Eleonor Marcussen

Eleonor Marcussen

Post doctoral fellowship
Department of Cultural Sciences Faculty of Arts and Humanities
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Eleonor Marcussen is a MWK-COFUND Fellow at the Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies, University of Erfurt (Germany), September 2019-August 2020.

In September 2020, she will again join the Department of Cultural Sciences to continue as a Postdoctoral Fellow in History. She started at LNU as a postdoctoral fellow in the research group Huseby in the World (June 2018-May 2019) and will continue research with funding from the Crafoord Foundation and the Swedish Research Council.
Before she joined LNU she was a visiting researcher at the LNU Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies where she worked on a project about interwar pacifism and decolonization in South Asia between the world wars.

Previously she has taught World History as an Assistant Professor in History at North South University in Dhaka, Bangladesh (2017-2019) and been a Junior Research Fellow at the School of Ecology and Environment Studies at Nalanda University in Bihar and New Delhi (2013-2014).

She received her PhD in South Asian History from the South Asia Institute at Heidelberg University in Germany. Before starting her doctoral research, she studied Hindi, History of Religions and South Asian studies at Uppsala University and Lund University in Sweden.
At Heidelberg University her doctoral research was conducted in the research group 'Cultures of Disaster: Shifting Asymmetries Between Societies, Cultures, and Nature from a Comparative Historical and Transcultural Perspective' in the Cluster of Excellence 'Asia and Europe in a Global Context'. 
Related to the doctoral research project, she taught the course 'Natural Disasters in Late Colonial South Asia: Perceptions, Interpretations and Reactions' at the Department of History of the South Asia Institute at Heidelberg University.

In my forthcoming book (under contract with Cambridge University Press) 'Acts of Aid: Politics of Relief and Reconstruction in the Aftermath of the 1934 Bihar-Nepal Earthquake', I examine the organization of relief and reconstruction work by civil society and the state in India in the 1930s. In the field of historical disaster research, my interests span from the perceptions of risk to the introduction of new building technologies and the politicalization of disaster aftermaths. In the context of the growing internationalization of disaster aid in the 1930s, I currently work on a project about pacifism and decolonization in transnational networks in South Asia and Europe.


I supervise and examine undergraduate and graduate dissertation projects in History. Students interested in my research or with a dissertation topic in Global History, Environmental History or South Asian History are welcome to contact me for consultation. I am also interested in supervising dissertations on violence and pacifism.


Postdoctoral research project 2018-2019:
Joseph Stephens was one of many Europeans, mainly Danes and Germans, who bought agrarian lands in the south Sweden county of Småland as the economic crisis marked by poverty and emigration hit the region in the second half of the 19th century. In the late 1860s, Stephens purchased the large iron estate Huseby Bruk outside Växjö after having made a fortune as a railway contractor in colonial India and would come to infuse new life into the estate's business for the next decades. In the research project 'Huseby in the World' (Huseby i Världen) I look at how colonial networks and transfers of knowledge played a role in the development of the iron estate Huseby Bruk during Stephens' time.
When Stephens left India, he kept many documents from the railway construction business and correspondence in the attic at Huseby Bruk, only to be discovered and catalogued at Linnaeus University Library in 2008. Besides the papers of Joseph Stephens, Linnaeus University Library Archives hold a large collection of documents that show the history of Huseby Bruk across many hundred years, including a number of more limited archives of persons with close attachment to the estate during the 19th and 20th centuries. In my research, the papers of Joseph Stephens, his private papers and business documents from India as well as from the subsequent period in Sweden provide an important source for understanding the development of the estate in the larger context of colonial enterprise, industrialization and local economic changes that took place in the second half of the 19th century.