Jacob Orrje


Visa sidan på svenska
Works at Department of Culture and Aesthetics
Telephone 08-674 78 05
Postal address Institutionen för kultur och estetik 106 91 Stockholm

About me

From July 2016, I am a postdoctor in history of ideas at the Department of Culture and Aesthetics. Previously, I have been a researcher at Uppsala University (2009–2016) and attended University of Cambridge (2010–11).


In my research, I examine early modern knowledge from cultural and social perspectives. My primary research interest is mathematics and natural knowledge as a basis for communities and relationships, especially in relation to gender, religion and national identity.

My dissertation (Mechanicus. Performing an early modern persona, 2015) analyses mechanics as a way for young men to perform as virtuous and useful subjects. Moreover, I have for example studied the role of national identities in the exchange of astronomical knowledge between 18th-century England and Sweden, and how the microscopic experience of previously unknown life forms were communicated to, and interpreted by, readers in 17th-century England.

Cosmopatriots in 18th-century London

In my postdoc project "Cosmopatriots: the multiple national loyalties in Anglo-Swedish Exchange 1720–72", I study the Swedish-Lutheran congregation in London. By their contemporaries, members of the congregation were interpreted as loyal subjects of both the English and Swedish states. The project examines the roles of national identies, and actors with multiple national identities, in early modern trade, circulation of knowledge and religion exchange.


  • Forthcoming. ”A geometric community takes shape. The symbolic function of mathematics in the Swedish Bureau of Mines 1700–50” in Guillaume Carnino, Liliane Hilaire-Pérez, Jochen Hoock (eds.), Édition bilingue de l’Entwurf der allgemeinen Technologie (Presses Universitaires de Rennes).
  • 2016. ”Mechanics of patronage. Christopher Polhem and the changing regimes of the Swedish state (1680–1750)” in C. Cardinal, L. Hilaire-Perez, & Thébaud-Sorger, eds. L’Europe technicienne : XVe-XVIIIe siècle. Artefact. Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, pp. 143–155. [PUR]
  • 2016. L’espace scandinave (XVe-XVIIIe siècle) in L. Hilaire-Perez, F. Simon, & M. Thébaud-Sorger, eds. L’Europe des sciences et des techniques : Un dialogue des savoirs, XVe-XVIIIe siècle. Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, pp. 501–506. [PUR]
  • 2016. ”Patriotic and cosmopolitan patchworks. Following a Swedish Astronomer into London’s communities of maritime longitude, 1759–60” in Richard Dunn & Rebekah Higgitt (eds.), Navigational Enterprises in Europe and its empires, 1730–1850, Cambridge Imperial and Post- Colonial Studies Series (Palgrave Macmillan: October 2015), pp. 89–110 
[Springer link]
  • 2015. Mechanicus. Performing an early modern persona, Uppsala Studies in History of Ideas (Uppsala university: 2015). [Diva]
  • 2009. ”Reading art, reading nature. How microscopic literature formed seventeenth-century readers”, in Lychnos (2009), pp 91-116. [Full text]

Last updated: November 17, 2018

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