• Sophus Reinert


 March 2020, Paper: "On May 27, 1776, the Scottish immigrant John Robertson Brand, sometimes known as John Brandt, was awarded a silver medal by the Royal Norwegian Scientific Society in the church of the fishing village of Hustad, south of the Trondheim Fjord in central Norway. Though below the Arctic Circle, Hustad lies slightly off the sixty-third parallel north, which runs through Canada’s Nunavut and Yukon Territories, the Davis Strait, and the deep Russian tundra—a decidedly hyperborean region compared to the traditional latitudes of Enlightenment. And yet, stepping into the small wooden church’s aisle on that spring day to deliver a speech marking the occasion, District Governor Even Hammer of Romsdal summoned a language of reform, improvement, industriousness, civic virtue, public happiness, jealousy of trade, and political economy that would have resonated deeply and widely across the European world, a language indebted to international currents but resolutely inflected by local conditions in what he appropriately called “our cold North.” Few cases better justify the great Turinese historian Franco Venturi’s admonition, a few days before his death, to “the young and the less young” to remember “always that local roots and the great ideas that break the skies of Europe can never be separated.”"

Non-HKS Author Website - Sophus Reinert