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Kean to Host Swedish Researcher for Lecture on European Prehistory and Anthropology

Kean University’s Department of History and Jewish Studies Program will host Dr. Olof Ljungström, a researcher at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, for a free lecture, entitled Aryans and Turanians: Scandinavia and the first synthesis for a racial prehistory of Europe, 1840-1870. The lecture will be held on Wednesday, June 11, from 5:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. in Hennings Hall, Room 113, located on the University’s campus, at 1000 Morris Avenue in Union, N.J. A brief reception for Ljungström will be held prior to the lecture at 5:15 p.m.

Ljungström will explore how the Aryan-Turanian dichotomy was central for discussions about European prehistory and anthropology during the latter part of the 19th century. According to Ljungström, this mythology typically receives less attention than the opposition Aryan-Semite, despite playing a considerable role in the formulation of the brand of Aryanism eventually embraced by German Nazism. He will pay particular attention to the Stockholm anatomist Anders Retzius, who formulated a general hypothesis for a European prehistory in the early 1840’s.

Ljungström’s research focuses on the histories of anthropology, natural history and medicine. It has been conducted as part of Karolinska Institutet’s upcoming 2010 bicentenary celebration, and is intended to produce a critical appraisal of the institution’s medical research history in the period 1960-2010. He is also the coordinator of a project to establish an archive on Karolinska Institutet’s campus for the history of medicine. Ljungström holds a doctorate in the history of science and ideas from Uppsala University, Sweden.

For more information, please call Dr. Brian Regal, assistant professor in Kean’s Department of History, at 908-737-4252.