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Dr Christina Skott

Dr Christina Skott

Fellow, Director of Studies in History, Director of Studies in History and Politics, College Lecturer, Magdalene College

Affiliated Lecturer, Faculty of History

Magdalene College

Cambridge CB3 0AG
Office Phone: +44 -(0)1223-332832


Kantor-organist degree, Sibelius Academy of Music, Helsinki, 1980.

Cand. Phil., Art history, University of Helsinki, 1984.

Mag. Phil., Art history & European history, University of Helsinki, 1986.

PhD, History, University of Cambridge, 2004.

Fellow & Tutor, Wolfson College, 2005-2016. 

Junior Proctor, University of Cambridge, 2012-2013.

Teaching (part time) : University of Helsinki (1984-86); Åbo Akademi, Finland  (1986-89); La Salle College of the Arts, Singapore (1994-1996); University of the Philippines, Diliman, Manila, the Philippines (1997); Birkbeck College, University of London (2005-2006).


Subject groups/Research projects

World History:

Departments and Institutes

Magdalene College:

Research Interests

The history of Southeast Asia, with a special focus on the Malay world;  early modern European expansion in Asia; cultural and scientific exchanges between Europe and Southeast  Asia; economic botany, colonial agriculture and ecology. 


  • ‘Empires and world history from the fifteenth century to the First World War’ (Part I, Paper 21)
  • Contributions to teaching for the Themes and Sources paper Religious Conversion and Colonialism, and to the MPhil course in World History
  • Supervision of undergraduate dissertations (Southeast Asia, European expansion in Asia in the long early modern era) 

Key Publications

'Human taxonomies: Carl Linnaeus, Swedish travel in Asia and the classification of man', Itinerario, 43(2), 2019, pp. 218-242.

'The Regio Femarum and its warrior women: Images and encounters in European sources', in Vina Lanzona & Fredrik Rettig (eds.), Women warriors in Southeast Asia (Routledge, forthcoming, 2019), pp. 81-112. 

Editor, Interpreting diversity: Europe and the Malay world (Routledge, 2017). 

‘A view from the Hill: Romantic imaginings and ‘Improvement’ in early Penang’, in Yeoh Seng Guan & Peter Zabielskis (eds.), Penang and its Networks of Knowledge  (Areca Books, 2017), pp. 104-130.

With Rotem Kowner, ’East Asians in Linnaean taxonomy: sources and implications of racial images’, in Rotem Kowner & Walter Demel (eds.), Race and Racism in Modern East Asia. Vol. II: Interactions, Nationalism, Gender and Lineage  (Brill: 2015), pp. 23-54.

Editor, special issue of Indonesia and the Malay world 42 (123), 2014; Editorial: 'Europe and the Malay World, pp. 129-140.

 'Linnaeus and the troglodyte: early European encounters with the Malay world and the natural history of man', Indonesia and the Malay world 42 (123), 2014, pp. 141-169.

‘Expanding Flora's Empire. Linnaean science and the Swedish East India Company', in Kirsten McKenzie & Robert Aldrich (eds.), The Routledge History of Western Empires (Routledge, 2013), pp. 238-254.

’Ask about everything’: Clas Fredrik Hornstedt in Java, 1783-84’, in Tara Alberts & D. R. M. Irving (eds.), Intercultural Exchange in Southeast Asia: History and Society in the Early Modern World  (I. B. Tauris, 2013), pp. 161-202

'Climate, ecology and cultivation in early Penang', Proceedings of the PIO Conference, (2012), pp. 99-110.

‘Imagined centrality:  Sir Stamford Raffles and the birth of modern Singapore’, in Karl Hack & J-L Margolin (eds.) with Karine Delaye, Singapore from Temasek to the 21st century: Reinventing the Global City (Singapore: National University of Singapore Press, 2010), pp. 153-182.

‘The VOC and Swedish Natural history: the transmission of scientific knowledge in the eighteenth century’, in Siegfried Huigen et. al. (eds.), Dutch trading companies as knowledge networks, Intersections: Yearbook for Early Modern Studies, vol. 13 (Brill, 2010), pp. 361-392.

(As Christina Granroth),  Publ. & ed., C. F. Hornstedt,  En resa till Ostindien 1783-1786, with Patricia Berg & Maren Jonasson (Helsinki & Stockholm: Svenska Litteratursällskapet i Finland & Atlantis, 2008), 335pp. Articles:  ’En resa till Ostindien’, pp. 29-80; with Kees Rookmaaker: ’Han var mera egentlig zoolog än botanicus’, pp. 81-98.

‘Vasa Nation 1945-1983’,  in Den lyckliga nationen: Vasungar i hundra år (Helsinki, 2008), pp. 75-116.

‘Flora’s Apostles in the East Indies: Natural history, Carl Linnaeus and Swedish travel to Asia in the 18th century’, Review of Culture 21 (Macao, 2007), pp. 137-156.