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Kim Simonsen joins the Vossius Center for three months as a Research Fellow with the project 'Fields of Knowledge - Between the Humanities and Natural History. Visual and Material Aspects of Travel Writing, seen through Northbound Travelling European Men of Science and Men of Letters 1772 -1840'.

About the project

This project seeks to gain a new understanding of the intersection between the history of humanities and the history of science/natural history in relation to how printed texts and scientific illustrations brought forward by polymath travel writers, became part of a nation building process for nations in the North. The project combines elements from cultural-, artand literary historical approaches with nation building theory and environmental humanities and the history of natural history.

A central aspect of the project is the notion that polymaths travellers were both ‘men of science’ and ‘men of letters’ and that they straddled the lines between natural history and cultural interests, but today their work is rarely studied together, since modern disciplines have gone in a myriad of directions from a common shared origin.

The project investigates the cultivation of nature as part of nation building processes in Nordic societies seen through the reciprocal effect travels had on the construction of national self-images in the North, which again led to the founding of new disciplines and an extensive cultural exchange.

About the researcher

2017 - Leader of the network on North Atlantic Digital Repatriation and Cultural Heritage Network. Supported by the Nordic Cultural Point.
2014-2017 Postdoc Carlsberg Foundation Foreign Scholarship. University of Amsterdam, SPIN: Study Platform of Interlocking Nationalisms. 
2014 - Leader of the Network on Romantic Travel Writing to the Far North 1800-1900. Supported by the Nordic Cultural Point.