Older Conferences

Conferences that were hosted at the Department of Culture and Aesthetics between 2012-2017.


Conferences from 2017

Below you will find conferences, seminars, symposiums and colloqivums that took place at the Department of Culture and Aesthetics during 2017.

October 2017.

‘Performativity’ is a key term in today’s cultural and aesthetic studies. The interdisciplinary symposium “Performativity and Artistic Practices” discusses notions and concepts of ‘performativity’ in academic and artistic practice with guest artists and scholars. What do we mean when we use the term ‘performativity’? How does ‘performativity’ enhance our understanding of the arts? How do artists in all fields work with concepts of ‘performativity’ in order to point at questions of gender, materialization, process, reception, and space? How do performative arts and performative acts become political through ‘performativity’?

Invited guest speakers: Nikolaus Gansterer (Vienna), webpage gansterer.org, Katja Kwastek (Amsterdam) webpage kwastek.de, Linnéa Sjöberg (Stockholm) webpage linneasjoberg.com, Mårten Snickare (Stockholm).

Book release Performativitet. Teoretiska tillämpningar i konstvetenskap, ed. by Malin Hedlin Hayden and Mårten Snickare, Stockholm: Stockholm University Press, 2017.

September 21st 2017.

Heritage and borders are inextricably connected. Ever since the passing of the first national heritage laws in the 17th century, and with the establishment of museums for the collection of artefacts and public communication of national history in the 19th century, heritage has been defined – legally and in common sense – by national borders.

As an alternative to the traditional understanding of borders as enclosing and definitely defining stable national identities, critical theorists like Homi K. Bhabha and Trinh T. Minh-ha have offered a different perspective on the border. In their writings, the border is a productive zone where identities are articulated, meanings negotiated, and the border itself is upheld by means of cultural practice.

We see now, in many parts of the world, an intense political interest in borders. There are calls for protection of borders, intensified border controls, and new walls to be built. At the same time there are political, capitalist and academic movements talking of global connections in terms of networks and transnational flows, that appear to make political borders redundant.

The research field of Critical Heritage Studies – which sets out to enquire, analyse and understand how the past is appropriated, valued and used in the present – is now faced with an important challenge. How shall we, as heritage researchers and heritage officials, navigate in this border-focused political terrain? Is there need for radical reinvention of our traditional connections between heritage and borders? What can we learn from historical and contemporary examples of the interplay between heritage and borders? How do we bring important theoretical concepts into practical use, in critical research and in practical heritage work?

The international and interdisciplinary symposium Heritage and Borders is organized by the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities, in collaboration with the section of Critical Heritage Studies at the Department of Culture and Aesthetics, at Stockholm University.

Keynote Lecturer Trinh T. Minh-ha is a filmmaker, writer, composer and Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies and of Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley. Her work includes numerous books, such as: Lovecidal. Walking with The Disappeared; D-Passage. The Digital Way; Elsewhere, Within Here. Immigration, Refugeeism and the Boundary Event; Framer Framed; and Woman, Native, Other; as well as eight feature-length films (including most recently, Forgetting Vietnam), which have been honored in numerous retrospectives around the world. She was the recipient of many awards, more recently the Wild Dreamer Lifetime Achievement Award at the Subversive Festival, Zagreb, Croatia; the Lifetime Achievement Award from Women's Caucus for Art; the Critics Choice Book Award of the American Educational Studies Association (AESA); and the Trailblazers Award at MIPDoc in Cannes, France.

Welcome: Peter Gillgren   

Keynote: Trinh T. Minh-ha, UC Berkeley: Boundary Events – Resistance and the Creative Everyday

Dacia Viejo-Rose, Heritage Studies, Cambridge University: The Porous Boundaries and Edge Effects of Heritage

Cecilia Parsberg,  Lund University: We are Losers and You have to Learn from Us 

Mikael Baaz, University of Gothenburg: The Preah Vihear Temple Conflict: Heritage, Borders and Peace-Building Resistance     

Elisabeth Niklasson, Archaeology, Stanford University: ‘Fortress Europe’ and the Future of the Past in EU Cultural Policy

Péter Balogh, Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences: The Border Site as Heritage: A Resource or a Curse?

Summary: Anna Källén

September 12th 2017.

Workshop theme abstract

The aim of the workshop is to further discussion and reflection on the material turn and its theoretical impact within the humanities, with a special focus on its consequences for the study of images within archaeology and art history. How can we deepen our understanding of the social effects of the materiality of images? How can we work with these issues, methodologically and theoretically? The workshop will focus on the potential of the materiality of images to act, and participate in the formation of meaning. How may the materiality and agency of images be understood in relation to the social and cultural contexts under study? And how could it be understood when it comes to our own acts of documentation and interpretation?

The workshop thus aims to investigate and discuss how the materiality of images is relevant and accessible to us as scholars; how it may be studied in relation to ancient and historical image-making traditions as well as current academic practices of image-making (such as reproductions or visual representations of documentation). The workshop will be based on the reading of a selection of key texts together with the participants’ reflections on the topic based on their current research.

