Emma Hagström Molin

Biography and/or project

Emma Hagström Molin holds an international postdoc position funded by the Swedish research council (01.05.2017–30.04.2020), through which she is associated with the chair for the history of science at the Humboldt University in Berlin, and the department for history of science and ideas at Uppsala University in Sweden. Her postdoctoral project focuses on the material conditions for historical research in nineteenth-century Europe – including the emergence of provenance research – firstly through the lens of Moravian historian Beda Dudík’s transnational scholarship in the Habsburg empire, Italy, and Sweden.


Hagström Molin was a part of the research school for studies in cultural history at Stockholm University during her PhD-candidature, and earned her PhD in history of ideas in June 2015. Her doctoral thesis, The Biography of Spoils. On the Lives of Loot in the Swedish National Archives, Uppsala University Library, and Skokloster Castle during the Seventeenth Century, explores the fate of war booty, taken by Gustavus Adolphus and Carl Gustav Wrangel during their respective military campaigns in Central and Eastern Europe. The analysis scrutinizes how loot was “made”, that is, the different ways in which spoils were interpreted and given meaning in their new contexts, and how Swedish collections were affected by the presence of spoils. 


Between February and July 2016, Hagström Molin was a visiting postdoctoral fellow in Department II (Daston) at the Max Planck Institute for the history of science in Berlin. She was awarded the biannual postdoctoral scholarship of the Fondazione Famiglia Rausing the same year, in order to conduct research in Rome and Venice. She has taught and developed several courses in the history of ideas, from the first semester’s general course on the antiquity and the middle ages, to interdisciplinary workshops for PhD-students interested in materiality.