Publisher: Umeå universitet, Institutionen för kultur- och medievetenskaper
Illustrated price catalogues were published and distributed during the second half of the nineteenth century in every country that was affected by industrialization. The illustrations that were used in these catalogues intermingled with several contemporary image-systems; the centuries old practice of engraving, the relatively new practise of using photography, the illustrated publication, displays at world exhibitions and educational displays in public museums. The aim of this article is to investigate the circulation of knowledge that the photographs in the illustrated price catalogues took part in and to interrogate them as object photography. My journey includes three steps: early photography from the 1840s, the illustrated price catalogues of the 1880s, and contemporary antiques journals. This article discusses what knowledge was/is produced, maintained, transformed, and transferred by the use of object photography in these contexts. To this purpose, object photography is identified as a genre of images that generates knowledge that negotiates questions of time and historicity. I note that this is a quality that made object photography pertinent for nineteenth-century manufacturing and marketing and continues to be relevant for the historic revivalism and antiques business today.
Publisher: Umeå universitet, Enheten för ekonomisk historia
We explore the decisions in Parliament about the Swedish tax deduction for commuting since the 1980s. The aim is to explain the continuity of the tax regulation despite several attempts from motions in Parliament and public investigations to reform it towards environmental goals, e.g., reduced emissions of CO2. When reforms have been proposed, the political majority in Parliament has regardless of political colour voted against and retreated to the original motives for the tax deduction; economic growth and the enlargement of regional labour markets. The interests of Swedish mass motorisation succeeded in finding the arguments to slow down reforms and at the same time reinforce the path dependency by adding new legitimacy to the regulation. If the attempts to reform the tax deduction had been part of a broader reform of the transport sector and the tax system, they might have succeeded in breaking with the old path.
Based on digital readings of all records from the Swedish parliament1867–2019, we examine how the concept ‘propaganda’ was used in the debates. To track the concept, we have extracted word window co-occurrences, bigrams, and keywords. Research on the history of propaganda in liberal democracies has emphasized that the meaning of the concept was open-ended before WWI. By 1945, it had been contaminated by authoritarian propaganda, and its negative connotations were cemented at least by the 1960s. Our analysis, however, shows that ‘propaganda’ was used mainly in a negative sense from 1867 to 2019. Nevertheless, it was also possible to use ‘propaganda’ in a positive and neutral sense between the 1910s and 1980s. We suggest that a period of deideologization in Sweden post-WWII made it possible to use ‘propaganda’ as long as the issues were seen as non-controversial. The radicalization in the late-1960s meant that authorities and previously non-controversial issues became contested. To suggest one-directional ‘propaganda’ in order to implement what politicians had decided was in people’s best interest became difficult int his context. In this new communication setting, ‘information’ was a more flexible term in contexts where ‘propaganda’ had previously been used in a neutral or positive sense.
Abstract The functioning of multi-nation monetary unions with several central banks is conditioned by many factors and considerations, such as the capacity to deal with crises, the political will and operational skill to foster financial integration and to develop a mix of rules and discretion in the cooperation between the central banks. The Scandinavian monetary union (SMU) between 1873 and 1931 is a case in point for illustrating the importance of these factors and considerations. We examine the policies implemented in the Scandinavian countries to deal with asymmetries of payments flows and with financial crises at three levels: in an account of major crises that required lending of last resort, in a study of the clearing and settlement mechanism established in the union, and in a survey of contemporary economists’ views on lending of last resort and cooperation in the SMU.
Publisher: Uppsala universitet, Institutionen för kulturantropologi och etnologi
The years 2020-2022 engraved our existence with epidemiological and political monstrosities that will not be forgotten for quite some time. The COVID-19 pandemic dragged us to contemplating the possibilities of a plague that, rather than being confined to the global south’s ‘invisible’ territories of diseases, heavily affected the global north and with the prospect of wiping out a large number of the world’s population in a similar manner to that of the 1918 influenza epidemic. Governments were caught between choices to either privilege lives or economies and eugenics reared its head as a spectre from the historical past. A benign marine monster, the Amabie, a prophetic yōkai from Japanese folklore, became popular, initially in Japan and, rather rapidly on a global scale, assumed a prominent position, becoming an icon for the COVID-19 pandemic. I interrogate how people resorted to this chimeric creature from marine and historical depths to deal with existential uncertainty and abnormal lives, rendering it a chronotope that connects times and spaces. Such aquapelagic creatures frame the ambiguity of a world where political, environmental and health disasters merge.
