digital Humanities Project
The programme is international and designed to promote diversity in terms of origin, background, and gender. Applicants of any nationality, based anywhere in the world at the time of the application, are welcome to apply. Due to its international character, the postgraduate program in Global Humanities brings together teachers, supervisors and doctoral students with different national and cultural backgrounds.
All participants are expected to collaborate in creating the conditions for intercultural and interdisciplinary collaboration and mutual exchange based on respect and willingness to understand others’ arguments, perspectives and opinions. In this way, the international and multicultural aspects of the program are utilized and used to increase the quality of postgraduate education and stimulate new thinking and cross-border science.
The working language is English, and that recruitment of doctoral students takes place through open international competition. In addition to solid knowledge of English, it is also desirable that the program's teachers and doctoral students possess additional language skills to ensure contact with other language areas and scientific discourses than the Anglophone.
Conditions for Admission
All of the following eligibility requirements must be fulfilled in order to be admitted to the programme.
General entry requirements according to the Swedish Higher Education Ordinance (Chapter 7, Section 39):
A person meets the general entry requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if he or she:
- has been awarded a second-cycle qualification
- has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second-cycle, or
- has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.
Specific entry requirements according to the requirements of Linnaeus University:
- has proficiency in English, corresponding to the general requirements to be eligible for university studies in Sweden (at the bachelor’s level). See further the information provided by the Swedish Council for Higher Education.
AND one of the following:
- has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 120 credits in archaeology or the equivalent, of which at least 30 credits must be at second-cycle level, including one independent project of least 15 credits, or equivalent knowledge acquired in some other way in Sweden or abroad
- has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 120 credits in comparative literature (or English, French or German oriented toward literature), of which at least 30 credits must be at second-cycle level including one independent project of at least 15 credits, or equivalent knowledge acquired in some other way in Sweden or abroad
- has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 120 credits in history or the equivalent, of which at least 30 credits must be at second-cycle level including one independent project of at least 15 credits, or equivalent knowledge acquired in some other way in Sweden or abroad
- has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 120 credits in the religious studies or the history of religions or the equivalent, of which at least 30 credits must be at second-cycle level including one independent project of at least 15 credits, or equivalent knowledge acquired in some other way in Sweden or abroad.
For more information about specific eligibility and additional information about the education, see the general study plans for education at third-cycle level (see links above).
Terms of Employment
Doctoral students are normally employed on temporary full-time contracts but there may also to a limited extent be possibilities for prospective students who have other means of supporting themselves to be admitted to the programme.
For more information about salaries and work conditions for doctoral students at Linnaeus University, see the local collective agreement for doctoral students (only available in Swedish). For information about announcements of doctoral student positions, see the information about jobs and vacancies at the university’s website.
The following courses provide training and skills in Global Humanities and are obligatory for the doctoral students in the programme. The courses are normally taken during the first and second year of enrolment. In addition to these courses, there are also obligatory discipline-specific courses as regulated by the syllabus for each discipline (see the general study plans above).
Theory and Philosophy of Science for Global Humanities (7,5 credits)
Course occasion: Autumn 2022
Course description: Theory and Philosophy of Science for Global Humanities
The course introduces some of the key theoretical frameworks and concepts of relevance to the field of Global Humanities, such as dependence and world systems theory, spatial theory, and critical and postcolonial perspectives.
Planning and Implementation of Research Projects (4 credits)
Course occasion: Autumn 2022
Course description: Planning and Implementation of Research Projects
The course provides students with basic tools for planning, directing and concretizing their doctoral and other research projects with regard to purpose, state of the art, research questions, theory, method, ethics and implementation. The course also provides basic skills in writing applications for externally funded research projects from national and international funders and in collaboration with non-academic partners.
Applied Research Ethics in Global Humanities (3 credits)
Course occasion: Spring 2023
The course introduces different types of research ethics problems and considerations as well as the concept of good research practice with a focus on both general research ethics aspects, such as honesty and integrity issues, and issues that are of particular relevance to the field of Global Humanities. The course also provides basic skills in completing applications for research ethics testing in relation to Swedish and international regulations and norms.
Methods for Global Humanities (7,5 credits)
Course occasion: Autumn 2023
The course gives the students basic skills in applying scientific methods of relevance to the field of Global Humanities and for analysing global processes and challenges. The course is applied and skills-oriented and addresses both qualitative and quantitative methods as well as digital humanities and natural science methods. The course promotes inter-disciplinary literacy and provides a basis for the doctoral students to immerse themselves in the methods that are most relevant to their dissertation project after completing the course
Futures Literacy (4,5 credits)
Course occasion: Spring 2024
The course develops the students' theoretical and methodological knowledge in the field of Futures Literacy. During the course, the students' future awareness is trained, based on the premise that the future is a collection of contemporary practices in which notions of the future are continuously realized. The course provides doctoral students with basic skills in analysing and understanding relationships between present and future societies in global perspectives.
Academic Publishing and Research Communication (3,5 credits)
Course occasion: Spring 2024
The course trains the students' ability to communicate their scientific results to both academic and non-academic audiences. It contains applied elements and trains the doctoral students' ability to convey research results with the help of text, speech, image, film, interactive digital tools and social media.
Organisation and Coordination
The programme is led by a committee consisting of the programme director and co-directors, all main supervisors of the students of the programme, and a student representative. The committee meets at least three times per semester.
The day-to-day operations of the programme is coordinated by a director who is assisted by two co-directors and a research secretary. Currently these are:
Director: Professor Stefan Eklöf Amirell
Co-director responsible for course coordination: Professor Jonas Svensson
Co-director responsible for seminars and retreats: Dr Eleonora Poggio
Research Secretary: Ms Carina Boman and Ms Ylva Forell Gustavsson
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