Stefan Eklöf Amirell

Stefan Eklöf Amirell

Department of Cultural Sciences Faculty of Arts and Humanities
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I am professor of Global History and the director of the Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies. I am also the President of the Swedish Historical Association and Sweden's delegate to the International Committee of Historical Sciences (ICHS/CISH) and a member of the Steering Group of the European Network in Universal and Global History (ENIUGH).

I received my Ph.D. in History at Lund University in 2002 and since 2008 I am an Associate Professor in History at the University of Gothenburg. I have worked as a teacher and researcher at Lund University, University of Gothenburg, Malmö College University and the Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Stockholm. I have been a visiting scholar in Denmark, the Netherlands, Indonesia, Australia and France, and between 2009 and 2015 I was the editor-in-chief of Sweden's leading journal for research in History and Economic History, Historisk tidskrift.

My research interests include colonialism and decolonisation, contemporary political culture and democracy in Southeast Asia, piracy and maritime security in global historical perspective, Swedish historiography in relation to international history and female political leadership in world history. My current research project is called "Intermediaries in Imperial Expansion: Connections and Encounters on the U.S. Frontiers, 1876-1916" (see below for more information). Starting in January 2022, I will coordinate a major collaborative research project entitled "Imperial Expansion and Intercultural Diplomacy: Treaty-making in Southeast Asia, c.1750−1920", financed by the Swedish Research Council.

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During the academic year I teach a course in Historical theory and method (2HIÄ02/2HI33E) for third semester undergraduates in History. I also supervise on the PhD, master and bachelor levels. In the autumn 2019 I teach the new master level course Imperialism and the Making of the Modern World (4HI492).

I have previously taught various courses in History, European Studies, Asian Studies and Regional Studies at University of Gothenburg, Lund University and Malmö University College.


My current research project, financed by the Swedish Research Council and the Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences (2017-2021) explores what happened in the frontier zones that were affected by the colonial expansion of the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The focus of the study is the American cavalry officer Hugh Lenox Scott (1853–1934), who served on the American Plains, in Cuba, in the Southern Philippines and on the Mexican border.

Renowned for his negotiating skills, Scott established friendly relations with members of the Apache, Kiowa, Sioux and other Native American Nations as well as with Cubans, Mexicans and Chinese and Muslims in the Southern Philippines. The sources to Scott's life and career thus contain the concurrent voices and perspectives of many intermediaries who represented non-U.S. groups in the frontier zones. In highlighting these voices the project challenges received binary oppositions between colonizer and colonized and provides a new understanding of the connected, contested, undetermined and mutually constitutive character of U.S. imperial expansion around the turn of the twentieth century. How did the encounters and relations between U.S. officers and other intermediaries in the frontier zones shape U.S. policies and the course of U.S. expansionism? How were conflicts handled by the intermediaries in the frontier zones and to what extent were personal relations crucial for imperial expansion and for the implementation of imperial policies, including 'civilizing' measures?


President of the Swedish Historical Association (

President of the Swedish Association for Scholarly Publishing (

Chairman of the awarding committee for Sweden's largest prize in history, Stora historiepriset (previously Hertig Karls pris) (

Sweden's delegate to the International Committee of the Historical Sciences, Comité international des sciences historiques (ICHS/CISH) (

Member of the Steering Commitee of the European Network in Global and Universal History (ENIUGH)

Vice chairman of the board of the Swedish Emigrant Institute

Representative of Linnaeus University in the Collaboration Committee for the National Research School in Historical Studies


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