Karl Pettersson

Biography and/or project

My main interests involve the late medieval period, micro history, Longue durée-perspectives, emotions, senses, and culture, but also includes theoretical approaches and developments, as well as interdiciplinary methodologies.    

The theme of my dissertation concerns the development of selfhood, or the notion of the ’self’ from the 15th century until the the end of the 16th century. It is a period that has often been characterized as a great transition, involving the invention of the printing press, the renaissance, the protestant reformation and the discovery of ’the new world’.

The research is based upon a solid theoretical framework and includes a wide variety of sources, such as contemporary optical texts with reference to the invention of the flat glass mirror in the late 15th century, and traveling narratives from pilgrims to Jerusalem. The purpose of this inquiry is to critically analyze a few choosen individuals acting within the social structures, in correspondence with the alledged, and greatly influential ideas about individualism, selfhood, and reformation, that still prevails in the historic narrative regarding this dynamic period.