Maria Karlsson

Maria Karlsson

Since my dissertation in 2002, that analyzed the element of melodrama in novels by the Swedish author Selma Lagerlöf (1858−1940), my research interests include Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, Rhetoric, Reader Response Theory, History of the Book and Reception Study. I am a senior lecturer at the Department of Literature, Uppsala University, where I teach Rhetoric and Literary Studies.

In part I have continued to work in the context of Lagerlöf’s authorship, and I was for six years involved in developing The Selma Lagerlöf Archive, a digitized structure for textcritical editing. In 2008 I began examining the massive collection of letters from the public to Selma Lagerlöf. The latter is a History of the Book oriented project on reading, and on how the public’s image of Lagerlöf gradually evolved (for an overview, see The Lagerlöf letter collection is unique because of its size (over 40 000 letters) and its heterogeneity. Men and women from all classes, of all ages, from all parts of Sweden as well as other countries, wrote to Lagerlöf. A substantial number of letters concern charity 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 literature as a source of recognition but also matters of Lagerlöf’s persona, and her different roles in the public sphere.

I am planning, together with Mats Hyvönen (EV), a project on radio documentaries. We are participating in a Nordic network that will develop theories and exchange ideas on vulnerability in relation to the arts and media in Scandinavia.

In addition I am collaborating with the artist and rector of the Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Måns Wrange. We are studying how provocative art in Sweden has become increasingly targeted by populist strategies of politicians, putting the arm’s length principle under pressure. An article about sacrosanct art, the rise of populist rhetoric and the media landscape was published in the September issue of PARSE Journal, 2017.

Contact information:

Selected publications
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.
2020Vulnerability in Scandinavian Art and Culture, eds. Adriana Margareta Dancus, M. Hyvönen & Maria Karlsson. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
2017Konstellationer. Festskrift till Anna Williams, eds. Alexandra Borg, Andreas Hedberg, Maria Karlsson, Jerry Määttä & Åsa Warnqvist. Möklinta: Gidlunds.
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.
2020Mobilizing Vulnerability in Scandinavian Art and Culture (with Adriana Margareta Dancus and Mats Hyvönen). In Vulnerability in Scandinavian Art and Culture, eds. Adriana Margareta Dancus, M. Hyvönen & Maria Karlsson. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
2020The Politics of True Crime: Vulnerability and Documentaries on Murder in Swedish Public Service Radio’s P3 Documentary (with Mats Hyvönen and Madeleine Eriksson). In In Vulnerability in Scandinavian Art and Culture, eds. Adriana Margareta Dancus, M. Hyvönen & Maria Karlsson. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
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.