Art historian Dr Markus Späth (Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen) will open the discussions with a lecture in which he presents his research on seals as related to the theme of the workshop. Then the workshop participants are invited to present their reflections on the chosen theme and how it may apply to their ongoing research. Each short presentation will be followed by discussion and comments.

Reading materials (all available as e-journal on SUB)

Martha Rosler et al, "Notes from the Field: Materiality", Art Bulletin, Vol 95, Issue 1, 2013, p 10-37 (N.B: A number of short contributions to be downloaded as separate pdf files).
Michael Yonan, "Toward a Fusion of Art History and Material Culture Studies", West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture, Vol 18, No 2, 2011, p 232-248.
Chris Gosden, "What do Objects Want?", Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, Issue 12, No 3, Sept 2005, p 193-211.
Bjornar Olsen, “Material Culture after Text: Re-membering Things”, Norwegian Archaeological Review, Issue 36, No 2, 2003, p 87-104.

9-12 August 2017.

The Eleventh International Conference of the International Association for Word and Music Studies (WMA).

Incompletion is an essential condition of cultural history, framing it at both ends: the oldest extant aesthetic products have been partially erased by time, and the most recent ones have always yet to be finished. In between those moments, the idea of the fragment has continued to appeal to those who resist classicist ideals of completeness: it played a vital part in the imagination of the romantics, and became even more fundamental to the various strands of modernist aesthetics, including its post- and late stages.

In recent years, fragmentation and incompletion have been the focus of much critical attention, not least because the boundaries and very idea of the ‘work’ have undergone much rethinking. This conference invites papers that reexamine both the boundaries and the idea through the lens of what would once have been treated as secondary matter: drafts, sketches, works-in-progress, words or music supposedly supplanted by revision, left unfinished or partially effaced by the passing of time – discarded fragments, involuntary fragments, the fragment as a genre unto itself.

It is our pleasure to invite you to Stockholm for the Eleventh International Conference of the International Association for Word and Music Studies (WMA), which also marks the association's 20-year anniversary. Speakers from around the world will participate during the four days of the conference, and we are confident that the Stockholm conference, like its forerunners, will be a significant event in the field.

The conference is held in association with the Foundation of Knut and Alice Wallenberg.

30 June - 1 July 2017.

After the much-noted “performative turn” in the humanities, the diverse field of opera studies seemed destined to move into a new paradigm. Widely read studies like Tom Sutcliffe’s Believing in Opera (1997) and David Levin’s Unsettling Opera (2007) promised a more refined approach to operatic production, dramaturgy and mise-en-scène, while Carolyn Abbate, Elisabeth LeGuin and others argued for the necessity of making bodily presence and liveness the key concern of opera scholarship. Against this background, the conference “Opera and Performance” aims to map a wide array of current positions in opera studies: To what extent have the concerns and methodologies of performance studies impacted current research on opera? Have notions of performance and event replaced the traditional focus on the operatic work, or have these perspectives merged into new syntheses? What is the current state of the debate pitting liveness and presence against meaning and interpretation? What is the role of the body and its movements in scholarship that emphasizes dance, gesture and choreography as vital components of operatic performance? What status do concepts of media and mediation have in opera studies today? Furthermore, how do these methodological issues relate to recent developments in the art of opera, such as stagings that operate beyond the dichotomous clichés of Werktreue and Regietheater; experimental forms of music theatre that take place outside the grand institutions of mainstream opera; and operas intended to be experienced through digital media?

“Opera and Performance” is sponsored by Oxford University Press and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.


David J. Levin (University of Chicago), ”’Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön’? Opera in the age of its digital reproducibility“  

Laura Tunbridge (Oxford University), “Exterminating the Recording Angel”

Suzanne Aspden (Oxford University), “Opera-going as performance”

Clemens Risi (Friedrich-Alexander Univ.), “Opera in performance – ‘Regietheater’ and the performative turn”   

Johanna Ethnersson Pontara and Joakim Tillman (Stockholm University): “Puccini’s Tosca and the narrative and performative aspects of music in opera”

Arman Schwartz (University of Birmingham), “Is minimalist opera theatrical?”

Christopher Morris (Maynooth University), “Opera studies after humanism”

Mary Ann Smart (University of California Berkeley), “Radical Staging and the Habitus of the Singer”

Magnus Tessing Schneider (Stockholm University), “Whatever happened in Donna Anna’s bedroom? A study in vocal Theatricality”  

Axel Englund (Stockholm University), “Benjamin’s Angels: Reaching for opera through Written on Skin”

Lydia Goehr (Columbia University), "Picture this: Or how to think through the arts of opera”

Alessandra Campana (Tufts University), “2057: A utopian turning back”

“Operatic ontologies in the 21st century” – Roundtable discussion with contributions by: Heather Wiebe (King’s College), Gundula Kreuzer (Yale University), Wayne Heisler (The College of New Jersey) and Ryan Minor (Stony Brook University).

June 7th 2017.

The panel conference features a keynote lecture by John Durham Peters on “Weather as a Media Problem” and critical interventions by invited Nordic scholars from Media studies and Environmental humanities to achieve a productive dialogue around the current state of research in these intersecting fields. Panelists will give shorter presentations followed by roundtable discussion on issues like media, nature and the environment.

