Initially a ten-member project funded by the Swedish Research Council in 2010, the Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies is one of six prominent research environments at Linnaeus University. As an interdisciplinary centre, it brings together twenty Linnaeus University researchers, from graduate students to full professors, in eight disciplines: Archaeology, Comparative Literature, English Literature, French Literature, History, the Study of Religions, Social Work, and Sociology.
The Centre hosts regular seminars, workshops, conferences and other research activities. A guest researcher program was established in 2012, which to date has allowed around forty scholars − including many from the Global South and Indigenous groups − to spend between one and six months at the Centre. Each semester contains a two-day workshop focused on a specific concept or topic, with invited guests or in collaboration with other leading research centres and institutions in the fields of Colonial and Postcolonial Studies and Global History.
Most of the Centre's research is organized into research clusters: the Cluster for Colonial Connections and Comparisons, the Cluster for migration, citizenship, and belonging, and the Aesthetics of Empire Research Cluster.
What is Colonial and Postcolonial Studies?
The interdisciplinary field of Colonial and Postcolonial Studies analyzes the human consequences of colonial and other forms of domination throughout the history of the world, particularly on those dispossessed and marginalized by colonial and imperial expansion. Researchers in the field analyse meetings and clashes between different cultures and identities, primarily in the context of European overseas expansion from the fifteenth century onwards. By taking into account multiple experiences and perspectives in the study of global history and culture, a multifaceted view on both the history of colonialism and its legacies in the present world can be constructed.
Colonial and Postcolonial Studies takes a critical stance, not only against colonialism and its legacies as such, but also against how the history of colonialism and cultural encounters has been written in different parts of the world. The field also aims to highlight the occluded and subaltern aspects of colonialism, as well as the persistence of colonial forms of exploitation, oppression and violence in the contemporary world. A particular source of inspiration for the field of Colonial and Postcolonial Studies as practiced at the Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences is Indigenous Studies, which focuses on the historical and contemporary experiences of Indigenous Nations around the world. In doing so, the field challenges mainstream research in history and other disciplines by adding novel perspectives and critical standpoints and by giving voice to holistic forms of knowledge and alternative ways of understanding and relating to the world.
The Framework of Concurrences
Research at the Centre revolves around the concept of Concurrences as developed by Professor Gunlög Fur and her colleagues at Linnaeus University. Taking colonial encounters as the starting point of the investigation, Concurrences directs attention to the uneasy relationship that has existed between universalism and human diversity in an increasingly globalized world since the onset of European overseas expansion. It is in encounters that fundamental cultural differences become visible, both to the actors involved and to historians. However, whereas colonial encounters in general have been studied from Eurocentric perspectives – with Europeans cast as active and non-Europeans as passive or reactive − a central purpose of the Concurrences framework is to promote a more balanced and empirically sound historiography of global encounters throughout modern history. Doing so means taking into account the multiple voices and hidden aspects of historical encounters, including events and interpretations of the world that were forgotten, ignored, purged, oppressed or eliminated from the official or dominant versions of history.
As a theoretical concept, Concurrences recognizes both confluence and competition, and insists that any understanding of the world take into account both entanglements and tensions between jurisdictions of equal weight. Concurrences suggests that different perspectives and locations are always, inescapably, entangled and that human beings constantly negotiate the different, and sometimes incompatible, demands arising out of these concurrent conditions. The word 'concurrence' is not only synonymous with 'simultaneous' (Sw. samtidighet) which is a frequently employed concept in contemporary research. Both 'concurrence' and 'simultaneity' mean 'the temporal property of two things happening at the same time'. 'Concurrent', however, contains several other meanings that give it a slightly different, but significant, tinge. In addition to 'occurring or existing simultaneously' it can mean 'having equal authority or jurisdiction,' and 'tending to or intersecting at the same point.' In an archaic noun-form it means 'a rival or competitor' (Sw. konkurrent). While the English verb 'concur', at the root of both the noun 'concurrence' and the adjective 'concurrent', has the connotation of agreement and acceptance, the Swedish noun 'konkurrens' still denotes competition.
The term Concurrences thus contains in its reservoir of meanings both agreement and competition, entanglement and incompatibility as it slides uneasily across time and space. It signals contestations over interpretations and harbors different, diverging, and at times competing claims that will inflect studies of themes such as home, traveling, subjectivity-identity, voice, and space. A focus on Concurrences, rather than simultaneity, challenges scholars to grapple with the universalizing perspectives contained in colonialist claims and modernizing imperatives, wherever they occur. Against this background, the researchers at the Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies aim to account for intersections, contentions, imbalances, and bridge-building as part of the manner in which human beings narrate and engage with their world(s).
