Sweden

Category archives for Sweden

Good Recent Swedish Popular History

I don’t read much in Swedish. On a whim I decided to check what recent Swedish books I’ve read and liked outside work. Turns out they’re all popular history. Alla rekommenderas varmt för den som delar mina intressen! Kring Hammarby sjö. 1. Tiden före Hammarbyleden. Hans Björkman 2016. Local history. No, I’m from Borås. Ola…

Yeah, Screw You Too, Academia

I recently received a long-awaited verdict on an official complaint I had filed: there was in fact nothing formally wrong with the decision by the Dept of Historical Studies in Gothenburg to hire Zeppo Begonia. Since the verdict didn’t go my way, as planned I am now turning my back on academic archaeology. The reason…

Hiking In Abisko

Abisko national park is in the mountains of extreme northern Sweden, Sámi country, reindeer country, where half of the year is lit by constant sun and the other half is frigid darkness and aurorae. Getting there takes 17½ hours by train from Stockholm Central. There’s a sleeper train with no changes, so if you only…

My Ancestry

Inspired by Karin Bojs’s and Peter Sjölund’s recent book Svenskarna och deras fäder, I’ve looked into my ancestry by means both genetic and genealogical. Here’s a few highlights. Like most Stockholmers, I’m of mixed rural Swedish stock. My great grandpa’s generation contains 16 people born mainly in the 1880s. Only one of them was born…

The Swedish Higher Education Authority (Universitetskanslersämbetet) has evaluated our basic university programmes in a long series of subjects. The results for archaeology were published yesterday, based on the status 2012. There were 21 BA (3 yrs), Mag.Phil. (4 yrs) and MA (5 yrs) programmes at the country’s archaeology departments. The median grade they’ve received is…

Between Technocracy and Populism

I’m confused by this political science paper I’m editing. The guy wants to find a middle way for the EU between two kinds of authoritarianism: technocracy and populism. I understand the first word to mean ”rule by academic experts who don’t care what the voters say”, and the second to mean ”rule by uneducated clowns…

Here are two pages out of this week’s Swedish crime chronicle, showcasing the rare beauties of the small-town criminal mind. Both remind me of the movie Fargo in different ways. The first one is awesomely stupid. Wednesday shortly after noon a young couple were driving through the outskirts of Fagersta. Two police officers recognised them…

Contract archaeology is the current term for what used to be called rescue archaeology: documenting archaeological sites slated for destruction through land development. (Swedes sometimes fall for a false friend and translate an old word of ours, exploateringsarkeologi, into “exploitation archaeology”, suggesting fieldwork undertaken by people in pimp/ho outfits to the soundtrack from Shaft.) Swedish…

Deservedly Forgotten Swedish Drink

Sweden used to have its own version of Irish Coffee: kaffekask. It was big in the 19th century and I believe it dropped from favour during our 1917-55 period of liquor rationing. Nobody seems to drink kaffekask anymore. A kask is a type of helmet like the ones worn by English bobbies. But that’s apparently…

Saltsjöbaden Train / House Crash

Damn, I must have ridden those very train carriages thousands of times! The crash happened just four stops up the commuter train line from where I live. My wife and I went there this morning with our camera. Details here. . Update 21 January: On the basis of first reports and information from a former…