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"Linnaeus in Lapland: Generating Knowledge in Transit" Dr Staffan Müller-Wille & Prof Elena Isayev (University of Exeter)

Egenis seminar series

An Egenis, the Centre for the Study of Life Sciences seminar
Date10 December 2018
Time15:30 to 17:00
PlaceByrne House

Egenis seminar series. We present our plans for a collaborative research project that consists of two intertwined elements: a new English on-line edition and translation of Carl Linnaeus's diary of a journey through Lapland undertaken in 1732, and a re-enactment of that journey.

One of the principal subjects Linnaeus enquired about, and took note of, was how natural resources and ways of life contributed to the well-being of local populations. In particular, he exalted Sámi culture as a model of healthy life, while also promoting colonization. He thus objectified Lapland and its inhabitants in a proto-colonial manner, while also being on a guided tour, eagerly collecting information provided by people that were on the move as well, usually spoke more than one language, and helped him find his way. The diary therefore provides a window on past practices of generating biomedical knowledge "in transit," but also deals with issues of contemporary relevance, ranging from sustainability and wellbeing to indigeneity and sovereignty. By combining re-translation and re-enactment of the journey we envisage an entirely novel methodology of scholarly edition, working in tandem as a catalyst for contemporary public discourse on issues ranging from sustainability and wellbeing to indigeneity and sovereignty.


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