This project focuses on subsistence crises that hit Sweden, Finland and Iceland in 1867-68, and the corresponding humanitarian responses from Denmark. It explores the existence of a moral economy in mid nineteenth-century Europe that was intimately linked to the civic sphere and humanitarian enterprise. Using manuscript sources, official reports, and newspapers, the leadership and membership of Danish relief committees will be reconstructed, as will the backgrounds of the donors to these fundraising programmes. Through a local study of Aarhus, the project also examines the use of aid on an international and local level in the context of “citizenship,” and as a means of social and political advancement.
These themes connect the historical case studies to universal questions of disaster relief and fundraising in the twenty-first century, and particularly the “psychology of giving.” Why do people respond to disaster relief appeals, and what tensions arise? Among the topics to be covered here include: constructions of the past; ethnic and religious affinities; economic, trade, academic and cultural connections; “deserving” and “undeserving” recipients of aid; and tensions between supporting “domestic” and “foreign” causes.
Charity and Solidarity: Danish Famine Relief to Sweden, Finland and Iceland in the 1860s
Area of research:
European Area and Cultural Studies
1 Oct 2017 – 31 Jul 2018
AIAS-COFUND Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow
This fellowship has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 609033 and The Aarhus University Research Foundation.
Memorial to the Victims of Finland's Great Famine, Mäntsälä, Finland.