Sweden in the Delaware valley. Everyday life and identities in the seventeenth century colony of New Sweden

Project: Research

Layman's description

New Sweden is the name of the Swedish colony established along the Delaware River in North America in the 1600s. Through the use of both archaeological and written sources, this project will study the impact of migration and colonization on the social and cultural identities of the settlers, their descendants, as well as the native population affected by the colony.

Between 1638 and 1656 several hundreds of Swedish settlers arrived in the Delaware River valley in North America. Some of them arrived lured by the promise of a better future; others were sent to America in service of their country; yet for others the prospect of relocation was clearly less of an evil compared with the imprisonment or death sentences waiting at home. Regardless of their reasons, migration to America had a significant impact on their life. In this project, we scrutinize the daily existence in the colony of New Sweden, mechanisms of formation of cultural identities and the complexity of colonization as a process. In particular we are interested in:

- aspects of interactions between the settlers and the Native Americans, and the ways material culture of both European and Native origin was exchanged, interpreted and used by the Swedish and their Native neighbors (Fredrik Ekengren)
- the technological choices in vernacular architecture and their meaning for the construction of cultural identities (Ulla Isabel Zagal-Mach)
- the processes of migration, settling in America and the ambiguities that arose between different settlers around the meaning and the function of the colony (Magdalena Naum).

In approaching the subject we are applying a historical archaeological framework and make use of critical and contextual analysis of written sources and material culture. The project involves collaboration with scholars and research institutions in both Sweden and US
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date2008/01/012016/12/31

Participants

Related projects

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Related research output

Naum, M. (ed.) & Fredrik Ekengren (ed.), 2018, Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer. 360 p. (Society for Post Medieval Archaeology Monograph; vol. 10)

Research output: Book/ReportAnthology (editor)

Fredrik Ekengren, 2018, Facing Otherness in Early Modern Sweden: Travel, Migration and Material Transformations 1500-1800. Magdalena, N. & Ekengren, F. (eds.). Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, p. 261-288 (The Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology Monograph; vol. 10).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter

Naum, M. & Fredrik Ekengren, 2018, Facing Otherness in Early Modern Sweden: Travel, Migration and Material Transformations, 1500–1800. Naum, M. & Ekengren, F. (eds.). Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, p. 3-4 (The Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology Monograph; vol. 10).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter

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Related activities

Ekengren, F. (Invited speaker), Magdalena Naum (Invited speaker)
2016 Sep 21

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

Ekengren, F. (Invited speaker)
2016 Sep 202016 Sep 23

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Ekengren, F. (Invited speaker)
2016 Sep 15

Activity: Talk or presentationPublic lecture/debate/seminar

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