The Gothic Maze. The Middle Ages and the Churches of Denmark: The Gothic Maze focuses on the vigorous building activity among the 2,692 parish churches in medieval Denmark in the time up to the Reformation: Was this an expression of economic prosperity, increased piety, or a church in crises? Can the development be described as a transition from Romanesque to Gothic? How did the churches change? What was the economic background? Who were the benefactors? What were their motives? And what can the changes teach us about the Middle Ages as an epoch? The Gothic Maze studies the concepts of church architecture, its explanations, sources, and contexts. The dissertation emphasizes that concepts as "the Middle Ages", "Romanesque", and "Gothic" are nothing but metaphors created in modern times. The traditional explanations, which refer to currents of fashion and changes in the economic cycle, are insufficient for an understanding of the culmination of building activity in the fifteenth and the sixteenth centuries. Church construction and its context are studied in two of the juridical districts known as "härader" (hundres) in Scania. Experience from this area is used to assist in the interpretation of church-building throughout medieval Denmark. In addition, the building activity is examined in relation to economic data and details of the benefactors in selected areas where the sources permit closer study. The intensive period of building shortly before the Reformation is not interpreted as a direct reflection of increased prosperity or piety, but as the use of material symbols in a time of social stress. The church was threatened by a steadily growing opposition between religious ideals and the new economic realities. Gothicization is a sign of crisis.
Between 1908 and 1940, 431 young girls between 16 and 21 years of age were enrolled at Vejstrup Re-education Home for Girls. Through close readings of individual case records and other archival material from Vejstrup Re-education Home, this PhD thesis explores the ways in which the so-called “particularly difficult young girls” were perceived as problematic and how they were handled from 1908 to 1940. The thesis uncovers how the problematisation and handling of the girls changed as psychiatric knowledge was integrated into the field. The thesis is informed by Michel Foucault’s perspective on power and knowledge as mutually constitutive and on power as a productive force that transforms human beings into (specific kinds of) subjects. Introducing the concept of motherly caring power, the reform practices at Vejstrup Re-Education Home are analysed as a specific type of disciplinary liberal government directed at the individual’s will and emotions. The central technique used to re-educate the young girls was the relationship between the headmistress and each individual girl. The aim of re-education was ultimately to lead the girls to regulate themselves to become ‘good girls' and ultimately to strive for becoming servants and wives.The perception of child welfare was that every child could be re-educated, however 4.2% of the children and youth released from Danish residential care between 1905-1940 and 11.4% of the young girls released from Vejstrup Re-Education Home in the same period were released because they had been deemed incorrigible. The expulsions on the grounds of incorrigibility, led to a new problematisation and category that also comprised a new subject: The Incorrigible. During the 1920s, doctors became increasingly involved in assessing the nature of the girls at Vejstrup Re-Education Home, as well as in evaluating how they should be handled. The analysis shows that diagnoses, particularly the diagnosis psychopathy, grew intertwined with the existing category of incorrigibility. The reformulation of incorrigibility to psychopathy and other diagnoses was relevant, because the diagnoses entailed new ways of handling, as well as the anticipation of additional resources. In the 1920s the headmistress attempted to gain ressources for a closed ward at the institution, but did not succeed. In 1930 the subsequent headmistress initiated lobbying for the establishment of a psychopathic institution for girls in 1930. Though she did not succeed, doctors and politicians supported the idea, and a commission was formed to prepare a proposal for the establishment of a psychopathic institution. The thesis uncovers how the problematisation of so-called incorrigible girls as psychopaths emerged at Vejstrup Re-Education Home. Thus the thesis shows how child psychiatry was shaped and practiced within child welfare before the opening of the first Danish child psychiatric clinic in 1935 and before the 1958 establishment of a pedagogic committee in child welfare, incorporating e.g. professional knowledge from psychiatry and psychology.
Publisher: Historiska institutionen, Lunds Universitet
The central question of the dissertation is whether and how African Caribbeans in the Danish West Indies identiﬁed themselves with African ethnic groups. The dissertation discusses if and how such identiﬁcations played a role in the social life of African Caribbeans and inﬂuenced how new social networks developed in the colony. The dissertation is shaped as a micro study focusing on members of the Moravian congregation. It is divided in five chapters. The ﬁrst chapter argues that African ethnic designations reﬂect African Caribbeans' own ideas of belonging to ethnically deﬁned groups referring to Africa. At the same time, however, it is shown how the meaning of such designations were influenced and creolized by the trans-Atlantic journey and the realities of life in the slave society. The second chapter investigates the connections between the identiﬁcation by African Caribbeans with African ethnic terms and cultural traits, and the formation of social networks in the Danish West Indies through a discussion of four themes: African languages, constructed kinship relations, African religious life, and the St. John slave revolt of 1733-34. The main contribution of the chapter is to suggest new interpretations of African Caribbean cultural life and the dynamics of social networking as a consequence of the conclusions of chapter one. The third chapter situates the conclusions about the importance of African ethnic identities and network relations in a wider context of group formation in the Danish West Indian society. The chapter focuses on the plantation and the Moravian congregation as important social networks. By relating these to the existence of networks based on ethnic belonging it is suggested that individuals' and groups' participation in different networks at the same time led to an interweaving of the different networks, and subsequently to their inﬂuencing each other. Thus, it is concluded that African ethnic identity formation among African Caribbeans was a ﬂuid, inclusive process in which ethnic designation and networks were mobilized together with Creole networks and institutions. The fourth chapter focuses on how enslaved Africans in the Danish West Indies managed to sustain a spiritual and metaphysical bond to lost kin and a lost homeland. By analyzing ideas about death and spirituality and their practical use and importance in the Caribbean context it is concluded that African belief systems and practices could be used to both sustain ties backwards and also as a way to handle creolization in its early phases. The dissertation ends with a short chapter based on an analysis of the way one woman, Madlena of Popo, named herself differently in different contexts in her Danish West Indian life. Her story symbolizes the conclusion of the dissertation: that most African Caribbeans were neither African nor Creole, but somewhere in between.