Profiles

Kirsti Niskanen

Kirsti Niskanen

Professor emeritus

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Works at Department of History
Email kirsti.niskanen@historia.su.se
Visiting address Universitetsvägen 10 D, plan 9
Room D 821
Postal address Historia 106 91 Stockholm

About me

I joined Stockholm University as Professor of History in 2010. Prior to that, I worked as Research Director at the Nordic Council of Ministers´ gender equality unit NIKK (Nordic Gender Institute) at the University of Oslo, Norway, and as Acting Professor and Associate Professor at the Department of Gender Studies at Linköping University. In the 1990´s I worked as a researcher and lecturer at the Department of Economic History, Stockholm University, where I also completed my Ph. D.

ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1984-6252

SPICE, see http://spice-project.wixsite.com/spice

Teaching

 

I have been teaching courses mainly on master and graduate levels in history. I have supervised several doctoral students to the completion of their dissertations, and I am currently the main supervisor for two. I have a long experiece of working with issues related to research supervision and have, among other things, acted as a Director of Studies for the PhD program in the Department of History. I also co-direct courses on research supervision at the Centre for the Advancement of University Teaching at Stockholm University, with focus on learning and teaching at the research level, legal aspects of doctoral supervision, ethics, and gender and diversity in supervision.  

Research

 

My current research interests fall in the broad area of history of science and university history, in a feminist perspective. I work since 2014 on an international research program SPICE, "Scientific Persona in Cultural Encounters", with collleagues from the Netherlands and Belgium. My other areas of interests include gender history and modern social and economic history, as well as Nordic equality politics, and I have been a leader of a number of research projects in these areas. I have also an interest in the pedagogy in the supervision of research. 

ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1984-6252

SPICE, see http://spice-project.wixsite.com/spice

 

Publications

A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2018. Kirsti Niskanen, Mineke Bosch, Kaat Wils.

    The concept of scientific persona was developed by historians of science at the Max Planck Institute in Berlin fifteen years ago in order to understand how science works and how it can be conducted in a credible way. The Latin word persona means mask and the discussions of the term were elaborations of Marcel Mauss´s introduction of the concept in an article published in 1938 (Mauss 1938). In Mauss´s conceptualisation, persona was a feature that characterized societies in an evolutionary stage—a stage where members of the society had started to perceive themselves as individuals, but were still expected to fulfill certain, culturally defined roles. In such contexts, persona was not mask to cover the ‘real’ self of the performer, but a mask that enhanced certain features of the person. Transferring Mauss’s approach to the scientific world, Lorraine Daston and Otto Sibum (2003) defined, in an often cited article in Science in Context, scientific persona as an intermediate between individual biography and social (scientific) institution: it is a cultural identity that forms the individual in body and mind, and creates a collective with a shared and recognizable physiognomy (ways to be and to behave). Daston and Sibum characterized scientific personas as templates that emerge and develop in historical contexts and used the concept to investigate the creation of certain types of scientists: when, how and why have distinct “scientific personae” emerged?

  • 2017. Kirsti Niskanen. Scandia 83 (2), 11-40
  • 2018. Kirsti Niskanen, Mineke Bosch, Kaat Wils.

    The concept of scientific persona was developed by historians of science at the Max Planck Institute in Berlin fifteen years ago in order to understand how science works and how it can be conducted in a credible way. The Latin word persona means mask and the discussions of the term were elaborations of Marcel Mauss´s introduction of the concept in an article published in 1938 (Mauss 1938). In Mauss´s conceptualisation, persona was a feature that characterized societies in an evolutionary stage—a stage where members of the society had started to perceive themselves as individuals, but were still expected to fulfill certain, culturally defined roles. In such contexts, persona was not mask to cover the ‘real’ self of the performer, but a mask that enhanced certain features of the person. Transferring Mauss’s approach to the scientific world, Lorraine Daston and Otto Sibum (2003) defined, in an often cited article in Science in Context, scientific persona as an intermediate between individual biography and social (scientific) institution: it is a cultural identity that forms the individual in body and mind, and creates a collective with a shared and recognizable physiognomy (ways to be and to behave). Daston and Sibum characterized scientific personas as templates that emerge and develop in historical contexts and used the concept to investigate the creation of certain types of scientists: when, how and why have distinct “scientific personae” emerged?

