Sebastian Cöllen

Researcher at Department of Modern Languages, German

+46-72 9999650
Mobile phone:
+46 72 9999650
Visiting address:
Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3 L
Postal address:
Box 636
751 26 UPPSALA

Librarian (Leave of Absence) at University Library, Learning and Research Support Division

+4618-471 2915
Mobile phone:
+46 72 9999650
Visiting address:
Carolina Rediviva, Dag Hammarskjölds väg 1
Postal address:
Box 510
751 20 UPPSALA
Leave of Absence:
2023-07-01 - 2026-07-01

Short presentation

Research fellow funded by The Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities. My current research mainly concerns religious metaphors in medieval German sources, but I also have ongoing research projects on 17th century alba amicorum. Materiality at the intersection between the analogue and the digital also interests me. Editorial secretary for the journal Studia Neophilologica. Previous research in Germanic religion.

Keywords: philology metaphors stammbücher old norse mythology

Academic curriculum vitae

  • 2023–present - Academic Researcher at the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities (Vitterhetsakademien)
  • 2023 - Project HTR Coordinator, Uppsala University Library
  • 2020–2023 - Librarian, Learning and Research Support Division, Uppsala University Library
  • 2020 - Master's degree, ALM (Archives, Libraries, Museums)
  • 2019 - Researcher, Uppsala University Library
  • 2018 - Project Administrator, Uppsala University Library
  • 2018 - Doctorate (dr. phil.), German
  • 2014–present - Editorial Officer at Studia Neophilologica (scientific journal)
  • 2012 - Master's degree (mag. phil.), German
  • 2011 - Doctorate (dr. theol.), History of Religions
  • 2004 - Master's degree (mag. phil.), History of Religions


  • 2023–present - Research fellow in ‘Att säga det outsägliga. En kognitionslingvistisk analys av metaforikens funktion i Mechthild von Magdeburgs mystika verk’. Research project analysing medieval mystic writings in a cognitive linguistic framework. Funded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities.
  • 2023 - Project HTR Coordinator in ‘Gustav’s hand: Digitisation, digital enhancement, and dissemination of the Gustavian Collection’. Digitisation project using handwritten text recognition (HTR) in order to make King Gustav III’s manuscripts available for future research. Initiated by Daniel Alm, funded by Riksbankens jubileumsfond.
  • 2019 - Researcher in ‘Gottfried Schröers stambok (Y 131): Textuella strategier för självstilisering hos 1600-talets svenska adel’. Research and cataloguing project at Uppsala University Library, focusing on 17th century Swedish nobility in the library’s collection of alba amicorum. Funded by Tersmedens stiftelse.
  • 2018 - Project Administrator in ‘Digitization and cataloguing of the alba amicorum at Uppsala University Library’. Deciphering, cataloguing, and creation of authority records for handwritten books, mainly in Latin and German, from the 17th century. Initiated by Daniel Solling, funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.


  • 2018 - My PhD thesis in German Language and Literature at the Department of Modern Languages at Uppsala University analyses, through philological methods and in a cognitive linguistic framework, how meaning is created through metaphor in medieval texts by the German poet Frauenlob.
  • 2011 - My PhD thesis in History of Religions at the Department of Theology at Uppsala University investigates, through philology, text criticism, and a historical approach, the role and function of the Old Norse god Heimdallr in the textual contexts and the wider mythological tradition.

Prices and awards

  • 2019 - Benzeliusbelöningen (Royal Society of Sciences at Uppsala) for the dissertation Cöllen 2018.
  • 2019 - Westinska priset (Royal Society of the Humanities at Uppsala) for the dissertation Cöllen 2018.

Thesis supervision

  • 2021–2022 - Supervisor of two master's theses (ALM).
  • 2006–2011 - Supervisor of two students’ theses (History of Religion).

Teaching and didactics

  • 2022 - Supervising students, 2 ECTS.
  • 2020–2023 - Teaching librarian at Uppsala University Library (teaching, i.a., summer courses on materiality and digitisation, as well as courses on information retrieval and referencing).
  • 2019 - Didactics and communication in archives, libraries, and museums, 10 ECTS.
  • 2019 - Didactics and communication in libraries, 10 ECTS.
  • 2016/17 - Language didactics, 1,5 ECTS.
  • 2015–2018 - Lecturer in German language at the Department of Modern Languages, Uppsala University.
  • 2011 - Didactics for university teachers, 7,5 ECTS.
  • 2006–2011 - Lecturer in History of Religions at the Theological Department, Uppsala University.

See also

My research has mostly revolved around medieval texts and had a strong philological perspective. From originally researching Germanic religion, mainly Old West Norse sources, I have later moved towards German religious texts and their metaphorics. Here, I have combined a philological approach with a cognitive-linguistic perspective. Along with this, I have been involved in projects and research around alba amicorum (especially from the 17th century) and materiality.

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Sebastian Cöllen