WESS Research and Planning Committee - Egherman Abstract

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WESSWeb > WESS Committees > Research and Planning Committee > Topics in European Studies presentations since 2005 > Egherman Abstract


Kristina of Sweden and 17th Century European Reading

by
Mara M J Egherman
graduate student
University of Iowa School of Library and Information Science

Topics in European Literature
Sunday, 12 July 2009, 1:30-3:00 P.M.
Chicago, Palmer House: Wilson Room

Abstract

Kristina of Sweden, who reigned from 1632 to 1654, was brought up as a prince rather than a princess. One consequence was her remarkable literacy and learning. Drawing on interdisciplinary research in Scandinavian languages and literature, women’s studies, and the history of reading as reflected in library and information science scholarship, I have begun exploring different dimensions of the reading practices of Kristina of Sweden. My use of multiple disciplinary methods for understanding the role of the printed word in this Scandanavian monarch’s history is congruent with the way history of reading has developed as a field. Although Scandinavian history is often studied as a “sideline” to continental European history and Baltic history appears to be even further marginalized, my argument to date is that studying the reading of Kristina (1626-1689) may provide a path to investigate the interaction of all of these culturally aligned geographical areas in the 17th century for themes-in-common. What did it mean to own great quantities of books and manuscripts in 17th century Europe? How might we know which common works were read throughout royal or noble circles that would include continental Europe, Scandinavia and the Baltic region? Was there a common “canon” for these readers? Did religion or religious affiliation play a role? What part did Kristina, who crossed the continent after abdication and conversion, play in establishing or promoting that canon? These questions form the core of my developing research agenda on the significance and the effects of Kristina’s distinctive education, collections, and travel.



WESSWeb > WESS Committees > Research and Planning Committee > Topics in European Studies presentations since 2005 > Egherman Abstract


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