Based on the study of 1,859 metal-detected brooches recovered at different sites in the Limfjord region, this paper discusses patterns of production, distribution, use, and deposition of brooches. Widespread indications of non-ferrous metalwork and a modest number of models for brooch production suggest that brooches were produced at many settlements in the region during the period studied (AD 400–1150), and traces of technical change and varying distribution patterns in the finished brooches suggest temporally as well as spatially differing modes of production. Furthermore, analyses suggests that most brooches were intact when they entered the soil, and seemingly random distribution patterns likely reflect the fact that many, perhaps most, were simply accidentally dropped. However, over and above, the interpretational difficulties are consequent on the recovery of all of the metal-detector finds in the plough layer detached from their original context. The interpretation of distribution patterns is at most sites also markedly challenged by the fact that many brooches, along with other metal artefacts, appear to having been secondarily deposited in the fields surrounding the settlements, probably during the manuring of the fields.
Venantius Fortunatus was a Latin, Ravenna educated, semi-political rhetorical poet active in Merovingian Francia in the late 6th century. Arriving in Austrasia from the Alps in the spring of 566, he wrote three poems, not least an epithalamium publicly performed at the wedding of Sigibert and Brunhild. This literary genre, its structure and the three addressees of his poems can be seen as a surprisingly detailed template for the Norse poem Skírnismál. The value of Fortunatus’ poetry rests with his ability to amalgamate Germanic, Christian and Latin Roman culture in a period of transition from a pagan to a Christian society. Since these periods of transition are reoccurring, it is possible to see an education in the 10th–11th century as the background for the Norse Skírnismál author, who probably must have read Fortunatus in order to compose his Norse wedding entertainment. Skírnismál is thus neither a purely Norse nor a purely oral composition.
We reconstruct the Holocene shore displacement of the Vastervik-Gamlebyviken area on the southeast coast of Sweden, characterised by a maritime cultural landscape and archaeological significance since the Mesolithic. Sediment cores were retrieved from four lake basins that have been raised above sea level due to the postglacial land uplift and eustatic sea level changes after the melting of the Fennoscandian Ice Sheet. The cores were radiocarbon dated and analysed for loss on ignition and diatoms. The isolation thresholds of the basins were determined using LiDAR data. The results provide evidence for the initiation of the first Littorina Sea transgression in this area at 8.5 thousand calibrated years before present (cal. ka BP). A relative sea level rise by similar to 7 m a.s.l. is recorded between 8.0 and 7.5 cal. ka BP with a highstand at similar to 22 m a.s.l. between 7.5 and 6.2 cal. ka BP. These phases coincide with the second and third Littorina Sea transgressions, respectively, in the Blekinge area, southern Sweden and are consistent with the final deglaciation of North America. After 6.2 cal. ka BP, the relative sea level dropped below 22 m a.s.l., and remained at similar to 20 m a.s.l. until 4.6 cal. ka BP coinciding with the fourth Littorina Sea transgression in Blekinge. From 4.6 to 4.2 cal. ka BP, the shore displacement shows a regression rate of 10 mm a(-1) followed by a slowdown with a mean value of 4.6 mm a(-1) until 1.6 cal. ka BP, when the relative sea level dropped below 3.3 m a.s.l. The Middle to Late Holocene highstand and other periods of minor sea level transgressions and/or higher salinity between 6.2 and 1.7 cal. ka BP are attributed to a combination of warmer climate and higher inflow of saline waters in the southern Baltic Sea due to stronger westerlies, caused by variations in the North Atlantic atmospheric patterns.
In this paper, we argue that closer engagement with the field of new institutional economics (NIE) has the potential to provide researchers with a new theoretical toolbox that can be used to study economic and social practices that are not readily traceable in material culture. NIE assumes that individual actions are based on bounded rationality and that the existence of rules (institutions) and their enforcement – the institutional framework – influences agents’ actions by providing different incentives and probabilities for different choices. Within this theoretical framework, we identify a number of concepts, such as collective identity and mobile jurisdictions that seem to fit what we know of Viking age economic systems. In applying these models to the available archaeological and textual data, we outline the ways in which further research could provide a new understanding of economic interaction within a rapidly evolving context of diaspora and change. This paper was produced within the Viking Phenomenon project from the Swedish Research Council (2015-00466). Department of Archeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
This article analyses late 1960s’ and early 1970s’ policy debate on issues concerning balance of payments in Sweden. Part of this debate was the question of fiscal austerity as a tool to achieve external balance, and if it could be used without risking economic and social unrest. The aim is twofold: first to empirically shine new light on modern Swedish economic policy in a historic context. Second to theoretically explore new ways of interpreting the relationship between political thinking and economic ideas. Special focus within the second aim are the consequences of political thinking on Keynesian economic ideas as a framework of economic understanding at the time. The study is qualitative in its methods and pays attention to limits within the relationship between economic policymaking and economic expertise. The article highlights conflicting perspectives on Keynesian ideas and the heterogeneity of these perspectives among economic experts. A heterogeneity of this kind is also shown to complicate the assumed close relationship between Social Democracy and Keynesianism in a historic context. In essence, the article shows that studying policy debates in close historic detail makes for new conclusions on the development of modern economic ideas and the part political thinking plays in it.