Abstract "Weather as a Media Problem"

On its face, weather sounds like the most banal and mundane thing possible.  When people talk about the weather, we usually take that as a sign of nothing to talk about, of intellectual emptiness.  This talk aims to show that this is hardly the case in the age of climate change, and even dangerous. The history of human interaction with weather is also a history of cultural techniques and media technologies. Dramatists and divines have sought meaning from atmospheric events. Reading the skies is one paradigm case of human-nature interaction, and studying weather can stand in as part for whole as an inquiry into the environments humans have made or unmade. The history of modern weather forecasting is also a history of the militarization of the sky and oceans, and is co-extensive with the history of modern telecommunications and computation. Weather raises two questions of profound interest to recent media theory: how mundane infrastructures are full of meaning and how vaporous or evanescent entities can be tracked, recorded, and programmed. In this way, studying the weather is a special case in media theory’s more general study of how media help constitute the world.

The Panel

John Durham Peters, Yale University
Sverker Sörlin, KTH
Nina Wormbs, KTH
Jesper Olsson, Linköpings universitet
Jørgen Bruhn, Linnéuniversitetet
Anders Ekström, Uppsala universitet
Anne Gjelsvik, University of Trondheim


John Durham Peters: “Weather as a Media Problem”

Anders Ekström: ”Thinking media in the expansion of time”

Nina Wormbs: ”Media and environing technologies”

Jesper Olsson: ”Bad trout rising: Literature and general ecology”

Sverker Sörlin

Anne Gjelsvik: ”How to cope with whateverness in our mediated situation”

Jørgen Bruhn: ”The Anthropocene as mediated fact”


Organised by: Staffan Bergwik, Henrik Christensen, Johan Fredrikzon, Thomas Götselius, Christer Johansson, Charlotta Palmstierna Einarsson, Sonya Petersson, Aleksei Semenenko, Adam Wickberg Månsson.


May 29th 2017.

In today’s world, new forms of citizenship form and express their political agency through creative activities and artistic articulations. Political and social movements assert themselves through performances, using a variety of artistic forms to shape their communities. At the same time, ‘citizenship’, ‘political agency’ and ‘social relevance’ emerge as key elements within artistic practice as well as within academic research. The workshop will explore the performance of citizenship in recent times as well as its historical forms. The concept of ‘citizen’ emerged after the French Revolution and was central to political and social reform all over Europe in the late 18th and 19th centuries: a way of countering the late absolutist powers. At that time, theatre, opera, and fine arts were important fields for the establish-ment of citizenship, dealing openly with questions of equality, human rights, freedom of speech, political education and the political agency of the citizen. How may this legacy of democratic citizenship and enlightened thinking inspire today’s political movements? What role did artistic practices and cultural performances play in the shaping of new forms of citizenship in the past, and what role do they play today?

The symposium “Performing Citizenship: Theatre and Opera around 1800” has a historical focus, including lectures by guest scholars from the University of Illinois and also scholars from the Department of Culture and Aesthetics. It is open to everybody.


Meike Wagner (Department of Culture and Aesthetics, Stockholm University) Performing Citizenship and Amateur Theatricals around 1800

Martin Schneider (Hamburg University)
Performed Citizenship in the Hamburg Theatre Scandal 1801

Carl Hendrik Niekerk (University of Illinois)

Enlightened Citizenship according to Lessing and Mozart

Magnus Tessing Schneider (Department of Culture and Aesthetics, Stockholm University)
Cosmopolitanism and Democratic Sensibility: The Theatre of Calzabigi

International conference on May 12th 2017.

Low Theory, High Stakes: Trans* Bodies, Hapticality and Popular Culture”, examines the history of the representation of transgender, transsexual, and trans* bodies in popular culture over the last fifty years. While examining gender variability’s arc of representation, it will also consider new and evolving techniques for the visual capture of bodily ambiguity. Seeing trans* bodies differently – not simply as trans bodies that provide an image of the non-normative against which normative bodies can be discerned – but as bodies that are fragmentary and internally contradictory; bodies that remap gender and its relations to race, place, class and sexuality; bodies that are in pain or that represent a play of surfaces; bodies that sound different than they look; bodies that represent palimsestic relations to identity – means finding different visual, aural, and haptic codes and systems through which to figure the experience of being in a body.
Jack Halberstam

Jack Halberstam is Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity Gender Studies and Comparative Literature at USC. Halberstam works in the areas of popular, visual and queer culture with an emphasis on subcultures. Halberstam’s first book, Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters (1995), was a study of popular gothic cultures of the 19th and 20th centuries and it stretched from Frankenstein to contemporary horror film. Her 1998 book, Female Masculinity (1998), made a ground breaking argument about non-male masculinity and tracked the impact of female masculinity upon hegemonic genders. Halberstam’s last book, In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives (2005), described and theorized queer reconfigurations of time and space in relation to subcultural scenes and the emergence of transgender visibility. This book devotes several chapters to the topic of visual representation of gender ambiguity. Halberstam was also the co-author with Del LaGrace Volcano of a photo/essay book, The Drag King Book (1999), and with Ira Livingston of an anthology, Posthuman Bodies (1995). Halberstam regularly speaks on queer culture, gender studies and popular culture and publishes blogs at bullybloggers.com. Halberstam published a book in 2011 titled The Queer Art of Failure in August 2011 from Duke University Press and Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender and the End of Normal from Beacon Press in 2012. Halberstam is currently working on a project about queer anarchy tentatively titled: The Wild.