For a more thorough discussion of the concept of Concurrences and some examples of its research applications, see Diana Brydon, Peter Forsgren & Gunlög Fur (eds.), Concurrent Imaginaries, Postcolonial Worlds: Toward Revised Histories (Leiden: Brill 2017).
Concurrences' Advisory board consists of leading scholars within postcolonial studies and studies of colonial encounters who represent a variety of academic disciplines:
News and Events
The Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies has a guest researcher program for scholars in the Humanities and Social Sciences focusing on Colonial and Postcolonial Studies. The guest researcher program enables scholars from all over the world and at all career levels, from PhD candidates to full professors, to visit the Centre for a period of between one and three months. To date around forty scholars have visited the Centre as guest researchers.
Guest researcher visits should aim to establish or develop existing joint research activities with one or several members of the Centre. Guest researchers are expected to participate in the activities of the Centre and its research clusters and to contribute to the academic environment of LNUC Concurrences during their visit. Priority will be given to guest researcher visits that are of strategic importance to LNUC Concurrences and are of high relevance to the research orientation of the Centre and its members.
Researchers who are interested in visiting LNUC Concurrences as guest researchers should preferably contact a member of the Centre with whom they collaborate, or would like to collaborate, and ask that member to sponsor an application for a guest researcher visit. Alternatively, an inquiry may be sent to the Director of LNUC Concurrences, Stefan Eklöf Amirell. Sponsored applications for guest researcher visits can be submitted by a member of the Centre at any time during the year and are normally processed within three months.
The guest researcher positions are non-salaried and presupposes that the visiting researcher has a salary or bursary from his or her home institution. The Centre provides office space and access to the research activities of the Centre. The Centre can also provide basic accommodation and funds to cover travel and extra living expenses during the guest research visit.
For more information about the application procedure and conditions for guest researcher program, please contact the Centre’s Administration Officer.
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- The Linnaeus University Centre Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies announces research grants News
- Digital exhibition celebrates 18th April – International Day for Monuments and Sites News
- Birgit Tremml-Werner receives the Mattingly Award 2021 News
- New volume: Translanguaging and Disciplinary Language in the Individual, at School and in Society News
- Towards novel methods for environmental and social sustainability in the future News
The research at the Centre is organized around three thematic research clusters, with most members of the Centre belonging to one or two of the currently three research clusters. The clusters organize seminars, workshops, guest lectures and other activities designed to stimulate synergy and collaboration between cluster members and associated members at other universities in Sweden and worldwide.
Aesthetics of Empire Research Cluster In the age of climate emergency, global inequality, and – most recently – the uneven effects of pandemic illness, it is increasingly clear that the way people and…
Cluster for Colonial Connections and Comparisons The Research Cluster for Colonial Connections and Comparisons aims to uncover the complex links that operated within and across the borders of empires…
Cluster for Migration, Citizenship, and Belonging The cluster focuses on questions of belonging and difference in multicultural societies in the wake of (de-) colonisation and globalisation.
