Contact SALT


Research director: Lena Roos
Tel: 018-471 1328

SALT office
Tel: 018-471 20 85

Visiting address: Engelska parken, House 4, Entrance 3D, floor 2, room 2003B and 2003C

Postal address: Box 527, 751 20 UPPSALA


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Welcome to SALT

Unfortunately the Forum for Advanced Studies in Arts, Languages and Theology has come to an end.

The resources will be used for other, similar activities within the departments.

In remeberence of all our activities, we here present some of the comments and thoughts from the people involved:

Comments from former SALT lecturers

On the training of junior researchers

When I visited Uppsala earlier this year, I was impressed by the vitality and strength of the scholarly community you have created there through your engagement with SALT.  The only day I was free to run an all-day academic writing seminar was on 19 June, the day before Midsummer Eve.  You warned me that attendance might be low on such a day, as everyone would be heading out of town.  Instead, the seminar was fully booked, and the positive energy in the room was palpable.  Participants ranging from PhD students to full Professors gathered together to discuss their research writing and share their scholarly struggles, strategies, and successes in a collegial setting.

Having offered similar workshops over the past few years at more than 50 universities and academic conferences in 15 countries, I know how unusual it is for faculty and graduate students to have opportunities to come together in such an intensively focused yet non-hierarchical gathering.  I was especially impressed by the fact that the students and faculty who attended spontaneously seated themselves in mixed groups at the tables and introduced themselves to each other, rather than clustering together with others of "their own kind" -- a sign that you have created a scholarly community that values generosity and builds trust.  From my research worldwide, I know that early-career academics who have the opportunity to attend professional development events in the company of more senior academics not only tend to feel much better-supported in their professional formation than their peers at other institutions; they are also more likely to adopt the habits of intellectual curiosity and interdisciplinary thinking that are modeled for them by their more experienced colleagues.

I look forward to visiting Uppsala again next May and hope very much that the work of SALT will continue well into the future!

Helen Sword
Professor and Director
Centre for Learning and Research in Higher Education (CLeaR)
The University of Auckland
Författare till bl a
Stylish Academic Writing och Inspiring Academic Writers

I first gave workshops at Uppsala (on publishing and on conferencepresentations) for PhD students in English and one or two related departments, but since they have come under the aegis of SALT, the sessions have been better organised, more wide-ranging in subject matter (including research impact and communication with wider audiences), more widely accessible to postgraduates across the humanities and social sciences, and an excellent forum for interdisciplinary cross-fertilisation; all of these factors have been enormously beneficial for the participants.  SALT has provided a convivial space for the exchange of ideas among researchers which is essential to any dynamic research culture, and an excellent training programme designed to enrich its offering with transferable skills development of a kind that is now essential to career-building within and beyond academia.

My perspective as an international research training consultant is a comparative one, encompassing the UK, US, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland, Norway and Sweden.  What SALT offers is not entirely unique, but without it Uppsala would be less attractive in what it offers to Swedish and international researchers.  Since the market for PhD students is now increasingly an international one, this matters, both to Uppsala's standing in global higher education and its capacity to attract the best research students from overseas in a highly competitive international marketplace.

Having slipped outside the top 100 in the World University Rankings for the last two years, Uppsala would be well advised to devote the resources necessary to support and develop the important contribution made by SALT to the vibrancy of its research culture and training programme in the humanities and social sciences.

Josie Dixon

Publishing and Research Training Consultant Lucian Consulting

For the past five years it has been my pleasure to collaborate with the SALT on the subject of academic publishing.  In 2010, Britt-Inger Johansson asked if we would lead a workshop on how to get published.  The one day workshop turned into a term long course geared towards PhD students and postdocs from across Humanities and Social Sciences.  The course has evolved over the years and I was incredibly impressed with the past year's organization, the level of participation and diversity of participants.  Professionalization courses like these are rare in academia, young scholars are left on their own to navigate the often confusing world of publishing.  It is great to see a center like SALT committed to supporting young scholars and providing them with the inspiration and tools they need to succeed.

Victoria Babbit,  Publisher, Scandinavia
Taylor & Francis Group.

My feeling is that SALT should continue its work. I have two reasons.

