Collaboration at the service of the taxpayer

Collaboration with society is part of the university's mission, alongside research and teaching. Since much of our work is state-funded, it is our duty to provide feedback to the taxpayer about what we do and why it is important. The department has a long tradition of doing this, especially on the ethnology side. Many ethnologists have the ambition to educate and the research they conduct is on topics related to the everyday life of "ordinary people" in Sweden. This means that the research. in many ways. is both interesting and comprehensible to the public. 

The department's research can contribute with important perspectives on social and cultural sustainability and how people can understand each other and coexist despite differences. Through the ethnographic methodology and fieldwork experience, the department's researchers are used to and interested in meeting people. Engagement with society outside academia can also provide valuable insights for the research.  

Many ethnologists work in museums and archives, where interaction with the public is a key task. The fact that some ethnologists have regional specialties opens up for collaboration with local community associations. Ethnology at Campus Gotland has a long experience in collaboration. The department's ethnologists Carina Johansson and Ulf Palmenfelt have been on the board of the Gotland Museum of Cultural History board. Ethnographic photo exhibitions have also been organized together with the Art Museum on Gotland, the National Archives in Visby, and the Almedal Library. In spring 2023, a panel discussion will be held at Folkets Bio in Visby on the impact of tourism on Visby, with the participation of doctoral student Gurbet Peker and professor emeritus Owe Ronström. 

In Uppsala, ethnologists are also active collaborators. Professor Birgitta Meurling is contributing with cultural history texts to Culture Night 2023 and the reopening of the Gustavianum museum in 2024. The department's researchers are also frequently hired for lectures, including by Almedalsveckan, the Church of Sweden, Rotary and the Humanist Association, to name a few. 

In a university town like Uppsala, there is always a demand for collaboration with study associations, the Senior University, and other non-formal education initiatives. We also like to reach a younger audience through lectures in schools. Professor Emeritus Gösta Arvastson previously ran the collaborative project Forum for Schools together with Uppsala Municipality, which arranged seminar series in primary schools. 

Oscar Pripp is involved in the school sector, including how they can improve diversity work.

Media regularly contact us to anchor news reports on current research. This can range from political and cultural events to questions about the origins or meanings of traditions. Our research is particularly strong in the fields of islands, cultural heritage, tourism, music, ethnicity, equality, and clerical culture. 

For questions about collaboration, please contact Professor of Ethnology Birgitta Meurling.

Camilla Ingemark Asplund standing by a large screen, in front of audience sitting at tables.
Camilla Ingemark Asplund talking at the Humanistic Association of Gotland.
Last modified: 2023-05-03