Sara Ellis Nilsson has a Ph.D. in (medieval) history from the University of Gothenburg and is the project leader of the Swedish Research Council funded, digital humanities project Mapping Lived Religion – Medieval Cults of Saints in Sweden and Finland at Linnaeus University.
In 2015, Ellis Nilsson defended her doctoral thesis which focuses on the emergence of new cults of local Danish and Swedish saints in the early medieval period and their connection to the Christianization of the region. Since then, she has written about the construction of sanctity as reflected in the lives of Scandinavian women and the portrayal of non-holy bishops in Scandinavian hagiography and the formation of textual communities.
Currently, as one part of the project on lived religion, she will be examining special feast days and their connection to lay piety. In addition, Ellis Nilsson is also involved in research on the use and communication of history together with colleagues at Malmö University. In particular she is studying how Viking ships and their reconstructions are used in the formation of narratives and the transmission of knowledge in museum contexts.