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Hampus Östh Gustafsson joins the Vossius Center for one month in 2022 as a Research Fellow with the project 'Historiographical Legitimization: Mobilizing the History of the Human Sciences, c. 1930–1970'. Hampus will first stay with the center for two weeks in the second half of March and shall return to the Vossius Center in September.

About the project

The last decades have seen an expansion and institutionalization of history of the humanities. It is no coincidence that this happens at a time when the societal value of these disciplines has been questioned. As Herman Paul recently remarked: ‘Whenever the humanities are under pressure, people start asking philosophical and historical questions about what the humanities actually are, where they come from and what benefit they are to society’. This is indeed not the first time that we see scholars turning to the history of their own disciplines in order to strengthen their legitimacy in the present. In a future project, I wish to investigate in what ways histories of the humanities were written in the past, avant la lettre, as a kind of scholarly activism, and thus provide new perspectives on the origins and formation of history of humanities and adjacent fields.

About the researcher

Researcher at the Department of History of Science and Ideas at Uppsala University, within an
international project on collegiality and university governance (Swedish Research Council).

In 2021, I defended my doctoral thesis on the legitimacy of the 20-century humanities in Swedish politics of knowledge. In my current research, I investigate the role played by collegiality in the context of major reforms in the history of research and higher education with a particular focus on the conflicting temporalities of university politics.