Det nära främmande : Svensk lärdom och politik i en tysk tidning, 1753-1792

Sammanfattning: This dissertation analyzes the representations of Swedish learning and politics in the well-known review journal Göttingische Anzeigen von gelehrten Sachen during the time period 1753–1792. The overarching purpose is to investigate how a European country could be imagined and put to use in a nearby state, where it had the status of a proximate “other”. The dissertation conceptualizes Anzeigen as a collective agent, as a node in the vibrant Swedish–Hanoverian networks, and as a conduit for the interaction between cosmopolitan and patriotic sensibilities in the eighteenth century. The analysis shows that Sweden and Swedish men of erudition were usually represented in a positive manner due to the potential or actual usefulness of inspirational and imitation-worthy Swedish experiences, the transnational network exchanges, and Anzeigen’s identification with Swedish estate society, especially its upper echelons. In addition, the journal perceived Sweden as closely related to Germany in terms of history, culture, and language, which meant that the northern kingdom was both “the same” and “the other”. Anzeigen thus identified with Sweden on several levels, although its nature and climate, the Lapps, and the remaining Baltic provinces–Swedish Pomerania and Wismar–constituted a basis for representations of Sweden as “the other”.From a theoretical point of view, the dissertation challenges traditional, nation-oriented history writing as well as research efforts characterized by the explicit or implicit axiom that representations of otherness are necessarily negative and oppressive. The investigation into Anzeigen’s reporting on Sweden also suggests the existence of a transaction system alongside the Hanoverian–Swedish networks, a “patriotic–cosmopolitan economy”, through which national and particularistic experiences could become universal phenomena and be transferred to different, equally national and particularistic, settings.

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