  • 2016. Kirsti Niskanen. Historia i praktiken, 129-141
  • 2016. Tiina Kinnunen (et al.).

    Politicians all over Europe used to write about their lives, and keep doing so. Like other well-known persons they are “unusual biographical subjects”, because the biographical activity concerning their lives often starts while they are still alive. (Frank 1999). On the one hand, classical autobiographies written by politicians themselves (and their co-authors or ghost-writers) are published widely and are not only an important part of the memory politics and the construction of national history, but also a contribution to the stabilization of gender conceptions.(Depkat 2014, p .247-265; Ulbrich, Jancke and Bosch 2013, p. 5). Often the (auto)biographers intend to contribute to political and historical analyses. On the other hand, life writing has changed and diversified rapidly during the 20th century. The widespread desire for authenticity and truth seems to be enormous, so we can see a process of democratization, including  a change of the concepts of private and public spheres. Nowadays everybody is entitled to present his or her life in public.(Ulbrich, Jancke and Bosch 2013, p.5). Life writing took place not only in hard copy, but in many different media, like radio, film, tv, blogs, facebook and other new social media. So it seems a good moment to look at the (auto)biographies and memoirs in the political area during the 20th and the beginning of the 21th century.

  • 2015. Kirsti Niskanen. Myndighet og medborgerskap, 213-225
  • 2014. Christina Florin, Kirsti Niskanen. Methods, interventions and reflections, 83-91
  • 2013. Eva Blomberg, Kirsti Niskanen.

    Vid internationella jämförelser framstår Sverige som ett av världens mest jämställda länder. De flesta kvinnor förvärvsarbetar idag och har en egen inkomst. Särbeskattning, föräldraförsäkring, dagis och pappamånader gör att både kvinnor och män kan förena lönearbete och familjeliv. Hur har vi kommit så här långt? Vad återstår att göra? Antologin tar avstamp i 1960-talets jämställdhetsdiskussion då boken Kvinnors liv och arbete (SNS 1962) bidrog till att starta debatten om könsroller. Arbete och jämställdhet belyser vad som hänt i arbetslivet och i jämställdhetsdiskussionen under femtio år. Den innehåller såväl problematiserande kapitel som kapitel med kunskapsöversikter och vänder sig till alla som vill öka sina kunskaper om arbetsmarknadsfrågor och jämställdhet. Elva forskare från sex discipliner medverkar. Frågor som författarna behandlar är: förändring i teoretiska förståelser av kvinnor som lönearbetare, historien om invandrade kvinnors arbete, de mångfacetterade grunderna för diskriminering i arbetslivet, nya mönster av arbetskraftsmigration och arbetsgivar–arbetstagarrelationer i servicesektorn, genusmönster i kvinnors företagande, könsrollstänkandets utveckling samt pappapolitikens historia.

  • 2012. Kirsti Niskanen, Karin Hassan Jansson. Scandia 78 (2), 9-14
  • 2012. Kirsti Niskanen. Könspolitiska nyckeltexter 2, 305-318
  • 2011. Kirsti Niskanen. Par i vetenskap och politik, 337-364
  • 2011. Kirsti Niskanen. Gender and Power in the Nordic Countries, 11-57
  • 2011. Kirsti Niskanen. Gender and Power in the Nordic Countries, 111--117
  • Book (ed) Föregångarna
    2010. Kirsti Niskanen, Christina Florin.
  • 2010. Kirsti Niskanen. Kön och makt i Norden. D. 2, 19-51
  • 2010. Kirsti Niskanen, Anita Nyberg.
  • 2010. Christina Florin, Kirsti Niskanen. Föregångarna, 9-29
  • 2009. Kirsti Niskanen, Anita Nyberg.
  • 2007. Kirsti Niskanen.
  • 2006. Kirsti Niskanen.
  • 2004. Kirsti Niskanen. Family welfare, 243-267
  • 2004. Kirsti Niskanen. Förbjuden frukt på kunskapens träd, 143-182
  • 2002. Kirsti Niskanen. Naistutkimus-Kvinnoforskning 15 (3)
  • 2001. Kirsti Niskanen.
  • 2000. Kirsti Niskanen. The Nordic model of marriage and the welfare state, 69-87
Show all publications by Kirsti Niskanen at Stockholm University

Last updated: February 25, 2019

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