Melanie Schiller: Pop Against Populism: Popular Music and Contemporary Discourses of National Identities in Europe

Jonas Eklund: Revealing the Popular: On Burlesque and the Popular

Jack Halberstam: Low Theory, High Stakes: Trans* Bodies, Hapticality and Popular Culture

Per Israelson: Sympoiesis of Superheroes: A Media Ecological Approach to Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean's Black Orchid

Jacob Kimvall: Graffiti – (Graphic) Design or Vandalism?


Conferences from 2016

Below you will find conferences, seminars, symposiums and colloqivums that took place at the Department of Culture and Aesthetics during 2016.

Conference 15-17/6 2016.

Artists, museum curators and educators are increasingly interested in devising more effective strategies of remembering painful pasts. To this end, many recent projects commemorating genocides, civil wars, dictatorships and terrorist attacks, invite audiences to actively engage in remembering and reflecting critically upon these historical events, and what they mean to contemporary societies. This conference gathers academics, artists, and museum practitioners who explore the usefulness of performative strategies of engagement with painful pasts, and the impact these strategies have upon the public.

Keynote lectures and paper presentations will be open to the general public, whilst special sessions are reserved for internal discussions amongst conference participants only. Please note that this is a preliminary programme.

Complete conference programme: Performative Commemoration of Painful Pasts (325 Kb)

As space in the studio is limited, the participants will be divided in three groups to see FOLD OUT. A questionnaire designed to assess the impact of the performance on the audience will be distributed by Diana Popescu to be filled in after the presentation. For those who wait for their turn there will be something to eat and drink. After the last group has seen FOLD OUT there will be time to discuss the work together.

Swedish artist Katarina Eismann is particularly interested in how research, documentation and the cooperation with artists from other fields influence the artistic process. For the project FOLD OUT (2008-ongoing), Eismann has invited a choreographer, a performance artist, a cellist, a mezzo-soprano and a journalist to collaborate on the questions of the transmission of memory and the inheritance of war. The project investigates how family memories are passed on to the next generation and how identity is formed by inherited stories, as well as how they can be transcribed in a new place and time. Eismann acts as the project’s initiator, participant and observer but through the tight collaboration with all involved participants arouses a learning process. The result is an art work which none of them could have accomplished working on their own.

Further information on the project and the involved artists you will find: http://katarinaeismann.se/foldout

After the ‘performance’: there are many nice bars in the area to continue the discussions over a beer or a glass of wine.

The interdisciplinary conference "Feminist and Queer Aesthetics: Intersections of Theory and Practice" with keynotelecture by professor Amelia Jones, at the Department of Culture and Aesthetics on 7-9 December, 2016.

Feminist theory emerged among academics and artists as a reaction to generations of neglect and inaccurate historical narratives. Although it has empowered women, feminist theory is currently being challenged to go beyond binary concepts of gender and incorporate intersectional theories of identification. Queer theory, on the other hand, has always been highly inclusive, and in embracing a spectrum of orientations has extended the field of academic inquiry and artistic endeavor. This one-day conference focuses on “the ways in which queer theory and feminism are ‘otherwise’ to each other” as keynote speaker Amelia Jones has put it. In line with Jones’ scholarly approach, the conference is committed to honoring past feminist theories while embracing queer theory’s radical rethinking of identification in relation to cultural practices and aesthetics. The conference thus addresses the development of feminist and queer theory, correlations between them at present, and the direction each may take in the future.

The conference is organized by Dr. Boel Hackman, Prof. Malin Hedlin Hayden, Dr. Christer Johansson, Prof. Tiina Rosenberg, and Dr. Jessica Sjöholm Skrubbe and is preceded by two one-day long workshops chaired by Prof. Amelia Jones.

7 December: Workshop with PhD students (for admitted participants only).
8 December: Workshop with Senior Researchers (for admitted participants only).
9 December: (Moderator: Professor Tiina Rosenberg)

Introduction Professor Tiina Rosenberg, Department of Culture and Aesthetics, Stockholm University.

Dirk Gindt: In a Blue Time and Place: HIV and AIDS Performance in the Twenty-First Century. Gindt is Associate Professor in Theatre Studies at the Department of Culture and Aesthetics, Stockholm University.

Hanna Hallgren: The inventions and consolidations of research fields – feminist strategies and methods in artistic research: artistic strategies and methods in feminist research. Hallgren is Professor in Literary Composition at Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg.

Annica Karlsson Rixon: Queer Community through Photographic Acts. Karlsson Rixon is a visual artist holding a PhD in photography from Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg.

Keynote Speaker Professor Amelia Jones: Essentialism, Feminism, and Art: Spaces where Woman “Oozes Away. Jones is Robert A. Day Professor in Art and Design and Vice-Dean of Critical Studies at the Roski School of Art and Design, University of Southern California.

