13 Mar 2018
10:15  - 11:45

Kollegienhaus, Petersplatz 1, Basel, Hörsaal 116

Gastvorlesung / Vortrag

Bureaucracy and Alienation. Some Case Studies from Medieval Norway

Gastvortrag von Dr. Richard Cole, University College London, im Rahmen der Vorlesung "Schrift, Gesellschaft und Identität in Skandinavien" von Prof. Dr. Lena Rohrbach

Sturla Þórðarson's Hákonar saga Hákonarsonar (1260s) has often been interpreted as a record of a reign which was a milestone in the formation of the Norwegian state. But can it also be read as a depiction of a psychological breakthrough: a tentative step on the path towards a world of intransigent bureaucrats, unquestioning adherence to rules, and inescapable systems of social control and information-gathering. In this paper I will consider the ways that Sturla depicts bureaucratic psychology, and consider whether Haconian Norway really was the "well-ordered society" that Sturla (sometimes) portrays.

Richard Cole is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Department of Scandinavian Studies, UCL. From August 2018 he will take up the position of Assistant Professor at Aarhus Universitet, Denmark.

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