Cluster for Nordic Colonialism The Research Cluster for Nordic Colonialism within the Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies investigated how the European…
Doctoral project: Concurrent Muslim Orthodoxies – Transnationalism and religious diversity in a Swedish city The project studies the significance of ethnic and denominational diversity among Swedish…
Doctoral project: The making of the Filipino/a "homosexual" This doctoral project aims to investigate the history of how non-normative genders and sexualities were medicalized and pathologized in the…
Doctoral project: Towards Decolonial/Gaelic Aesthesis: Delinking from Anglocentrism, Predatory Extractivism and the Coloniality of Perception in Éirinn This doctoral project investigates the triadic…
Project: “Let’s talk about condoms”: Sexual health, migration and the possibilities of social solidarity The project explores the ambivalences surrounding sexual health and migration, and how these…
Project: A culture of honor and Islam in Swedish public discourse The project is a computer-assisted text analysis of continuity and change in Swedish public discourse on the relation between a…
Project: A worthy reception? Social work with of refugees and migrants. Asylum reception is characterized by rapidly changing conditions as well as by a complex structure of receiving actors and…
Project: Asylum interviews in South Africa and Sweden: Experiences, interpretations, and negotiations This project seeks to investigate and compare the asylum procedure in two countries, South Africa…
Project: Captain Jack's riding whip – Swedish emigrants and indigenous peoples in North America A riding whip belonging to the Modoc leader Captain Jack is one the treasures at the Ethnographic Museum…
Project: Communication with non-Swedish speaking clients and patients The purpose of the study is to map how primary care and social services staff handle communication with patients who have…
Project: Concurrent forces in the Banda Sea; Colonialism, trade, and local strategies on the edge of the Indonesian Archipelago The aim of the project is to explore concurrent understandings of…
Project: Cultural dialogue via an interpreter The purpose of this project is to improve interpreted encounter that takes place in public service settings between professionals and non-Swedish speaking…
Project: Empathy and the students’ intercultural competence in teaching literature in French Foreign Language About the project Project manager Kirsten Husung This individual research project in the…
Project: Encountering Diplomacy in Early Modern Southeast Asia: Actors, Practices, Translation This project examines negotiations and cross-cultural communication in maritime Southeast Asia between…
Project: Ethical Entanglements – The caring for human remains in museums and research Research on human remains is a part of a long scientific tradition. Today museums are the custodians of extensive…
Project: Future Food Cultures in the Anthropocene The dominant global diet is a major contributor to the climate crisis. A transformation faces considerable practical problems, but is also a major…
Project: Generating hope and dealing with uncertainty: An ethnographic study of the social dimensions of hope in the Swedish asylum-seeking context This project will study issues of hope and…
Project: Global and postcolonial comics This project investigates contemporary developments in comics and graphic novels from a global perspective, with a focus on issues of identity and migration.…
Project: Imperial Expansion and Intercultural Diplomacy: Treaty-making in Southeast Asia, c.1750−1920 This collaborative research project in Global and Diplomatic History investigates the often…
Project: Intermediaries in Imperial Expansion: Connections and Encounters on the U.S. Frontiers, 1876–1916 The project focuses on a U.S. Cavalry officer, Hugh Lenox Scott (1853–1934), a…
Project: Making mission families The purpose of this project is to investigate how ideas and practises concerning family, household and home are constructed and negotiated within Scandinavian…
Project: Materialising Violence: Speculative Fiction and New Cultures of Resistance from Sub-Saharan Africa This project considers representations of socio-economic and -ecological violence in…
Project: Narratives of Empire In this project we study how postcolonial and decolonial ideas are conveyed in popular culture.
Project: Power structures and resistance in 1900s and 2000s novels from the north of Sweden This project deals with a number of Swedish authors and texts that thematise and combine issues on…
Project: Reprisal and retribution: Economic warfare and its concurrent effects in New Spain, 1635-1698 The project will assess the political significance of the American provinces in Spain’s global…
Project: Shaping foreignness. The effects of state agency on social categorization processes in colonial Latin America, 1590-1700 This project in global migration history investigates the role of…
Project: Social wounds and civil repair following forced migration – a case study of narratives of suffering, ethics and morals among Swedish volunteers, social workers and young migrants
Project: Statelessness and political belonging in a world of nation-states This research project investigates statelessness and political belonging in a world of unequal nation-states and citizenship…