Kristina Fjelkestam and Claudia Lindén: To Desire the Past. Queer Temporality and the Historical Novel. Fjelkestam is Professor in Gender studies at the Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender studies, Stockholm University. Lindén is Associate Professor in Comparative Literature at the School of Culture and Education, Södertörn University College.

Discussion moderated by Tiina Rosenberg.

Concluding remarks and feedback to the preceding workshops by Malin Hedlin Hayden.

The workshops and the conference are funded by Kungl. Vitterhetsakademien.
About the workshop

By bringing together scholars interested in feminist and queer approaches to aesthetics and artistic research this workshop offers a platform to exchange ideas and make new acquaintances. The objectives of the sessions are based on case studies and ideas generated and presented by the participants. Discussions on each case are to encourage the participants to explore specific approaches and challenges in their work. The participants are provided with a reading list before the workshop so that they can be prepared to discuss particular aspects of their own research projects relating to feminist and queer theories. These sessions are facilitated and chaired by Professor Amelia Jones. During these sessions it is hoped that the participants will be able to develop ideas for future research projects and collaborations. The lessons learned and points requiring attention are summarized in a roundtable by a representative of each group for report-back in the final session of the workshop with concluding remarks by Professor Amelia Jones.

Amelia Jones – a presentation

Robert A. Day, Professor in Art and Design and Vice-Dean of Critical Studies at the Roski School of Art and Design, University of Southern California.

Trained in art history, film theory, and performance studies, and widely read in philosophy and identity theory, Jones’ current research addresses the confluence of “queer,” “feminist,” and “performance” in the visual arts, and recent publications explore the ideological implications of claims of presence in performance and visual art discourse (in TDR), the usefulness of new materialist theory to the study of performative art practices (also in TDR), and numerous articles addressing the work of artists previously marginalized from art discourse and institutions (including Ulay, Senga Nengudi, Faith Wilding, and Martha Wilson).

Jones is the author of numerous books, including Seeing Differently: A History and Theory of Identification and the Visual Arts (2012), Self/Image: Technology, Representation, and the Contemporary Subject (2006), Irrational Modernism: A Neurasthenic History of New York Dada (2004), and Body Art/Performing the Subject (1998), and the editor or co-editor of anthologies including the Feminism and Visual Culture Reader (new edition 2010), Sexuality (2014) in the Whitechapel “Documents” series, and, with Adrian Heathfield, Perform Repeat Record: Live Art in History (2012). Jones has also curated such landmark exhibitions as “Sexual Politics: Judy Chicago's Dinner Party in Feminist Art History,” held at UCLA’s Armand Hammer Museum of Art in 1996 and her exhibition Material Traces: Time and the Gesture in Contemporary Art took place in 2013 in Montreal.

Research Keywords: Feminist history & theory, queer theory, anti-racist theory, theory of modern and contemporary Euro-American visual arts including performance, film video, and installation.

"Art management is critical!" This ambiguous statement was explored in a seminar bringing together scholars, students, art professionals and guests, 2016.

The statement belongs with three propositions:

    Art management is the critical connection between art and the world at large
    Art management is subjected to critique within the art world and beyond
    Art management provides the means for a critical impulse into society

Keynote: Professor Pierre Guillet de Monthoux, Copenhagen Business School.


Alida Ivanov, Gallery Manager, Elastic Gallery
Jen Lindblad, Head of Communications, Magasin III
Pontus Raud, Project Manager, Supermarket International Art Fair, and Art Consultant, Stockholm County Council.

Moderator: Pamela Schultz Nybacka, PhD.

A transdisciplinary conference at the Department of Culture and Aesthetics, on February 12th 2016.

In recent years, the concepts of media and intermediality have been widely used and explored in the Humanities. It has proved to be a rich and complex theoretical approach, often investigating relations between different media and modalities such as the visual, the literary, and the performative. Does this interest stem from a heightened awareness of the effects of materiality and mediality in the arts? Or does it follow from contemporary artistic practices, in art as well as in music, theatre, dance and literature? This one-day conference covers a range of subjects, approaches and time periods, highlighting the concepts’ flexibility. We seize the opportunity to explore a topic that mirrors the wide scholarly field of the Department of Culture and Aesthetics, one of the newest departments at Stockholm University and the largest within the Humanities.

Individual paper presentations last 30 minutes, including 20 minutes of presentation and 10 minutes for questions/answers and discussion. Moderator: Professor Hans Hayden.

INTRODUCTION Professor Anders Cullhed, Stockholm University

Axel Englund, Debouchment and Debauchery: Neobaroque Stagings of Baroque Opera

Elina Druker, Stages of Consumerism: Mass Advertising and Ideology in the Early Twentieth-Century Children’s Literature

Anna Dahlgren, Flickering Illusions and Visual Stories

Sonya Petersson, Graphic Illustration: Concept and Mediality from the Point of View of Mechanical Reproduction in Nineteenth-Century Print Culture

Malin Hedlin Hayden, History in the Modality of Feminism

KEYNOTE SPEAKER Professor Mieke Bal. Lecture preceded by an open screening of the film Madame B at Auditoriet, Thursday February 11, 17:15–19:30.


