Brian Palmer

Senior lecturer/Associate Professor at Department of Theology, History of Religions and World Christianity

+4618-471 2682
Visiting address:
Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3 B
Postal address:
Box 511
751 20 UPPSALA

Short presentation

Brian Palmer is a social anthropologist and scholar of religion at Uppsala University in Sweden. Previously he held the Torgny Segerstedt Guest Professorship at Gothenburg University, and before that he taught at Harvard. His courses there on civic courage and engagement attracted as many as 600 students per term, and in 2002 Brian was awarded the Levenson Prize as Harvard’s best lecturer.

Brian’s latest book, written together with Ola Larsmo, is 101 historiska hjältar (101 historical heroes). It was published in October, 2013 by Historiska media (Lund); a softcover version and English and Korean editions are being prepared.

The book Global Values 101 is based on Brian’s Harvard courses. His doctoral dissertation, also at Harvard, explored Swedish conceptions of solidarity. In 2006, he and Per-Anders Forstorp wrote a book about rhetoric and symbolism in Swedish political campaigns. Brian has also done a study of how time pressures are recasting Swedes’ inner lives.

Brian was the research director of the Raoul Wallenberg Calendar, a collection of 365 accounts of individuals who took great risks for human rights, peace and democracy. The work was published internationally, with more than 100,000 copies printed in three languages; it was also serialized on Radio Sweden on every day of 2013.

Brian was a summer host of the radio program Sommar i P1 in 2004. He lectures in Sweden and internationally more than forty times per year, with a focus on civic courage and what Susan Sontag called ”the simultaneity of wildly contrasting human fates.” His website is


Socialantropologen Brian Palmer är universitetslektor vid Teologiska institutionen, Uppsala Universitet, och var tidigare innehavare av gästprofessuren till Torgny Segerstedts minne, Göteborgs universitet. 2002 fick han pris som Harvarduniversitetets bästa lärare. Han har skrivit doktorsavhandlingen Wolves at the Door: Existential Solidarity in a Globalizing Sweden, varit medförfattare till boken George W. Reinfeldt: konsten att göra en politisk extreme makeover, varit redaktör för Global Values 101, en bok baserad på hans Harvardkurser, varit forskningsledare till Raoul Wallenberg-kalendern, och varit medförfattare till boken 101 historiska hjältar. Brian Palmer var sommarpratare i Sveriges Radio 2004.

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Brian Palmer