Research projects

A tale of two cities: inequality in death in Copenhagen and Madrid in late 19th and early 20th century

Project by Barbara Ana Revuelta Eugercios, Mobilex Fellow, Saxo Institute

Barbara studies the relationship between occupation, often used as an indicator of socio-economic status, and the mortality risk of individuals in two European cities, Copenhagen and Madrid, in late 19th and early 20th century.

In order to do address this issue, reconstructed life courses (based on linked records on individual through the census, birth, death, migration and marriage information) will be created for the city of Copenhagen (1880-1885) and compared to a similar data already available for Madrid. The results will illuminate whether and why mortality was higher for the working classes, and whether there were particular subpopulations at risk within the city.

For more about the project go to the personal profile for Barbara Revuelta.Til toppen

Governing Obesity

Project participation by Anne Løkke, Professor, Saxo Institute

Governing Obesity is an interdisciplinary research project involving five faculties based at the University of Copenhagen (link to GO).  The overall aim of Governing Obesity is to provide new means and innovative methods to treat as well as prevent obesity and its consequences, while avoiding unintended and negative effects. This is done via interventions at both the societal and individual levels, from early-stage overweight to morbid obesity.

Anne participates in workpackage 1 that deals with early life interventions, which she turns to in a historical perspective. Her area of interest is infant health and feeding following her long-term interest in infant health and mortality and the importance of policies and practices of breastfeeding.

Breaking bonds of the heart. An Emotional History of Divorce in Danmark, 1885-2012

Project by Karen Vallgårda, Associate Professor, Saxo Institute.

Karen aims to bring a historical perspective to bear on the emotional contests of divorce in Denmark: her project examines the emotional practices of divorce since 1885. Emotions make up an important subject of study in relation to divorce for two reasons.

First, emotions both reflect and help maintain – or transform – social order, and investigating them will shed light on the shifting implications of divorce across the social landscape.

Second, marital dissolution has presumably always been an emotionally charged process for the divorcing couple and their children, where there were any. A focus on emotions will therefore help recover aspects of the divorce experience that have hitherto been treated as secondary or irretrievable. The sources are court cases, public discourse, electronic media, parliamentary debates, etc.

Picturing Fatness c. 1850-1998

Project by Anne Katrine Kleberg Hansen, Copenhagen Centre for Health Research in the Humanities (CoRe)

Anne Katrine aims to write a history of how visual depictions have shaped medical knowledge. The project departs from the basic notion that visual representations contribute to inform and form medical knowledge rather than just reflect the state of knowledge at a given time in history.

As such, differing types of medical visuals – for example, charts or photography – are not just different ways of illustrating the same problem or phenomenon, rather they can point to the various ways in which fatness historically has been conceptualized and practiced within medical research.

Reduced mortality - increased morbidity? Morbidity in relation to the emerging system of sickness benefits in Sweeden, 1890-1960

Project by Helene Kristina Castenbrandt, Mobilex Fellow, Saxo Institute

Helene studies changes in morbidity together with changes in the perception of illness in relation to the emerging welfare state in Europe. With the industrial revolution, a system of private health insurance societies (sickness funds) emerged, which offered labourers with membership compensation for sick leave.

Archive material from sickness funds provides great opportunities for studying morbidity. The study will focus on source material from Sweden.By adding new knowledge on morbidity to existing facts about mortality, the project will provide a better understanding of the differences and changes in public health.Til toppen

Food for the Elderly in 20th and 21st century Denmark

Postdoc project by Tenna Jensen, postdoc at Saxo Institute

Tenna focuses on scientific and political perceptions of food for elderly along with past and present municipal as well as personal food practices. It is structured in three interrelated studies of:

  1. Scientific perceptions of the nutritional needs of the ageing body.
  2. Municipal health promoting initiatives and practices aimed at elderly in the 20th and 21st century. Case Copenhagen.
  3. Food practices and perceptions of the elderly.

Read more about the project at Tenna Jensen's personal profile.Til toppen