The History Seminar and the Supervisor: Changing Patterns of Supervision of History PhD Students in Sweden

Friday, January 6, 2017: 3:30 PM
Centennial Ballroom B (Hyatt Regency Denver)
David Ludvigsson, Linköping University
The presentation will explore Swedish experiences of three different models of Ph.D. supervision in history. Traditionally, the Ph.D. student presented texts at the seminar and it was at the seminar, in the presence of a large group of Ph.D. students, that the (male) supervisor gave advice to the author. However, in recent years new patterns for supervision have emerged. For a period, a common form was that the Ph.D. student had only one supervisor (always a full professor) and met with that person for intensive supervision. The current norm, supported by state and institution regulations, is that a team of supervisors shares responsibility for the Ph.D. student. Thus, at least three models of supervision have been in use during recent years: group supervision, one-to-one dyadic supervision, and team supervision.

The changed patterns of supervision have important consequences. One is that of a changed role for the seminar, that is the traditional “laboratory” of historical studies. Another is that team supervision provides students with a broader range of intellectual and social support. A third is that the power relations between Ph.D. student and supervisor(s) have changed, from that of slave-master to something much more complex with a range of relations within the group, where power relations between supervisors may sometimes be problematic. The paper will discuss what problems were solved by the different forms of supervision, and which problems were created. The paper is based on a range of materials including interviews, seminar protocols, and dissertation prefaces.

Previous Presentation | Next Presentation >>