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  • Gränsöverskridande kontexter: Om en metodologi bortom nationella tolkningsramar

    Adam Hjorthén

    Chapter from the book: Bergwik, S et al. 2022. Konsten att kontextualisera: Om historisk förståelse och meningsskapande.


    Boundary-crossing contexts: On a methodology beyond national frames of interpretation

    This chapter deals with contextualization when writing cross-border history, and the relation between contextualization and methodological nationalism. Grounded in the author’s own research on twentieth-century commemorations of Swedish settlement in North America, and the experience of rewriting a Swedish dissertation into a book published in the United States, the chapter addresses questions relating both to the researching and writing of history. The “transnational turn” has highlighted the need to consider contextualization as an integral aspect of historical interpretation. What contexts that are selected and given explanatory value is central to the history that researchers choose to convey. If we wish to move beyond national frameworks of interpretations—for example, by giving primacy to national contexts—it is important to be mindful of how we contextualize. The chapter argues for the benefit of an actor-centered approach to transnational history, and for the active use of contextualization as an analytical tool, where contexts are “weaved” in and out of the study. Beyond the empirical investigation and interpretative operation, the search for new empirical leads and new interpretative contexts is also associated with one's own intellectual and spatial mobility. The writing of transnational history does not only entail studying a research object that crosses borders; it can also mean that the researcher, on some level, likewise will have to act and work across borders. A further aspect of this is to consider what contexts that may be of relevance as you seek to make your results and narratives comprehensible to heterogenous audiences.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Hjorthén, A. 2022. Gränsöverskridande kontexter: Om en metodologi bortom nationella tolkningsramar. In: Bergwik, S et al (eds.), Konsten att kontextualisera. Stockholm: Stockholm University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16993/bbt.g

    This is an Open Access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (unless stated otherwise), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).

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    Additional Information

    Published on April 12, 2022


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