Position available as Postdoc fellow in colonial history
Context of position:
The project ‘Huseby in the world’ (‘Huseby i världen’) engages with the unique collection of historical documents, the Joseph Stephens Archive, that encompasses the material of a European subcontractor in railway constructions in 1860s western India. These were the post-revolt years, including the cotton boom followed by the collapse of the Bombay stock market. It was simultaneously years infrastructure development, and for luck-seekers and entrepreneurs. The recently discovered collection is unusually detailed and comprehensive, and opens a window to the lower ranks of life and work of the region, the workforce, the engineers, the railway company, and the social life of the unruly 1860s in colonial west India.
Simultaneously, it places southern Scandinavia and the south-Sweden Småland County in a British imperial context which challenges current historiography of Swedish 19th century history. ‘Huseby in the world’ is a collaboration between LNU and the Huseby Estate (Huseby Bruk AB), which is the iron mill and agrarian estate into which Joseph Stephens invested his earnings from India, today a cultural centre. In addition to historical research, disseminated in academic publications, the project aims at making academic historical research available in pedagogical programmes for the public at the Huseby Estate. The postdoc position is open to scholars with a PhD in history from 2012 or more recent. The postdoc shall conduct research in the Joseph Stephens archives and other archives that are relevant to the topic. The specific research theme is the formation of practical and theoretical knowledge, the organisation of labour, and the social networks that facilitated the work of a railway contractor. The postdoc fellow will work in a team, including researchers at LNU and pedagogical staff at the Huseby Estate. The postdoc applicant is expected to contribute to the development of the Centre through research and publications, participate in seminars and other activities at the Centre, and collaborate with other scholars and graduate students within the Centre.