Project: The Aru Islands: Trade, beliefs and colonial encounters on the fringe of Indonesia The project focuses on a part of the Moluccas in present-day Indonesia, the Aru Islands. These islands are…
Project: To map oneself in a colonised world. Swedish travel literature 1919-1939 and the global legacies of the Enlightenment The aim of the project is to examine how the Swedish travel literature…
Project: Tracks through nature – the railways and environmental consequences of colonial infrastructure in India, c. 1860-1870 By focusing on environmental conditions and resources, this project…
Project: Transgression of the Law of Silence and Transmission in Le corps de ma mère of Fawzia Zouari About the project Project manager Kirsten Husung In this individual project within the field of…
Project: Young Southern Speculatives: New Decolonialisms in the Capitalocene This project identifies a new eco-speculative strand of world literature written by young authors from the Global South –…
Completed Research Projects
Doctoral project: Rule by Association: Japan in the Global Trans-Imperial Culture 1868-1912 This PhD project highlights Japan's engagement with globally-circulating colonial ideas and practices during…
Project: Concurrent Imaginaries, Postcolonial Worlds. Toward Revised Histories This collection of original essays offer new postcolonial approaches to exploring the richness of concurrences as both a…
Project: Field Methods Community Projects Three projects carried out for civil society and local government organisations in Växjö and Uppvidinge. The projects were carried out by teams of masters…
Project: Historyscapes in Alor – Approaching indigenous histories in eastern Indonesia The thesis deals with history and uses of history on the Indonesian island Alor. Mainly it draws on interviews…
Project: Huseby in the World Joseph Stephens was one of many young Scandinavian men in the 1860s who chose to make a career in colonial India. The British Empire’s large work market, characterized by…
Project: iBali – democratising knowledge through creative storytelling in urban African schools The aim of iBali is to establish an international network in Africa that applies arts and humanities…
Project: Northern Sweden as a colony and as utopia The colonization and decolonization of Northern Sweden (Norrland) was intensely discussed during some decades in the late 19th and early 20th…
Project: Sovereignty and the Suppression of Piracy in Maritime Southeast Asia, c.1850-1910 The suppression of piracy and other forms of maritime violence was a keystone in the colonisation of…
Project: The Borders of Humanity: Linnaean Natural Historians and the Colonial Legacies of the Enlightenment In this project we explore how the formation of ethnographic knowledge gave rise to an idea…
Project: The India-China Corridor The large trans-border region, connecting Bengal in India, Bangladesh, Burma/Myanmar, and Yunnan in China to each other, has been shaped by multiple polities under…
Networks and Collaborative Work
Researchers at Linnaeus University
Researchers at Lnu
- Stefan Eklöf Amirell Professor
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- Anna Baral
- Marie Bennedahl
- +46 470-70 82 41
- Gunnel Cederlöf Professor
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- Eóin Ó Cuinneagáin Doctoral student
- Rebecca Duncan Post doctoral fellowship
- Barzoo Eliassi Associate Professor
- +46 480-44 62 93
- Torun Elsrud Associate Professor
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- Peter Forsgren Professor
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- Mike Classon Frangos Senior lecturer
- +46 470-70 82 96
- Gunlög Fur Professor, Deputy vice-chancellor responsible for sustainability
- +46 470-70 84 99
- Malin Gregersen Analyst
- +46 470-70 88 10
- Kristina Gustafsson Associate Professor
- +46 470-70 86 47
- +46 70-290 83 27
- Kirsten Husung Senior lecturer
- +46 470-70 85 35
- Hans Hägerdal Professor, subject representative
- +46 470-70 82 75
- +46 72-594 12 73
- Johan Höglund Professor
- +46 480-44 73 71
- +46 73-036 09 59
- Gustav Larsson Doctoral student
- +46 480-44 63 37
- Eleonor Marcussen Post doctoral fellowship
- +46 470-70 83 21
- +46 72-213 68 18
- Eleonora Poggio Researcher
- Åsa Nilsson Skåve Senior lecturer
- +46 470-70 89 29
- Liv Nilsson Stutz Professor
- +46 480-44 61 98
- Lisa Ottosson Visiting senior lecturer
- Kiel Ramos Suarez Doctoral student
- Jonas Svensson Professor
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- +46 72-594 14 84
- Åsa Trulsson Senior lecturer
- +46 470-70 86 67
- Birgit Tremml Werner Researcher
- +46 470-70 83 59
Guest researchers 2021
- Amrita Ghosh, LNU and SASNET, Sweden
Guest researchers 2020
- Amrita Ghosh, LNU and SASNET, Sweden
- Forrest Hylton,Universidad Nacional de Colombia-Sede Medellín, Colombia
- Mikko Toivanen, European University Institute, Italy
Guest researchers 2019
- Hannah Durkin, Newcastle University, United Kingdom
- Aleksi Huhta, University of Turku, Finland
- Malica S Willie,
- Maria Lindebaeck Lindsoe, Köpenhavns Universitet, Danmark
- Anindya Sekhar Purakayastha, Kazi Nazrul University, India
- Isabella Mundim, Instituto Federal Brasilia
- Silje Dragsund AAse, VID, Stavanger
