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Hospitality and Knowledge: Linnaeus’s hosts on his Laplandic Journey (1732)

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Isayev, Elena 
Muller-Wille, Staffan Erik Wilhelm  ORCID logo


Recent science studies literature has emphasised that knowledge is generated in transit and through encounters. If this is true, knowledge production will depend on forms and dynamics of hosting and hospitality. Conversely, inhospitable environments prevent encounters and decrease possibilities for the building of knowledge. Using results from a research project on Carl Linnaeus’s Laplandic Journey (Iter lapponicum, 1732), we address the relationship between frameworks of hospitability and knowledge construction. Lapland, or Sápmi, was in the process of being colonized by the emerging Swedish nation state when Linnaeus travelled. While in later reports Linnaeus created an image of Sápmi as uninhabited and uncultivated, waiting to be explored and exploited, his journal of the journey documents numerous encounters with state and church officials as well as reindeer herders, fishermen, settler farmers, and women with medicinal knowledge, many of whom were Sámi, on whose expertise, guidance and hospitality he depended.



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Social Research: an international quarterly of the social sciences

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Johns Hopkins University Press

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