Maria Karlsson

Maria Karlsson, PhD in comparative literature at the Department of Literature, Uppsala University.

Maria Karlsson, PhD in comparative literature at the Department of Literature, Uppsala University.

In my dissertation from 2002, I analyzed the element of melodrama in novels by Swedish author Selma Lagerlöf (1858−1940). My research interests since then include Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, Rhetoric/communication, Reader Response Theory, History of the Book and Reception Study. As senior lecturer at the Department of Literature, I teach Rhetoric, Literary Studies and Gender Studies.

I have partly continued to work in the context of Lagerlöf’s authorship and was for six years involved in developing The Selma Lagerlöf Archive, a digitized structure for textcritical editing. In 2008 I began examining Lagerlöf’s massive collection of letters from the public. The latter is a History of the Book oriented project on reading of the public and on how the public’s image of Lagerlöf gradually evolved (for an overview, see www.rj.se). The Lagerlöf letter collection is unique because of the size (over 40 000 letters) and its heterogeneity. Men and women from all classes, of all ages, from all parts of Sweden and other countries wrote to Lagerlöf. A substantial number of letters concern economic help and these I now explore within EV. My focus is on how the letter writers used their vulnerability as a resource to get the author’s attention. The investigation involves questions of literature as a possible source of recognition – or not – but also matters of Lagerlöf’s persona and different roles in the public sphere. A first article will be published in an anthology, November 2017.

How different genres frame and use vulnerability interest me. My second project within EV concerns vulnerability as a source for radio documentaries. I will work on the project with media researcher Mats Hyvönen (EV), and we will participate in the work shop “Mapping Vulnerability in Contemporary Scandinavia”, in December 2017 in Kristiansand, Norway. It is meant to be the starting point of a network that will develop theories and exchange ideas on vulnerability in relation to the arts and media in Scandinavia.

I am also interested in the vulnerability of artistic genres in the public sphere. Together with the artist and art professor Måns Wrange, I am investigating how provocative art in Sweden has become increasingly targeted by populist strategies of politicians, putting the arm’s length principle under pressure. This is of course partly due to the media landscape, its changes, and the increasing (melo)-dramatization in commercial media, where provocative art works easily become spiraling art scandals. An article about sacrosanct art, the rise of populist rhetoric and the media landscape will be published in the September issue of PARSE Journal, 2017, that is connected to the Göteborg art biennial, GIBCA (http://www.gibca.se).

The Fall of 2017 I will be on leave during the month of September.