Staffan Bergwik, Panoramic Visions: Sven Hedin in Himalaya

Erik Wallrup, Selma’s World: A Scene in Lars von Trier’s Dancer in the Dark

Daria Kubiak and Kim Skjoldager-Nielsen, An Exhibition for the Newcomer and the Connoisseur: Remediating the Intermedial Works of Hotel Pro Forma in the Discourse of Audience Development – Today’s Cake is a Log                 

CONCLUDING REMARKS Special guest Professor Jørgen Bruhn, Linnæeus University



Conferences from 2015

Below you will find conferences, seminars, symposiums and colloqivums that took place at the Department of Culture and Aesthetics during 2015.

Seminar on intermediality with Peter Dayan: "On the dangers of letting words, music, and images get too close to each other: a lesson from Montmartre, 1887-1889", December 1st 2015.

On the dangers of letting words, music, and images get too close to each other: a lesson from Montmartre, 1887-1889

It is no coincidence that the “Chat Noir” cabaret in Montmartre so rapidly acquired a mythical status, which it has never entirely lost, as the one performance space in which the true avant-garde aesthetics of the late 19th century were really at home. One of the secrets of its success was that it accommodated both of the current attitudes towards the relationships between the arts. One of those attitudes asks the arts in all media to work together in pursuit of a common expression. The other carefully separates them out, in order to allow an inexpressible truth to emerge between them. This paper will proceed from one example of each attitude: an antisemitic election poster, and a wildly popular shadow play based on Flaubert’s Tentation de saint Antoine. It aims to raise some rather uncomfortable questions about the relationship between “Chat Noir” intermediality and the rise of antisemitism, as well as about the limits of our critical vocabulary.


Conferences from 2014

Below you will find conferences, seminars, symposiums and colloqivums that took place at the Department of Culture and Aesthetics during 2014.

An International Wallenberg Symposium in Stockholm, Sweden. Hosted by Stockholm University and Linköping University. The Nordic Network for Renaissance Studies and the Swedish Barockakademien, hosted a multidisciplinary, international Wallenberg Symposium in Stockholm, Sweden (November 5-7, 2014). The actual conference was inaugurated in Aula Magna by the Vice-Chancellor of Stockholm University, Professor Astrid Söderbergh Widding. The conference intention is to enable and promote the exchange of ideas, experiences and knowledge across disciplinary and national borders.

Organizers are also:

    Anders Cullhed, Professor, Literature               
    Carin Franzén, Professor, Literature                 
    Peter Gillgren, Professor, Art History                 
    Inga Elmqvist Söderlund, Art History                 
    Erland Sellberg, Professor, History of Ideas     
    Johanna Vernqvist, PhD student                    

Methodology in Question, an international PhD conference in the History of Science and Ideas at Stockholm University, 22–23 November 2014.

Keynote speakers: Prof Jonathan Israel (Princeton University) and Prof Kristin Asdal (Oslo University).

Commentators: Dr Mikkel Thorup (Aarhus University), Dr Solveig Jülich (Uppsala University) and Dr Andreas Hellerstedt (Stockholm University).


Conferences from 2013

Below you will find conferences, seminars, symposiums and colloqivums that took place at the Department of Culture and Aesthetics during 2013.


Conferences from 2012

Below you will find conferences, seminars, symposiums and colloqivums that took place at the Department of Culture and Aesthetics during 2012.

Department of Literature and History of Ideas, Stockholm University, Sweden September 28–30, 2012, open to the public.

Throughout decades of modern literary scholarship, literary interpretation has been reserved for the highly competent, professional, so called “ideal” reader. Literary reading has thus long been reduced to its most audacious and analytic, but also least frequent operations. As a consequence, many questions regarding its lower-order cognitive underpinnings, such as the impact of emotion or mental imagery, remain to be explored. However common it may be to divide readers into “thinkers” and “experiencers” based on their level of literary edification, the divide is illusory. We all have a body marked by lifelong nonverbal experience to invest into the stories we read. We all have but a human cognitive apparatus to rely on when tackling the complexities of literary narrative.

Centering on the basic interrelations between readerly “thinking” and “experiencing”, the symposium brings together the following scholars from the fields of literature, linguistics, aesthetics, and philosophy:

    Peter Alberg Jensen (Stockholm University, Sweden)
    Marco Caracciolo (University of Groningen, Netherlands)
    Staffan Carlshamre (Stockholm University, Sweden)
    Ellen Esrock (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, U.S.A.)
    Elspeth Jajdelska (University of Strathclyde, U.K.)
    Michael Kimmel (University of Vienna, Austria)
    Karin Kukkonen (University of Oxford, U.K.)
    Anežka Kuzmičová (Stockholm University, Sweden)
    Martin Pokorný (Czech Academy of Sciences/Charles University Prague, Czech Republic)
    Göran Rossholm (Stockholm University, Sweden)
    Marie-Laure Ryan (Independent scholar, U.S.A.)

