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Inka Timosaari

About me

PhD, Senior Lecturer (fixed-term)


My teaching areas include the history of the Middle Ages, manuscript studies, palaeography and codicology, and the theory and methodology of history.

I also supervise Bachelor's and Master theses, especially those focused on the social or religious history in the Middle Ages. If you have any questions feel free to contact me.


Research area

My research area covers medieval manuscript culture, socio-political and religious, normative discourses and communication networks, with a special focus om the relationships between Latin and vernacular texts. I am also interested in digital humanities and how various digital methods and tools have affected historical research, as well as how to use digital tools in the analysis of historical source material.


My doctoral dissertation is available at Bergen Open Research Archive (BORA):

Writing the Order: Religious-Political Discourses in Late Anglo-Saxon England (PhD diss., University of Bergen, 2011):


A selection from Stockholm University publication database

  • The Concept of the Three Orders of Society and Social Mobility in Eleventh-Century England

    2016. Inka Moilanen. English Historical Review 131 (553), 1331-1352


    This article examines the concept of the three orders of society (oratoresbellatoreslaboratores) in the works of Ælfric of Eynsham (d. c.1010) and Wulfstan of York (d. 1023). Paying attention to the immediate contexts in which Ælfric and Wulfstan formulated their views on social order, the article contrasts the varying uses of the metaphor with the discussion on social change and social mobility current around the turn of the first millennium. The reiteration of these categories seems to have surfaced in situations of particular political turbulence, as a means of convincing audiences that contemporary society was in a state of disorder which had to be remedied. The article incorporates analysis of a text previously excluded from discussions of the concept, Napier 50, and reviews some interpretations according to which the three orders functioned as part of criticism of extensive upward social mobility at the beginning of the eleventh century.

    Read more about The Concept of the Three Orders of Society and Social Mobility in Eleventh-Century England
  • Virtues, Vices, and Vectors

    2019. Inka Moilanen.


    In May 2018, a workshop was held at Malmö University on the subject of Digital History, bringing together Scandinavian scholars from a number of history disciplines. The purpose of the workshop was to discuss ontologies of digital history from different perspectives and can be seen as a first step taken in order to engage critically with this growing field and to create an inter-Scandinavian network. These scholars are active within, for instance, digital pedagogy, public history, history, and literary history.

    In order to share the results of this workshop with a wider audience, a series of academic blog posts will be published every Friday for the next six weeks. These posts all engage with various aspects of the ontology of the digital and the “digital turn”: from a more general overview of the opportunities it provides, to its potential to bridge divides between disciplines and promote further understanding, and examples of practical applications in terms of new research methodologies. Questions are raised such as: how can digital media enable other forms of research communication than the book or article? How is the way scholars communicate their research shifting in response to new forms of digital media? Can digital methods promote cooperation between academic disciplines?

    This text focuses on the methodological, theoretical and critical aspects of using digital tools in the study of medieval source material. With the increase of digitized historical texts, databases with user-friendly search functions, and digital projects (or TRCs, Thematic Research Collections) with a mixture of research tools and a variety of archival material, the possibilities for historians have multiplied. That so many medieval texts have been transferred into digital formats in the past few years is an obvious advantage for medieval studies. Everyone is grateful that we can now find critical editions and high-resolution manuscript images straight from our own computer screens, and do the time-consuming research right at home, instead of travelling to different libraries and archives across the world. Not only can we now download a text and do the traditional close reading (often) for free, but we can now also manipulate the data that would have been near impossible with printed texts. This is what brings us to using digital databases as tools in the study of medieval sermons – not just as a deposit for texts in an electronic format.

    The digitized text itself allows for a re-evaluation of how we pose our research questions and calls for a critical discussion of the nature of our sources and the knowledge we gain from them. Although the process of making medieval texts available in a digital format is not complete (will it ever be?), [1] great accomplishments have been achieved in recent times that have made it possible to shift from the phase of reassembling and collation to one where scholars can use this new material in analyses that differ from ‘traditional’ methods of close-reading. In this respect, the methods that have been developed within Digital Humanities (reaching back to 1960s humanities computing, with its roots in the late 1940s) offer new and promising prospects for historians.

    Read more about Virtues, Vices, and Vectors

Show all publications by Inka Timosaari at Stockholm University