The first is that SALT's mission is essential to sustaining UU's pool intellectual resources. As universities today require more bureaucratic work from academic staff, life of the mind and a culture of inquiry--the mainstays of any effective university--are threaten. SALT's international activities and its professional training modules for younger academics, both reaffirm intellectual priorities and provide guidance in how to perform successfully as an intellectual.

The second is, given that I have lectured and led workshops at SALT for some years now, the feedback I've received from participants and past participants about the value SALT activities has created for them as researchers. This evidence is, admittedly, anecdotal, but I remain confident that SALT's Publish or Perish series has improved the university's international publication record.

Thomas Lavelle
Professor, Handelshögskolan Stockholm

On interdisciplinary and international contacts

Having lectured at SALT a couple of times, my impression has been thoroughly positive. I think Uppsala University got an important advantage when starting this interdisciplinary forum and networking initiative. Not least in an honourable grand old university like UU, there is strong need to forge new and innovative links between disciplines. My impression of UU is of a university full of highly qualified scholars in the humanities and social sciences, but with a need to breed more of cross-disciplinary exchange, cooperation and innovation, and in this respect SALT should be a key tool. I actually believe that SALT could be strengthened and more actively used of exploring the most emergent and creative intersections between different areas and subjects, and also as a bridge to frontline research centres and environments at other universities in Sweden as well as internationally.

I hope these reflections may be in some way useful to you in your efforts to further develop SALT

Johan Fornäs
Professor of Media and Communication Studies
School of Culture and Education
Södertörn University

Jeg oppfatter SALT som den rette veien å gå i tverrfaglig humanistisk forskning. Ettersom humaniora i mange sammenhenger blir nedskalert (downsized), blir samarbeid på tvers viktigere for å drive innovasjon. Mitt inntrykk er at SALT har greid å gjøre dette på en kvalitativt god måte, og på en måte som skaper et godt inntrykk av Uppsala. Uppsala er et universitet med lange og stolte akademiske tradisjoner. Dette er stort sett en fordel, men tradisjoner kan av og til stå i veien for innovasjon og nytenkning. Det er her særlig, at kombinasjonen av solide, lange akademiske Uppsala-tradisjoner OG en liten innovativ, tverrfaglig virksomhet som SALT kan få fram det beste i to ulike tilnærminger til forskning og utvikling.

Jeg synes absolutt at SALT skal fortsette. Kanskje skal forelesningene bli del av mer langsiktige prosjekter/satsinger, eller kanskje man til og med skulle utvikle en tverrfaglig humanistisk forskningsenhet?

Jorunn Økland,

Professor of Interdisciplinary Gender Studies in the Humanities Centre for Gender Research, University of Oslo

In my opinion the possibility of giving lectures within the SALT program is an important contribution to making international research directly accessible to Uppsala students as well as to promoting the cooperation of researchers from different countries with their Swedish colleagues. During my stay at Uppsala university, where I had never been before, I was impressed by the openness of all its members, colleagues, students and administration and I got important insight into Swedish university life. I earnestly recommend to continue SALT lectures.

Prof. Dr. Walter Breu
Universität Konstanz
FB Sprachwissenschaft

In late 2007 I was able to visit Uppsala University thanks to an invitation from SALT. This enabled me to make contact with new colleagues and develop contacts with old colleagues in the rich linguistic offerings that characterize Uppsala University, in particular the strengths in Asian languages (Turkic, Iranian, South Asian, etc.). These contacts enabled me to broaden and deepen my own work on linguistic typology, leading for instance to a recently completed article on the development of ergativity in Iranian languages [alternatively: ... article on the syntax of Iranian languages] and to recently published joint work with Uppsala (and Gothenburg) colleagues on lexical databases for South Asian languages.

This first invitation to lecture at Uppsala University led, among other things, to my being awarded an honorary doctorate of the university of 2010, i.e. to a long-term sense of being a member of the Uppsala family, and I welcome every opportunity to return to develop these contacts even further (most recently, earlier this year, to a conference on South Asian languages).

