Crop failure disasters: Public knowledge in circulation and transformation, Sweden 1695–1870

Project: ResearchIndividual research project

Research areas and keywords

UKÄ subject classification

  • History


In our time of climate change, the question of how societies cope with natural hazards and what kind of knowledge are involved in such processes have become of great importance. This research project provides historical perspectives on how the phenomenon of crop failure disasters was perceived and politicized in the 18th and 19th centuries. The recurring crop failure disasters, which up to that point had resulted in famine, poverty, epidemics, social unrest, and death in premodern European societies, now slowly began to fade away. Meanwhile, this phenomenon was given a prominent position in public debate. The various forms of knowledge claiming to explain the underlying and more complex societal causes and effects related to crop failure disasters also became increasingly contradictory in this period.

This 3-year project aims to improve our historical understanding of crop failure disasters as an important political, environmental, and knowledge phenomenon during the transformative shift from pre-modernity to modernity. On the basis of two major fields of research, “historical disaster studies” and “the history of knowledge,” in addition to a variety of different sources, this project aims to show how the multifaceted and growing field of knowledge concerning crop failure disasters changed and how different forms of knowledge regarding the phenomenon circulated in the Swedish media system at the time period of 1695–1870.
Effective start/end date2018/01/012021/12/31


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Anna Nilsson Hammar, Johan Östling, David Larsson Heidenblad, Isak Hammar, Erik Bodensten, Kajsa Weber, Charlie Järpvall, Erling Sandmo & Kari Nordberg

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Related research output

Erik Bodensten, 2021, In: Scandinavian Journal of History. 46, 1, p. 42-62 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Erik Bodensten, 2020, In: Scandia. 86, 1, p. 129-132 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview (Book/Film/Exhibition/etc.)

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Related activities

Bodensten, E. (Presenter)
2019 Nov 42019 Nov 5

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop/ seminar/ course

Bodensten, E. (Participant)
2017 Sep 1 → …

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop/ seminar/ course

View all (2)