Among many other related topics, the following distinctions will be discussed:

    Linguistic vs. extralinguistic aspects of literary experience
    Bottom-up vs. top-down processes in literary reading
    Conscious vs. pre-conscious processes in literary reading
    On-line (during reading) vs. off-line (after reading) interpretation

The symposium is organized by Anežka Kuzmičová and Göran Rossholm, with the financial support of the Wenner-Gren Foundations.

16-17 August 2012.

People of all times and in all cultures have produced and consumed fiction in a variety of forms, not only for entertainment, but also to spread knowledge, religious or political beliefs etc. Fiction has also taken part in reflecting and shaping the cultural identity of communities, as well as the identity of individuals.

This cross-disciplinary conference aims to explore fiction as a concept and the use of fiction from different epochs, in different cultures and in different forms, both ancient and more recent. It covers a broad field of interests, from ancient literature, art, opera, theater, to modern media, such as film, games/blogs etc. The conference is cross-disciplinary to enable researchers from sometimes widely different academic areas or fields of interest, that would otherwise probably not have the opportunity to meet and exchange views, to share in comparisons and discussions about topics such as:

    the nature of fiction
    fiction and its relationship to “truth”
    the demand for, and the function and uses of fiction
    the development of fiction from ancient to modern times
    different forms of fiction
    fiction in social contexts or in a gender perspective
    the view of and function of fiction in different cultures, and other related topics.

The personally invited speakers may present papers addressing any relevant issues within these broad frames. It is expected that the papers and the following discussions will create fruitful insights into the nature of fiction that span over different times, forms and cultures. The conference language is English. All papers and presentations at the conference should be in English. Each presentation is expected to last no more than 20 minutes (followed by ten minutes of discussion). Papers by the invited speakers will be published by Stockholm University and Uppsala University in an edited volume.

Keynote speech: Göran Malmqvist, The Swedish Academy
Chair: Lena Rydholm
Keynote speech: Gregory Currie, (in collaboration with Anna Ichino), University of Nottingham
Chair: Anders Cullhed

Chair: Ingela Nilsson
1. Margalit Finkelberg, Tel Aviv University: “Diagnosing fiction from Plato to Borges”
2. Göran Rossholm, Stockholm University: “The universal claims of narrative fiction. A reassessment of Aristotle’s Poetics, 9”
3. Bo Utas, Uppsala University: “Classical Persian literature: fiction, didactics or intuitive truth?”

Chair: Gunilla Lindberg-Wada
1. Torbjörn Lodén, Stockholm University: “’Literature as a vehicle for the Dao’: changing perspectives of fiction and truth in Chinese literature”
2. Ming Dong Gu, University of Texas: “Toward a transcultural poetics of fiction: reflections on Chinese fiction studies in the context of international narrative theory”
3. Lena Rydholm, Uppsala University: “Chinese theories and concepts of fiction and the issue of transcultural theories and concepts of fiction”

Chair: Göran Rossholm
1. Alexandra Schneider, University of Amsterdam: “Understanding world cinema in the age of network cultures: The case of India”
2. Ayling Wang, A Dialogue between the Reader, the Critic and the Author: The Qing Dramatist Hong Sheng's Historical Play Changshengdian and Wu Yiyi's Commentary
3. Christina Nygren, Stockholm University: “To perform life and live theatre – fiction in popular performances”

Chair: Anders Cullhed
1. Fritz Peter Knapp, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, Heidelberg: “Historicity and fictionality in medieval narrative”
2. Wim Verbaal, Universiteit Gent: “How the West was won by fiction. The appearance of fictional narrative and leisurely reading in Western literature (11th and 12th century)”

Chair: Stefan Helgesson
1. Gunilla Lindberg-Wada, Stockholm University: “Murasaki Shikibu and The tale of Genji: fate and fiction”
2. Mari Hatavara, University of Tampere: “Historical fiction: experiencing past, reflecting history”
3. Ingela Nilsson, Uppsala University: “True lies about a crucial journey: satirical descriptions of the underworld in the Greek tradition”

Chair: Jan von Bonsdorff
1. Stefan Helgesson, Stockholm University: “Unsettling fictions: generic instability and colonial time”
2. Christian Kupchik, Buenos Aires: “Confessions of the Hydra. Variations on the concept of fiction in Latin America”
3. Stephan Larsen, Stockholm University: “Whose magic? Whose realism? Reflections on magic realism in Ben Okri’s The Famished Road”
Chair: Alexander Bareis
1. Jan von Bonsdorff, Uppsala University: “Depicting action: the “fruitful moment” in sequential and narrative art”
2. Marcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback, Södertörn University College: “Images without image, worlds without world”

3. Anders Pettersson, University of Umeå: “Linguistic and psychological mechanisms behind literary fiction”
4. Lars-Erik Berg, University College of Skövde: “Photones of the human psyche: the fiction of personal identity”
Concluding Remarks: Conference organizers Lena Rydholm and Anders Cullhed

7-10 August 2012. The Congress is co-organized by the Swedish Musicological Society, and the Department for Musicology and Performance Studies, Stockholm University.

The programme committee has representatives from the Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish musicological societies

The Nordic Musicological Congress is a quadrennial event, gathering on the one hand researchers in music active in the Nordic countries, on the other researchers with an interest in the specific activities of Nordic music research, or aspects of Nordic music and musical life. One of its main functions is to be a broad forum for communication of current music research.