Bernard Comrie
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig

My SALT experience was a very useful experience indeed as it brought me into conversation with a different group of scholars in a different part of the world (most of my theology/popular culture work had been very clearly UK/US-focused thus far). I was pleased to be asked. My visit was well-hosted. A particularly interesting slant was the responsibility/opportunity to connect with doctoral students, even if I was not quite clear whether my input was of any real use! I was able to pinpoint some resources which students were not aware of, though was also conscious that as a theologian I was approaching questions at an angle rather different from the religious studies/social science focus of some of the students, but that is the challenge of inter-disciplinary work.

I can certainly say I gained a very favourable impression indeed of Uppsala University, and it did provide me with links with individual scholars, one or two of which I have been able to build on. What has not happened is my being able to forge structured, funded research projects which, I guess, it could be argued would be a legitimate, targeted outcome of such links. I am conscious that Uppsala has undertaken the initiative to invite people to Uppsala, but may not have experienced much reciprocation from other institutions. That may be why there is questioning from within!

I do hope, though, that the programme can continue, even if it could rightly demand more of what scholars from outside Sweden do to include Uppsala in international projects based elsewhere.

Dr. Clive Marsh
Director of Lifelong Learning

Vaughan Centre for Lifelong Learning, University of Leicester

I deeply value the mission of SALT to facilitate interdisciplinary research that reaches across boundaries. All universities claim they do this, but few actually do. The SALT center is thus an example of visionary practice in a university setting.

Arjen Boin
Professor of Public Governance and Crisis Management
Utrecht University

With increasing specialisation in both sciences and humanities, coupled with a growing sense that knowledge must be usefully linked to the public good, it is imperative that interdisciplinary studies and creative innovations in both thought and practice be supported and sustained.  Institutes of Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences, as well as lecture series and international seminars that bring together diverse talents and divergent fields are a vital part of this process of reflecting on the changes occurring in our society, and by extension in the academic world, while providing creative insights into how we can stay ahead of the game rather than fall victim to passing fashions and entrenched interests.  My own experience of the SALT program is that this initiative exemplifies a vision of arts, humanities and sciences brought together in ways that explore in depth the human condition and discover through conversation and debate across disciplinary lines how we can maintain our intellectual connectedness and edge.  I have had a close association with Uppsala University since 1985 and I have always regarded Uppsala as one of the most intellectually exciting Universities to visit and work in; my participation in the SALT program was a high point in these two decades of collaboration and conversation.

Michael D Jackson

Distinguished Professor of World Religion,

Harvard Divinity School- 

First, although I know that the visiting lecturers are not supposed to be the primary beneficiaries, I do want to see that I have in fact benefitted enormously form the chance to exchange views with Swedish (and other international) colleagues and students during my two visits to Uppsala. It is tremendously useful for American scholars of their own society to see it for a bit through the eyes of extremely well-trained and sometimes sceptical (and sometimes not sceptical enough!) international scholars. Second, I also think it's very useful for the students and faculty at Uppsala. I have spoken at literally dozens of international universities over the past 25 years, and found that my colleagues at Uppsala were particularly well-informed and sophisticated in their relation to current scholarship, a fact that must be attributed at least in part to the efforts of SALT. If I were to make any suggestions for the future, it would be the very modest one of suggesting the value of mini-symposia (as opposed to the  large conference or the individual lecture), with papers distributed in advance rather than read aloud. The opportunities for discussion and debate are much enhanced. But, as I say, this is very minor, and I'm sure all of us would be thrilled to see the program continue even just as it is.

Walter Benn Michaels
Professor and Head
Dept. of English UIC

I was invited to SALT, English Park campus, in 2009 to speak as part of a series on Risk. This was my first introduction to SALT and to Uppsala University and I was profoundly impressed by the intellectual engagement of graduate students and staff. My visit included a lecture, followed by a two-hour workshop with doctoral students. Most of the graduates had given me written chapters prior to my visit so we were able to have a truly in-depth discussion and debate about the focus of their proposals and the quality of their ideas. The discussions continued long after the allocated time, which was an indication of the value of the exchange and receptiveness of the students. SALT has the advantage of being a loci for interdisciplinary work, for fostering intellectual exchange between Swedish and international scholars, and for bringing to world attention the strengths of research being carried out in Sweden.

Joanna Bourke

Professor, Department of History, Classics and Archaeology,

Birkbeck University of London