I am a historian of the Enlightenment and Linnaean natural history. My research is focused on the exchange of scientific, economic and cultural thought between British and Scandinavian intellectuals in the Enlightenment period, and the importance of colonial and nation-building encounters with marginalised and indigenous social groups in the development of these thought exchanges. My key areas of research are: Carl Linnaeus’s influence on Enlightenment thought; knowledge formation and networks; the history of science, medicine and anthropology; British and Scandinavian colonial histories; the history of museums and ethnographic exhibitions.
I received my Ph.D in History at the University of Edinburgh in 2012. I was then awarded the Simon Fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of Edinburgh in 2012-2013. I have been at Linnaeus University since 2013.
My current project is The Borders of Humanity: Linnaean Natural Historians and the Colonial Legacies of the Enlightenment. It is funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (2016-2019) and also employs a researcher at Griffith University in Australia, Associate Professor Bruce Buchan. The project analyses the intellectual amalgamation of Linnaean natural history and the Scottish stadial theory of historical progress and how this intellectual framework was communicated to students of medicine and natural history at the University of Edinburgh in the eighteenth century. We study how these students, who travelled and worked extensively throughout Britain’s empire in the decades that followed, reflected on human diversity in colonial contexts and how they constructed humanity as a domain with variable boundaries (including or excluding apes and ‘monsters’ for instance) and in which humanity was also internally differentiated by judgements about who was fully human or not quite human. You can read some of the research this project has produced in a special issue of The History of the Human Sciences: https://journals.sagepub.com/toc/hhs/current
Previously, I led a project funded by the Swedish Research Council entitled The Sámi in the Atlantic World. This was part of the larger research program Collecting Sápmi: Early Modern Globalization of Sámi Material Culture and Contemporary Sámi Cultural Heritage. In this project I analysed how Sámi people featured in scientific tracts and popular culture in Britain in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and how they were part of a transnational colonial exchange of commercial goods and ideas between European collectors and commentators.
My research is part of the Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, a Centre of Excellence within Linnaeus University. At the centre I convene a research cluster on Nordic Colonialism.
Kulturmöten och kulturpolitik 4KV411
Teoretiska Traditioner inom Humaniora 4KV401
Colonial Histories and Postcolonial Theories 4HI491
I also supervise and examine students in a number of History courses.
My research groups and projects
Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies The Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies is a leading centre for Colonial an…
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 …
Article in journal (Refereed)
- Buchan, B., Andersson Burnett, L. (2019). Knowing Savagery : Australia and the Anatomy of Race. History of the Human Sciences.
- Buchan, B., Andersson Burnett, L. (2019). Knowing savagery : Humanity in the circuits of colonial knowledge. History of the Human Sciences.
- Andersson Burnett, L. (2019). Translating Swedish colonialism : Johannes Schefferus’s Lapponia in Britain c. 1674-1800. Scandinavian Studies. 91. 134-162.
- Höglund, J., Andersson Burnett, L. (2019). Introduction : Nordic Colonialisms and Scandinavian Studies. Scandinavian Studies. 91. 1-12.
- Andersson Burnett, L. (2014). An eighteenth-century ecology of knowledge : patronage and natural history. Culture Unbound. Journal of Current Cultural Research. 6. 1275-1297.
- Andersson Burnett, L. (2010). Abode of Satan : the Appeal of the Magical and Superstitious North in Eighteenth-Century Britain. Northern Studies : The Journal of the Scottish Society for Northern Studies. 41. 67-77.
Chapter in book (Refereed)
- Andersson Burnett, L., Buchan, B. (2018). The Edinburgh connection : Linnaean natural history, Scottish moral philosophy and the colonial implications of enlightenment thought. Linnaeus, natural history and the circulation of knowledge. Oxford, Voltaire Foundation. 161-186.
- Andersson Burnett, L. (2017). The ‘Lapland Giantess’ in Britain : Reading Concurrences in a Victorian Ethnographic Exhibition. Concurrent Imaginaries, Postcolonial Worlds : Toward Revised Histories. Brill Academic Publishers. 123-143.
- Andersson Burnett, L. (2013). Selling the Sami : Nordic Stereotypes and Participatory Media in Georgian Britain. Communicating the North : Media Structures and Images in the Making of the Nordic Region. Farnham, Ashgate. 171-196.
Collection (editor) (Refereed)
- Andersson Burnett, L., Höglund, J. (2019). Exploring Nordic Colonialisms : Special Issue for Scandinavian Studies. University of Illinois Press.
- Andersson Burnett, L., Buchan, B. (2019). Knowing Savagery : Special Issue of History of the Human Sciences 32:4. Sage Publications.
Article, book review (Refereed)
- Andersson Burnett, L. (2015). Review of The Literature of Shetland by Mark Ryan Smith. Scottish Literary Review. 7. 149-151.
- Andersson Burnett, L. (2015). Review of Silvia Sebastiani's The Scottish Enlightenment: Race, Gender, and the Limits of Progress. Social history (London). 40. 140-141.
Article, review/survey (Refereed)
Conference paper (Other academic)
- Andersson Burnett, L. (2015). “The more Northern are the most barbarous” : The Sami in Early Modern British Narratives. Concurrences in Postcolonial Research: Perspectives, Methodologies, Engagements.
- Andersson Burnett, L. (2015). Linnaean Natural History, Scottish Moral Philosophy and the Colonial Implications of Enlightenment Thought. Concurrences in postcolonial research – perspectives, methodologies, engagements.
- Andersson Burnett, L. (2014). The “race” to exhibit : Evolutionary debates in Victorian displays of Sami people. Svenska Historikermötet.
- Andersson Burnett, L. (2014). The Edinburgh Connection : Linnaean Natural History, Scottish Moral Philosophy and the Colonial Implications of Enlightenment Thought. Nature’s Empire : A Global History of Linnaean Sciences in the Long Eighteenth Century, European University, Florence.
- Andersson Burnett, L. (2014). A Colonial Model for the Scottish Highlands : The Dissemination of Linnaeus’s Expedition to Sápmi in Eighteenth-Century Britain. Colonizing the North and Meeting the ‘Other’ in the Early Modern and Modern Period, Lund University.
- Andersson Burnett, L. (2014). Exploring and Romanticising the ‘North’ : The impact of Carl Linnaeus’s Lapland Narratives on Eighteenth-Century British Primitivism. British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Conference, St Hugh’s College Oxford.
- Andersson Burnett, L. (2014). Natural History, Stadial Theory and Race. The Empire of Enlightenment.
- Andersson Burnett, L. (2014). Selling Sami Stereotypes : The Exhibition of Sami people in Georgian Britain. Scandinavian and Baltic Studies Conference, Yale University.
- Andersson Burnett, L., Newby, A. (2007). '"Unionist Nationalism” and The National Museum of Scotland, c. 1847-1866’. NaMu, Making National Museums.
Chapter in book (Other academic)
- Andersson Burnett, L., Newby, A. (2008). ‘Between Empire and "The North" : Scottish Identity in the Nineteenth Century'. Parting the Mists : Views on Scotland as a part of Britain and Europe. Helsinki, Historicus.
Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
- Andersson Burnett, L. (2012). Northern Noble Savages? : Edward Daniel Clarke and British Primitivist Narratives on Scotland and Scandinavia, c. 1760-1822. Doctoral Thesis. University of Edinburgh.