On this occasion, the venue will be the Stockholm University campus in Frescati in Stockholm, Sweden. The name Frescati goes back till the last phase of absolute monarchy. In the 19th century, a handful of national institutions of the natural sciences were located in the area. Nowadays the University dominates the landscape. The department for musicology and performance studies is situated in a former private house and laboratory of the physicist Manne Siegbahn, renamed “the House of Humanities”. The University campus can be reached from town by underground and bus.

Keynote speakers

The keynote lectures of the XVI Nordic Musicological Congress represent a selection of fields of strategic importance in contemporary research in music. Each keynote lecture will be followed-up by a panel discussion.

Professor Pirkko Moisala, Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art Studies, University of Helsinki, will talk about Applied Ethnomusicology, a current approach aiming at the active engagement of the researcher in social and cultural contexts and processes. Moisala has combined research in Ethnomusicology and Gender studies. She has made a number of English language publications, including books, e.g. Kaija Saariaho, University of Illinois Press 2009, and Gender and Qualitative Methods (with Helmi Järviluoma and Anni Vilko), Sage Publications 2003.

Niels Krabbe, Research Professor and leader of the Danish Centre for Music Publication, The Royal Library, Denmark, lectures about contemporary conditions for scholarly editions of music, and issues concerning the roles and functions these editions might have today. Krabbe has been a leader of the Music Department (now Music- and Theatre department) at the Royal Library 1996-2009, and main editor or leader for several scholarly edition projects, e.g. the Carl Nielsen edition 1997-2009.

Under the title ”Noisy: Toward a Political Economy of Music and New Media,” Professor Paul Théberge, Carleton University, Canada, will lecture on technological mediation of music, and some of its current implications for research. Théberge is holder of a Canada Research Chair in Technological Mediations of Culture, and is involved in projects regarding music in global culture, as well as the impact of digital techniques on the music industry. Théberge is the author of Any Sound You can Imagine: Making Music, Consuming Technology, Wesleyan University Press 1997.

Sverker Jullander, Anna Hwass Professor of Musical Performance at the Department of Art, Communication and Education, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden. will give a lecture entitled Ars Antiqua to Scientia Nova? Historical and contemporary perspectives on artistic research in music. The lecture will deal with artistic research in music, both as part of the general development of research in the arts and as an emerging phenomenon in musical and academic life, providing historical backgrounds and discussing current developments. Until March 2012 he was also Director of Research Education at the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts, University of Gothenburg. He graduated as a church musician from the Royal College of Music, Stockholm, and received his diploma as an organ soloist at the School of Music, University of Gothenburg.

A Multidisciplinary Symposium in Stockholm, Sweden, 7-9 June 2012.

The group’s intermediary meeting was held in Stockholm 17 – 19 February 2012.

Playing is one of the key principles of theatre and other performative activities. It is also a cornerstone of the Theatrical Event, and new theatrical forms are expanding and challenging our concepts of playing. The working group has decided to continue its ambition to question playing and play culture within the framework of the Theatrical Event. The aim of the working group is to develop methodologies and strategies for the analysis of playing, in particular the relationship between performers and audiences, physical presence and embodiment, mediation and the various functions of playing.

Poetics of Playing implies a number of research questions which can be summarized as the structures and strategies of playing.

    Structures: How is playing organized? What are the conventions and rules of playing? How can the frames of playing, processes, styles, and contexts be described? Are there limitations for playing? How does playing relate to reality and fiction?
    Strategies: What are the aims and purposes of playing? What functions of playing can be identified? How does playing relate to co-players, audiences, society? Which ideologies are used by players concerning class, gender and ethnicity? How are power relations expressed in playing? Is there an ethics of playing?

These and related questions will be discussed as the common theoretical ground of the group’s work. There are of course many forms of theatrical playing which will serve as examples – contemporary as well as historical ones, typical or exceptional – but the primary purpose of our meetings is the development of a common ground based on these research questions. The schedule for the next meetings will be the following:

    15 November 2011: Abstracts for the Stockholm meeting are sent in
    25 January 2012: Papers as ‘work in progress’ (max. 10 pages) are circulated to all participants
    17-19 February 2012: Meeting in Stockholm
    22-28 July 2012: Meeting in Santiago de Chile with completed papers
    2013: Meeting in Barcelona with revised papers

Note: Those who are not able to attend the meeting in Stockholm but plan to join the working group in Santiago are invited to submit an abstract for consideration by 15 November 2011 as well.

It is important to note that these meetings serve to develop a common research ground for the group’s work. This has been the Theatrical Event working group’s practice since its inception in 1997, and has resulted in two publications (Theatrical Events 2004 and Festivalising! 2007), with a third volume on “Playing Culture” in print. All these books have been prepared in a joint effort during our meetings, including mutual critique and numerous revisions of the texts.

We want to encourage all members of the group to participate in the Stockholm meeting and we also welcome new members to join the group. Hopefully the senior members of the group can convince younger scholars in their immediate environment to contribute to our project on.

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