Department of Humanities, Mid-Sweden University, Sundsvall/Härnösand/Östersund

Postal address: Department of Humanities, Mid Sweden University, SE-871 70 Sundsvall
Visiting address: Metropol, Building C, Floor 6, Universitetsallén 32, Sundsvall
Web page: https://www.miun.se/en/university/organisation/departments/humanities-hum

        – Eco-Humanities Hub (ECOHUM) new
        – Religious Studies new

The Department of Humanities is located at Campus Sundsvall. The department conducts research and offers more than 70 different courses in History, Comparative Literature, English, Spanish, Swedish and Religious Studies.

Research at the department connected to South Asia

Eco-Humanities Hub (ECOHUM)

      Web page: www.miun.se/universitetet/organisation/avdelningar/hum/forskning/forskningsprojekt/ecohum
      Contact person: Associate professor Olavi Hemmilä

This unit was launched by the Department of Humanities in the spring of 2014. ECOHUM helps coordinate a new set of linked research projects and educational initiatives through which five subjects in Mid Sweden University’s Department of Humanities – English, History, Comparative Literature, Religion, and Spanish – engage Environmental Humanities study foci.
Dr. Olavi Hemmilä works at ECOHUM since April 2015. Previously, he has been working at in the field of Comparative Literature at the School of Education and Humanities at Dalarna University, Campus Falun, from 1998 till mid-February 2010. In 2010, he was also Visiting Fulbright Hildeman Professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, USA. There, he taught a course entitled ”Sustainability in Contemporary Scandinavian Society”.
While working at Dalarna University, Olavi completed his PhD dissertation work at the Dept of General and Comparative Literature, Stockholm University. He defended his thesis on ”En yogi kommer till stan: Intresset för indisk religion i svensk skönlitteratur med särskild tonvikt på Dan Anderssons författarskap” (A Yogi Comes to Town: Indian religious thinking as reflected in Swedish fiction with special focus on the works of Dan Andersson), on 14 september 2002. In his dissertation Hemmilä presents a basic survey of the interest in Indian religious thinking as it is manifested in Swedish fictional literature over the years, with special emphasis on an analysis of the works of Dan Andersson. It turns out that Andersson wqas strongly influenced by Rabindranath Tagore’s poetry. More information on his thesis and research at Dalarna University.

Dr. Hemmilä has contuinued to focus on Rabindranath Tagore. In 2005, he wrote a booklet on the Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore's visits to Sweden in 1921 and 1926. It was published at a ceremony in the Rabindra Bhavan museum in Shantiniketan, West Bengal on 7 May 2005. This was in connection with reinstatement of the the Nobel literature prize medal awarded to Tagore in 1913. The original medal was stolen in March 2004, but the Swedish Nobel Foundation in an totally unprecedented manner decided to present the Indian government two replicas of the stolen medal (in gold and bronze). Olavi Hemmilä was himself present at the reinstatement ceremony. More information.

Religious Studies

        Web page: https://www.miun.se/utbildning/kurser/sprak-litteratur-historia-och-religion/religionsvetenskap
        Contact person: Associate Professor Anna-Pya Sjödin, phone: +46 (0)10 142 81 28

Anna-Pya Sjödin

Anna-Pya Sjödin has joined Mid-Sweden University in 2015. Previously, she was working as a research fellow at School of Culture and Communication, Södertörns högskola (Södertörn University). 
She defended her PhD in Indology at Uppsala University in 2007, and is still connected to the Department of Linguistics and Philology, Uppsala University, as well. More information about her dissertation, her post-doc research project, and publication activities.
Sjödin's research is centered in the understandings and conceptualizations of knowledge and cognition, especially intrasubjective cognition, within the commentarial tradition of Vaiśeṣika- sūtra. She has been involved in a research project entitled "The little girl who knew her brother would be coming home: knowledge and cognition in Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika”.She furthermore works on the position of Indian philosophy within European academic philosophy.
Anna-Pya Sjödin also teaches courses on Buddhism, Materialism and Hinduism. In 2009 and 2010, a 15 ECTS course in History of Indian Philosophy was running. It was the first of its kind in Sweden. It focused on the Buddhist, Hindu, Materialist, and Sceptical traditions that have existed in India for a long time, starting with Vedic metaphysical speculations 3,500 years ago, and ended up with today’s postcolonial theories. The course ws aimed at students within the humanities, mainly Philosophy, Science of Religion, and from History of Ideas. More information.

At Mid-Sweden University a 7.5 ECTS web based course entitled ”Den blå guden: Religion och kultur i Indien, was run during the summer 2015. More information.