Sara Ekström, doktorand i idéhistoria vid Institutionen för kultur och estetik

Sara Ekström


Visa sidan på svenska
Works at Department of Culture and Aesthetics
Postal address Institutionen för kultur och estetik 106 91 Stockholm

About me

PhD Student in History of Ideas from September 1 2017. I hold a master’s degree in History, and I have also studied Ethnology, German and Linguistics at Uppsala University 2010–2015. I have also worked as a guide at the Swedish Royal Court at Rosersberg Palace, Ulriksdal Palace, Drottningholm Palace and the Chinese Pavilion. 


In my thesis, I will examine the cultural projects launched by the Swedish Gustavian state (1772–1809) as part of its national identity politics. A premise for the analysis is that the Gustavian state was an absolute and self-proclaimed enlightened state, resulting in specific ways of viewing and governing the population.

During the 18th century, a new interest for the population emerged. A prosperous population was seen as the foundation of a flourishing state, and to govern the thoughts and behaviour of every individual became of utmost interest to the state. Michel Foucault has termed this way of thinking gouvernementalité, in English governmentality, and a keystone is that the government works through the free will of the individual.

In my research, I connect this new governmentality to the nationalism of the state, and thus view nationalism as a political technology for mobilizing and governing the thoughts and feelings of the population, and thereby their behaviour. This will be done by analysing different national cultural projects of the Gustavian state, directed towards different categories of the population.

Head supervisor 

Annika Berg


Elisabeth Mansén and Linn Holmberg

Areas of interest

Nationalism, the Gustavian state, Governmentality, Cultural history. 

Last updated: July 9, 2018

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