Lisa Hellman
© Lisa Hellman

Dr. Lisa Hellman

Researcher and Coordinator of Research Group
"Coerced Circulation of Knowledge"

University of Bonn
Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies
"Coerced Circulation of Knowledge"
Adenauerallee 18–24
D-53113 Bonn


I work in the intersection between social, cultural, maritime and global history, with a special interest in gender. In the last years, my research has led me to pay increased attention to diplomatic history and the history of science.

My first project focused on everyday life of Europeans in the ports of Canton and Macau. In my second project, I compared their experiences with those in other Asian ports, primarily Nagasaki. In my current project, I follow 18th century prisoners of war in Siberia and North Asia.

Consequently, my research spans from the 17th to the early 19th century, with a regional focus on early modern Central and East Asia. The core question driving me, is how intercultural interaction changed the lives of the men and women involved.

Current Position

  • 2020–present            Researcher and Coordinator of Research Group "Coerced Circulation of Knowledge", Research Area D,
                                         Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies, University of Bonn, Germany


  • 2010–2015                 Ph.D. Studies, Department of History, Stockholm University, Sweden
  • 2015                             SUPRA Fellow, Nordic Institute for Asian Studies, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2014                             Guest Ph.D., University of Tokyo, Japan
  • 2013                             Guest Ph.D., Merton Collge, Oxford University, UK
  • 2012                             Guest Ph.D., Macao University, China
  • 2008–2009                 History studies, Kyoto University, Japan
  • 2003–2009                 B.A. and M.A. studies in History and Japanese, Uppsala University, Stockholm University, Sweden, and Nihon University, Japan

Academic Positions

  • 2017–2020                 Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of History, Uppsala University, Sweden, and School of Global Intellectual History, Free University of Berlin, Germany
  • 2018                             Fellow, Swedish Research Institute, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2018                             Guest fellow, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands Germany (interrupted by research stays and parental leave)
  • 2016–2017                 JSPS postdoctoral scholar, Interdisciplinary Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo, Japan 


  • 2020                           Frank Broeze Prize in Maritime History
  • 2017                           Award for best thesis in the humanities from the International Convention of Asian Scholars
  • 2017                           The Grand Research Award from the Swedish Institute in Istanbul
  • 2017                           International Maritime History Association's postgraduate award
  • 2016                           Award from The Delegation for Military History Research 

Third Party Funding (Selection)

  • 2019                             British Academy-funding for the research project "Living on the Edge: Experiences and Responses to Europe's Changing Borderlands" (€ 57,000), co-investigator
  • 2016                             Swedish Science Council international postdoctoral research grant (€ 306,000)
  • 2016                             Network funding from Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and The Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation (in sum € 26,000)
  • 2014                             The Foundation for Studies on Japanese Society, Olle Engkvist Byggmästares Foundation, Gull and Stellan Ljungbergs Foundation, Gertrude and Ivar Philipsons
                                          Foundation (in sum € 16,000)
  • 2011                             The Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education (STINT) (€ 11,000)2

Selected Publications

  • När tilliten inte är ett val: Kinesisk-ryska relationer i slutet av 1600-talet. [When Trust Is No matter of Choice: Chinese-Russian Relations in the Late 17th Century]. In: S. Erlandsson, S. Nauman (eds.): Tillit och diplomati. Personliga relationer och diplomatiska processer ca 1500–2000. [Trust and Diplomacy: Personal Relations and Diplomatic Processes c. 1500–2000]. (=Opuscula Historica Upsaliensia). Uppsala 2019.
  • This House Is Not a Home: European Everyday Life in Canton and Macao 1730–1830. (=Studies in Global Social History 34). Leiden 2018.
  • The Life and Loves of Michael Grubb: A Swedish Trader in 18th-century Canton and Macao. In: P. van Dyke, S. Schopp (eds.): The Private Side of the Canton Trade 1700–1842. Hong Kong 2018, 115-131.
  • Men You Can Trust? Intercultural Trust and Masculinity in the Eyes of Swedes in Eighteenth-century Canton. In: M. Naum, F. Ekengren (eds.): Facing Otherness in Early Modern Sweden: Travel, Migration and Material Transformations, 1500–1800. Suffolk 2018, 289-306.
  • Utblick: Japan. [Outlook: Japan]. In: Historisk tidskrift [Swedish Journal of History] 137/1 (2017), 86-96.
    Using China at Home: Knowledge Production and Gender in the Swedish East India Company, 1730–1800. In: Itinerario 38/1 (2014), 35-55.
  • Espaces d'intersection: Les relations sociales des employés de la Compagnie Suédoise des Indes Orientales à Canton au XVIIIe siècle. [Space for Intersections: Social Relations in of the Employees of the Swedish East India Company in 18th Century Canton]. In: G. Le Bouedëc (ed.): L'Asie, la mer, le monde: le temps des compagnies des Indes. [Asia, the Sea, the World: The Era of East India Companies]. Rennes 2014.
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