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Sveinn Jóhannesson

Sveinn Jóhannesson

PhD Candidate

University of Cambridge

Sidney Sussex College

Cambridge CB2 3HU

Research Interests

I study the history of the United States in the nineteenth century, with a particular emphasis on the histories of the state, knowledge and capitalism, including their spatial, transnational and imperial dimensions. My supervisor is Professor Gary Gerstle. Currently, I am currently completing my PhD dissertation, entitled "The Inquiring State: Scientific Knowledge and the Making of American Government", which explores the profound relationship between knowledge-making and state-making in nineteenth century United States. My work is forthcoming in the Journal of American History.

Prior to coming to the University of Cambridge, I studied as Clarendon Scholar at the University of Oxford (Masters, 2013), Vanderbilt University (Masters, 2014), and University of Iceland (BA, 2011). In October 2017, I will join the Institute of Historical Research as Past and Present Junior Research Fellow.


I have supervised for Paper 22 - North American History from 1607 to 1865


  • American History

Key Publications

"'Securing the State:' James Madison, Federal Emergency Powers, and the Rise of the Liberal State in Post-Revolutionary America," Journal of American History 104 (September 2017).