Josefine Sjöberg

Josefine Sjöberg

Doctoral student, Master of Arts


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I am a doctoral student in Nordic history. I am writing my doctoral thesis about forgeries as a knowledge phenomenon during the period 1828–1850. I study court records and forged documents from the Turku Court of Appeal in order to examine how the peasantry used knowledge and skills in the making and use of forgeries. What might the forgery crimes tell us about the peasantry´s knowledges in Swedish writing practices during a time when Swedish was still the language of administration and education in Finland? Who were able to forge documents and what type of skills and knowledge did these people master? How was knowledge used and materialized in the forgery crimes? How were the forgeries created in interaction between people? The thesis contributes with new knowledge about the literacy of non-educated or very scarcely educated Finns in early modern Finland. The used source material represents a rare example of preserved texts that originates from the peasantry during the time period in question.

The research is part of the project ”Förfalskarna – Allmogens litterarisering och kunskap om det svenska språket i brottslig kontext i Finland under 1800-talets första hälft” (The forgers – The peasantries’ literalization and knowledge about the Swedish language in a criminal context in Finland during the first half of the19th century). The project is a cooperation between historians from the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University. The project is funded by Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland.

The project´s website:



  • DL Northern Europe. Scandinavia
  • 19th century
  • history of knowledge
  • legal history
  • literacy
  • peasantry

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