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Knowledge in Transit: Linnaeus's Laplandic Journey (1732)

1 April 2019 - 31 December 2019

PI/s in Exeter: Professor Staffan Müller-Wille

Research partners: Elena Isayev (University of Exeter)

Funding awarded: £ 9,898

Sponsor(s): BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant

Project webpage(s)

Knowledge in Transit: Linnaeus's Laplandic Journey (1732)

About the research

We want to initiate a collaborative project aiming at an on-line translation of Carl Linnaeus's 1732 Laplandic Journey, which will be created in situ by re-tracking the journey through gatherings with local academic and non-academic experts. Translation and journey will work in tandem, constituting an innovative methodology for digital scholarly edition that creates a catalyst for contemporary public discourse and civic science, and thus transposes Linnaeus’s own methodology into the present. 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 health, while also promoting its colonization. The diary therefore offers an opportunity to explore how medical knowledge is generated "in transit," i.e. through encounters and intersections among diverse communities. This also implies engagement with wider issues of contemporary relevance, including sustainability, wellbeing, indigeneity, sovereignty and ways of de-colonizing the archive. In order to develop themes and methodologies and establish a network of collaborators and partner institutions, we are planning to visit universities, galleries and museums in Northern Scandinavia, to hold a transdisciplinary workshop, and carry out preparatory research on Linnaeus's journey in the spring of 2019.