Guest researchers 2018
- Bruce Buchan, University of Griffith, Australia
- Stephen Pihlaja, Newman University, United Kingdom
- Eleonor Marcussen, North South University, Bangladesh
- Kenneth Long, University of Saint Joseph, USA
- Niladri Chatterjee, North South University, Bangladesh
- Kathryn Seymour, University of Griffith, Australia
- Mieke Bal, University of Amsterdam
- Harjeet Badwall, York University, Canada
- Rebecca Duncan, Stirling University, United Kingdom
- Fatuma Omer Ali, Marmara University, Turkey
Guest researchers 2017
- Iain Chambers, University of Naples L'Orientale, Italy
- Gabriella Elgenius, Göteborgs universitet, Sweden
- Malin Gregersen, Universitetet i Bergen, Norway
- Ivan Sablin, National Research University, Russia
- Ana Grgic, University of the Arts, United Kingdom
Guest researchers 2016
- Ernest Pineteh Angu, Cape Peninsula, South Africa
- Jaqueline van Gent, University of Western Australia, Australia
- Raphael Hörmann, University of Central Lancashire, United Kingdom
- Dhiraj Nite, Ambedkar University, India
- Yvonne Reddick, The University of Central Lancashire, UK
- Hilda Härgestam Strandberg, Umeå universitet, Sweden
- Malica S. Willie, University of the West Indies, Barbados
Guest researchers 2015
- Bruce Buchan, Griffith University, Australia
- Paul Giffard-Foret, La Sorbonne University, France
- Kristian Van Haesendonck, University of Antwerpen, Belgium
- Ingeborg Høvik, The Arctic University of Norway, Norway
- Radhika Krishnan, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India
- Erica Lombard, Oxford University, United Kingdom
- Mohammad Sakhnini, University of Exeter, United Kingdom
- Isabel Cristina Sá Valentim, University of Coimbra, Portugal
Guest researchers 2014
- Alexander Bubb, Oxford University, United Kingdom
- Ashleigh Harris, Uppsala universitet, Sweden
- Lucienne Loh, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom
Guest researchers 2013
- Diana Brydon, University of Manitoba, Canada
- Wumi Raji, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
One of the most important tasks of the Centre for Concurrences is the training of the next generation of researchers, and to date four students associated with the Centre have completed their PhD theses in the field of Colonial and Postcolonial Studies. Currently, three PhD student are attached to the Centre. Furthermore, a Master's Program in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies started at Linnaeus University in 2020.
Doctoral students working in the field of Colonial and Postcolonial Studies based at Linnaeus University are attached to the Centre while completing their doctoral thesis in one of the Humanities disciplines of the Centre (Archaeology, Comparative Literature, English Literature, History, or the Study of Religions). The PhD candidates take part in the Centre's regular activities, such as seminars and workshops, and benefit from a vibrant research environment.
Admission to the PhD programs at Linnaeus University is in principle linked to a four-year employment as a PhD student. Positions are announced at the Linnaeus University employment website. In addition, PhD candidates wishing to pursue a PhD program at their own expense may, in extraordinary circumstances, be admitted to a PhD program at Linnaeus University and be affiliated with the Centre.
For more information about pursuing a PhD in the field of Colonial and Postcolonial Studies at Linnaeus University, please contact Åse Magnusson.
Completed PhD Projects
A MA-program in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies was launched in September 2020. The program is given in English by the Department of Cultural Sciences at Linnaeus University with teachers mainly drawn from the members of Centre for Concurrences.
Postcolonial and Decolonial Perspectives on the Covid-19 Pandemic
There is little doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic affects communities and nations across the world in different ways, and that the world’s poor are going to experience this crisis much more keenly than people belonging to affluent communities. As a postcolonial research centre, Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies will help monitor the development of the crisis. Under this temporary heading, you will find articles that highlight the dispersed and uneven impact of the crisis in Swedish and global society. It should be noted that many of these items are news articles or opinion pieces, and as such they have not been peer reviewed before publication.
- Corona perspectives: Covid-19 in Venezuela News
- Corona perspectives: Millions of children in South Asia risking poverty due to the Covid-19 pandemic News
- Corona perspectives: Covid-19 and Racial Inequality in Brazil News
- Corona perspectives: Racism and Covid-19: The Experience of Indigenous People in Asia News
- Corona perspectives: Race, fear, colonialism and Covid-19 News
- Corona perspectives: Covid-19 and racialized groups in the UK News
- Corona perspectives: Covid-19 affecting African Americans especially hard News
- Corona perspectives: Gender equality and Covid-19 News
- Corona perspectives: Gender and Covid-19 News
- Corona perspectives: Covid-19 and vulnerable children News
The top image is taken by Phil Botha and published at Unsplash.com.