Archaeology, University of Uppsala, Sweden
Fellowship : October 2014 to June 2015
Discipline(s) : Archaeology
Area(s) of expertise : Archaeology
Pays : Sweden
During the fellowship at IAS-Nantes, Svante FISCHER will study alternative strategies of reform and resilience during the collapse of a past civilization not all too unlike our own. Today, some 50% of the world population lives in cities in a global economy. Our future is bound to be problematic. Can we learn from past forms of urbanism and economic systems? This calls for a reflexive history.
The fall of the Roman Empire is tied to the collapse of urbanism and state bankruptcy. As a result, contemporary urbanism and financial systems are often considered parasitical yet intrinsic to modern societies, an heir of Roman civilization. The project will explore attempts at urban reform in Gaul during the collapse of the Roman Empire. When faced with contemporary global urbanism, it is important to point out that the incentive for urban reform in Gaul was local and not dictated from above. Instead, the reduction and fortification of urbanity in Gaul appears to have created the potential for resilience and sustainability. Some Gallo-Roman towns knew to downsize and commit themselves to drastic reforms, while larger cities were reduced to ruins. It is this resolve to transform cities and reform local enclaves that the project will examine
Born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1971, Svante FISCHER received his Bachelor in history from Brown University (Providence, USA) in 1994, having also studied at Columbia University in New York. In 1997-2001 studies resumed at Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE, Paris), Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, Université Paris-Sorbonne, Stockholm University, and Uppsala University in archaeology, French, history of Greek and Roman religions, Old Norse, and runology. FISCHER’s dissertation Roman Imperialism and Runic Literacy – The Westernization of Northern Europe (150-800) was successfully defended in January 2006. He then conducted post-doctoral research as Chargé de Mission at the Musée d’Archéologie nationale in St Germain-en-Laye (France).
The main focus of his research is on the Late Roman Empire and the Germanic world of the Migration Period with a comparative approach to Africa, America and Asia in the 19th and 20th centuries. Svante FISCHER has increasingly shifted focus to the Roman aspect of the problematic, questions of the late 5th century West Roman state finances and urbanism in particular. In 2011, he was awarded the Young Researcher’s prize by the French-Swedish Association for research with a visiting scholarship to Collège de France in September 2012. In November 2013, he became associate professor at Uppsala University (Sweden).
FISCHER Svante. Roman Imperialism and Runic Literacy – The Westernization of Northern Europe (150-800 AD). Arkeologi, Uppsala, 2005 [online, visited 13/03/2014]
FISCHER Svante. The Udovice Solidus Pendants – Late 5th Century Evidence of South Scandinavian Mercenaries in the Balkans. Fornvännen – Journal of Swedish Antiquarian Research, 2008, n°103. [online, visited 13/03/2014]
FISCHER, Svante; LEJDEGÅRD, H. et VICTOR, H. The Fall and Decline of the Roman Urban Mind. In SINCLAIR, P., NORDQUIST, G,. HERSCHEND F. et ISENDAHL, C. (edited by). The Urban Mind: Cultural and Environmental Dynamics. Studies in Global Archaeology 15; 2010, p.277-294. [online, visited 13/03/2014]
FISCHER, Svante et HERSCHEND, F. The Urban Mind is the Normalcy of Urbanity. In SINCLAIR, P., NORDQUIST, G,. HERSCHEND F. et ISENDAHL, C. (edited by). The Urban Mind: Cultural and Environmental Dynamics. Studies in Global Archaeology 15, 2010, p.195-220. [online, visited 13/03/2014]
FISCHER, Svante, LÓPEZ SÁNCHEZ, F. & VICTOR, H. A result from the LEO-project: The 5th Century Hoard of Theodosian solidi from Stora Brunneby, Öland, Sweden. Fornvännen – Journal of Swedish Antiquarian Research, 2011, n°106. [online, visited 13/03/2014]