Sari Nauman


Department of Historical
Visiting address
Renströmsgatan 6
41255 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 200
40530 Göteborg

About Sari Nauman

Docent/Associate Professor and Researcher in History.

Born in 1981. PhD in history in 2017 at Gothenburg University. My award-winning dissertation, The Force of Words: Political Oaths in Sweden 1520-1718 (Ordens kraft: Politiska eder i Sverige 1520-1718), is published by Nordic Academic Press (Lund). I have a background in political science, philosophy, international relations, and national economics, disciplines that continue to influence my work.

My main research interest is the early modern political culture, and I am frequently drawn to how historical agents dealt with situations of uncertainty and insecurity. I appreciate working with and developing theoretical and methodological tools, and in my research, I continually return to concepts such as trust/control, private/public, migration, identity, rebellions, and information (secrecy, manipulation, promises, oaths).

Currently, I am working on two projects:

- Hidden Rebellions: Information Control in Sweden, 1680-1720, financed by the Swedish Research Council, 2020-2022. The project investigates how local and central authorities communicated information on violent protests against the royal power, as well as how those involved acted on and reacted to issues of private and public. During 2020-2022, I am a guest researcher at the Centre for Privacy Studies, University of Copenhagen, within this project.

- Baltic Hospitality: Receiving Strangers / Providing Security on the Northern European Littoral, ca. 1000-1900, financed by the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies (Östersjöstiftelsen) 2019-2021, with Leif Runefelt, Wojtek Jezierski and Christina Reimann. This project analyses the reception and rejection of strangers in coastal areas, with a focus on security questions. My sub-project studies migratory movements from and within the Swedish realm during the 17th and 18th centuries.

I am also starting up a third project:

- Humanitarian Great Power? The Local Reception of Refugees in Sweden, 1700-1730, financed by the Swedish Research Council, 2022-2024. During the Great Northern War (1700–1721), 20–30.000 refugees fled from Swedish territories around the Baltic Sea to Sweden. This 3-year-project aims to analyse how local communities and refugees in this situation negotiated the responsibility to protect refugees with the need to provide security for locals. A lack of first-hand sources from refugees has led to a power imbalance, where our understanding of the early modern refugee experience is limited to that of the privileged few, or state and city authorities’ narratives. Current refugee studies has found that reception practices are best understood as ongoing, contingent interactions on a local level between recipient communities and refugees. By triangulating sources emanating from the central royal power, local authorities and communities, and Swedish refugee petitions, this project provides crucial knowledge of the degree to which early modern communities accepted, articulated, and/or delegated the responsibility to protect refugees, and how refugee responses to protection and security measures influenced the process.

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