Contact information: maria.karlsson@littvet.uu.se

Selected publications
Monographs
2018Läsarnas Lagerlöf. Allmänheten skriver till Selma Lagerlöf [The Reader’s Selma Lagerlöf. The Public Writes to Selma Lagerlöf] (with Jenny Bergenmar). Möklinta: Gidlunds. Forthcoming 2018.
2002Känslans röst. Det melodramatiska i Selma Lagerlöfs romankonst [Voice of Emotion. The Melodramtic in Selma Lagerlöf’s Novels]. Stockholm: Symposion.
Textcritical edition of Novel
2012Introduction (50 pp.) to Selma Lagerlöf, Körkarlen [Thy Soul Shall Bear Witness] [1912], eds. Jenny Bergenmar, Maria Karlsson and Petra Söderlund. Stockholm: Svenska Vitterhetssamfundet.
Anthologies
2017Unga läser. Läsning, normer och demokrati [Young People Read. Reading, Norms and Democracy], eds. Maria Karlsson & Åse Hedemark. Möklinta: Gidlunds.
2011Spår och Speglingar [Traces and Reflections (of Selma Lagerlöf)], eds. Maria Karlsson and Louise Vinge. Hedemora: Gidlunds.
2006Den moderna ensamheten [The Modern Loneliness], eds. Maria Karlsson and Sharon Rider. Stockholm/Stehag: Symposion.
2005I Selma Lagerlöfs värld. Fjorton uppsatser redigerade av Maria Karlsson och Louise Vinge [In the World of Selma Lagerlöf. Fourteen articles edited by Maria Karlsson and Louise Vinge]. Stockholm/Stehag: Symposion.
Articles
2017Den sårbara brevskrivaren och det förlorade och återvunna Mårbacka [The Vulnerable Letter Writer, and Mårbacka Lost and Regained], forthcoming, november 2017.
2017The Sacrosanct Art: On Art and Religion, the Rise of Populism and the Changing Media Landscape (with Måns Wrange). PARSE Journal, On Secularity, 2017:6.
2016Biografiska legender från Bowie till Lagerlöf. Fans, läsare och författare i Fiktion och verklighet [Biographical Legends from Bowie to Lagerlöf. Fans, Readers and Authors in Fiction and Reality], in Fiktion och verklighet, eds. Anna Bohlin och Lena Goemzöe. Stockholm: Makadam, s. 45–71.
2016Evidence of Reading? The Swedish Public’s Letters to Selma Lagerlöf and Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches to the History of Reading (with Jenny Bergenmar). In Plotting the Reading Experience. Theory, Practise, Politics, eds. Lynne McKechnie, Paulette Rothbauer, Knut Oterholm and Kjell Ivar Skjerdingstad, s. 73–85.
2015Introduktion till Gösta Berlings saga [Introduction to Gösta Berling’s Saga] and Gösta Berlings saga i andra medier [Gösta Berling’s Saga in Other Media]. Selma Lagerlöf -arkivet, Litterturbanken 2015.
Read article (in Swedish)
2014The Reader in History and Letters to the Author. The Case of Selma Lagerlöf and Her Audience (with Jenny Bergenmar). In Re-Mapping Lagerlöf: Performance, Intermediality and European Transmissions, eds. Bjarne Thorup Thomsen, Helena Forsås Scott and Lisbeth Stenberg. Lund: Nordic Academic Press, 44–59.
2013Scandal Success. The Political Economy of the Art Scandal (with Måns Wrange). In Scandalous. A Reader on Art and Ethics, ed. Nina Möntmann. Sternberg Press: Berlin and New York, 88–106.
2013Kanonforskning, konvergens och kärringromaner [Canon Research, Convergence and ’Bitch Novels’ ”]. In Fält i förvandling. Genusvetenskaplig litteraturforskning, eds. Eva Heggestad, Anna Williams and Ann Öhrberg. Möklinta: Gidlunds, 248–263.
2013Bästa författarinna, Högtärade Dr. Lagerlöf, Kära sagotant! Om allmänhetens läsning av Selma Lagerlöf [Dear Dr Lagerlöf, Honoured Author, Dear Saga Lady. On the Public’s Reading of Selma Lagerlöf] (with Jenny Bergenmar), Riksbankens jubileumsfonds årsskrift 2013, ed. Björn Fjæstad. Stockholm: Makadam, 50–59.
2012Extensive introduction (50 pp.) to Selma Lagerlöf, Körkarlen [Thy Soul Shall Bear Witness] [1912], eds. Jenny Bergenmar, Maria Karlsson and Petra Söderlund. Stockholm: Svenska Vitterhetssamfundet.
2011Den verkliga publikens Selma Lagerlöf [The Selma Lagerlöf of the Real Audience]. In Spår och Speglingar, eds. Maria Karlsson and Louise Vinge. Hedemora: Gidlunds, 185–215.
2008Läsarnas Lagerlöf: kroppen och känslorna [Lagerlöf of the Readers: the body and the emotions]. In En ny sits. Humaniora i förvandling. Vänbok till Margaretha Fahlgren, eds. Eva Heggestad et al. Uppsala: Acta universitatis Upsaliensis, 233–240.
2008Allmänheten skriver till Selma Lagerlöf [The public writes to Selma Lagerlöf]. In Selma Lagerlöf 1858–2008…, eds. Anna Nordlund and Ann-Charlotte Knochenhauer. Stockholm: Kungliga biblioteket, 105–117.
Read article (in Swedish)
2008Inledning till textkritisk utgåva av Selma Lagerlöfs Körkarlen [Introduction to the textcritical edition of Thy Soul Shall Bear Witness by Selma Lagerlöf], eds. Jenny Bergenmar, Maria Karlsson and Petra Söderlund. Stockholm: Sv. Vitterhetssamfundet, IX–LVI.
2007Läsarnas Lagerlöf. 1915 års män läser Kejsarn av Portugallien [Men of 1915 read The Emperor of Portugallia]. In De Nio. Litterär kalender 2007, ed. Gunnar Harding, 74–93.
2006Krama frihetens kalla sten. Kvinnors ensamhet i Nesser-land [The Loneliness of Women in Nesser-country]. In Den moderna ensamheten, eds. Maria Karlsson and Sharon Rider. Stockholm/Stehag: Symposion, 93–119.
2004Tablå och travesti. Ett omklädningsrum hos Selma Lagerlöf [Tableau and Travesty. A Dressingroom in Selma Lagerlöf’s works]. In Omklädningsrum. Könsöverskridanden och rollbyten från Tintomara till Tant Blomma, eds. Eva Heggestad and Anna Williams. Lund: Studentlitteratur, 51–74.

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