foto Karin Sennefelt

Karin Sennefelt


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Arbetar vid Historiska institutionen
Telefon 08-16 26 02
Besöksadress Universitetsvägen 10 D, plan 9
Rum D 824
Postadress Historia 106 91 Stockholm

Om mig

Min forskning inriktas på social- och kulturhistoria i Sverige under tidigmodern tid, med betoning på vardagens historia. Jag intresserar mig särskilt för kroppen, rumsliga praktiker och materiell kultur under tidigmodern tid. Till det kommer att jag tycker att historisk teori och metodutveckling är väldigt intressant.

Jag arbetar för närvarande med hur den tidigmoderna religiösa världsbilden påverkade kroppen, och hur kroppen i sin tur formade religiösa erfarenheter och upplevelser. I tidigare projekt har jag studerat stådssamhällets visualitet, protester, manlighet och politisk kultur i frihetstidens Sverige, samt identifieringens sociala praktiker i Sverige och de amerikanska kolonierna ca 1650-1850.

2016 till 2018 var jag koordinator för Humanistiska fakultetens forskarskola Kroppslighet i teori och praktik.

2017-2019 var jag ordförande för Vetenskapsrådets beredningsgrupp HS-I för historiska vetenskaper och arkeologi.


Ordet blev till kött: Kroppen i protestantisk kultur ca 1600-1750

Projektets syfte är att studera sambanden mellan religionen och den levda kroppen mellan 1600 och 1750. Vi vill undersöka hur den tidigmoderna religiösa världsbilden påverkade kroppen, och hur kroppen i sin tur formade religiösa erfarenheter och upplevelser. Kroppen var invecklad i rader av existentiella konflikter i det religiösa livet: mellan gott och ont, liv och död, den kunde vara fallen eller frälst. Genom tre integrerade fallstudier om Guds ords makt att påverka kroppar, hur synd och skuld förkroppsligades och kroppen som bärare av sanning avser vi att komma åt hur religionen förkroppsligades inom luthersk lekmannakultur. Vårt fokus på den levda kroppen kommer också att leda till att vi kan avtäcka hur kroppen användes som maktinstrument av vanliga människor: kroppar hävdade sanningar, andlig kontakt och transcendens på ett sätt som ord inte kunde göra. På så sätt formade den levda, fromma kroppen hur människor förstod världen och hur den fungerade.

2016-2019, finansierat av Vetenskapsrådet

Karin Sennefelt (projektledare), Historiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet

Anton Runesson, Historiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet


I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas
  • 2020. Karin Sennefelt. Past & Present

    This article uses the ailing body of King Charles XI of Sweden (1655–97) to explore how the king’s physicality was connected not only to the nature of his kingship, its sacredness and legitimacy, but also to his personal faith. It shows that Charles’s body was both exceptional and just like other Lutheran bodies, reacting to accumulating acrimonies and sin like other bodies did. However, it also amplified a body’s capabilities on a larger scale. In particular, the lethal putrefaction inside his belly came to play an important part in interpreting his kingship. These ideas had an impact that stretched from his own stomach pains via the anxiety of his suffering people to the ending of absolute rule. By following the analogies that contemporaries made in the king’s autopsy, physician’s notes, sermons, official proclamations, diaries, weather reports, poetry, correspondence and prophecies, the article uncovers the powerful resemblances that connected Charles’s body to nature, his people, the realm and the divine. In the end it was the bundling of the cosmos into Charles’s body that paved the way for direct criticism of absolutism itself.

  • 2019. Karin Sennefelt. Gendering Spaces in European Towns, 1500-1914, 168-183

    The chapter delves into an exceptional court case about the pulling down of 13 houses in Stockholm in 1719 to explore the multifaceted interpretations of space within a local community. Through a gendered notion of place, crowd attacks on the homes of ‘suspicious women’ were made possible: the space of a house was equated with those who dwelled within it and husbandless women perceived as immoral tainted a whole house. The crowd’s entrance into these spaces functioned as a form of reinstating of patriarchal authority in the dwellings of suspicious women.

    Of interest here are the reactions of the women attacked during the riots. Just as the crowd ransacked houses of personal possessions, the victims made great attempts to regain their possessions as a way of recreating their positions within the local community. Objects built narratives of good housekeepers, dutiful wives and mothers, and self-sufficient members of society. The virtue of these women was placed in their possessions; a looting crowd had displaced it. Taking things back was a way of replacing virtue. Metaphorically, by means of sheets, pots and tables, notions of identity came full circle and returned to the women.

  • 2019. Karin Sennefelt. Scandinavian Journal of History

    This article uses social practices to better understand the interrelations between a social ideology that decried aspiration and the practices of the young men bettering their lot in life when entering the Stockholm guilds. The path into guild membership is investigated regarding the inclusion of would-be members, their social networks, the materiality of documentation and the ideas, symbols and aspirations expressed in the process. The article shows that transition from one social position to another was laden with positive value and symbolism, and that this was underscored with the help of scores of participants apart from the would-be apprentice himself. These young men held a liminal position in society, but one that was understood as largely positive. They were deeply embedded within a local community, but with a direction in life, unmarried, skilled or wanting to acquire skill. While practices of social mobility opened paths for these young men, they also contained social order and the mobility of others.

  • 2017. Karin Sennefelt. Migration, Regulation and Materialities of Identification in European Cities, 1500-1930s
  • 2015. Karin Sennefelt. Cultural and social history 12 (2), 179-195

    Starting from the significance of the visual for the creation of distinction in early modern Europe, the article investigates the everyday practices of eyeing, inspecting and scrutinizing other people's dress and personal possessions. In that, it addresses the ways of seeing (rather than the ways of displaying) that were at the root of managing appearances and that formed a significant part of the urban experience. Cases are drawn from everyday visual practices among the lower orders in early modern Stockholm. The article argues that a discerning eye that inspected people and their material goods played an integral part in distinguishing respectability and honour in the city a way of seeing that was very different from the overview and order sought by city authorities. Therefore, these visual and material practices were part of ordering the social in the city.

  • 2015. Karin Sennefelt. Scandia 81 (2), 71-79
  • 2015. Karin Sennefelt.
  • Bok (red) Fråga föremålen
    2014. Anna Maria Forssberg, Sennefelt Karin.
  • 2014. Karin Sennefelt. Past & Present (222), 277-295
Visa alla publikationer av Karin Sennefelt vid Stockholms universitet


Senast uppdaterad: 31 augusti 2020

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