New thesis on 21st-century Swedish crime fiction: A Market of Murders
20 December 2017
Why have Swedish detective stories become so immensely popular in our century? What murder motives and weapons are most common in the genre, and why? And is it true that Swedish crime fiction is characterised by social criticism? A new thesis from Uppsala University provides answers.
Karl Berglund’s thesis in general literary studies, which he publicly defended in early December, consists of three separately published books. In them, he discusses the above questions and much else about the genre and its latter-day commercial triumphs. One proposition that permeates the work is that there is an interaction between the genre’s successes and the rapid structural transformation of the book market since about the year 2000.
Based on several extensive sets of material, the thesis can show, for example, that the Swedish crime novel’s reputation for social criticism is exaggerated. The content of the genre has broadened into a heterogeneous sprawl. The spectacular murder mysteries are often remote from real-life violence, while descriptions of the protagonists’ private and working lives are, in contrast, meticulous studies in contemporary realism.
As a rule, the main characters are white, heterosexual, middle-class Swedes with no immigrant background, while greater variation in terms of social strata prevails among the killers and their victims. The latter too, however, are almost always placed in relation to an implied middle-class “normality” that permeates the genre.
In addition, the genre has been substantially feminised in the 21st century. Most often, writers and main characters alike used to be male. The gender distribution of the most popular novelists in this genre is now even, and nearly two thirds of the main characters are female.
The thesis comprises three component studies, focusing on different aspects of the Swedish crime-fiction phenomenon. The first highlights the broad book-market context, with the evolution of the genre and its ever rising status over time. Its marketing and packaging are examined in the second. The third, Death and Everyday Life: A Quantitative Analysis of Swedish Crime Fiction From the Early 21st Century, analyses literary patterns and recurring themes in the genre’s commercially most successful novels of this century. It has recently been awarded the Swedish Crime Writers’ Academy’s prize for the best non-fiction book of 2017.
Karl Berglund’s disputation, at which he publicly defended his doctoral thesis A Market of Murders. Sociological Literary Studies in Swedish Crime Fiction in the Early 21st Century, took place on 8 December 2017.
Mandelgren Prize to Michael Neiß
13 april 2017
Svenska fornminnesföreningen (the Antiquarian Society of Sweden) has decided to award PhD student and archaeologist Michael Neiß the 2017 Mandelgren Prize for his research on Scandinavian animal art.
Archaeologists at the vanguard of environmental and climate research
26 februari 2017
The history of people and landscapes, whether natural or cultural, is fundamentally connected. Answering key historical questions about this relation will allow us to approach our most important environmental issues in novel ways. Today in the ope...
New database of Swedish archaeological research in Greece
09 januari 2017
In a recently completed project at the Swedish Institute in Athens, materials from more than a hundred years of Swedish archaeological research in Greece has been made available through the database PRAGMATA. The database includes, among other thi...
Bokrelease - Vicke Lindstrand On The Periphery
18 november 2016
Den australiensiske designhistorikern Mark Ian Jones lanserar sin nya bok Vicke Lindstrand On The Periphery. Detta är den första engelskspråkiga publikationen som beskriver Vicke Lindstrands liv och verk.
Digitisation of cultural heritage discussed at AIMday
03 november 2016
Cultural heritage has become a field of great importance for the development of modern society. Modern technology creates new opportunities for communicating and presenting cultural heritage, as well as making it accessible. The potential and chal...
Archaeologist appointed new honorary doctor
05 oktober 2016
Archaeologist Jeremy B. Rutter, Professor Emeritus at Dartmouth College, USA, has been appointed a new honorary doctor at the Faculty of Arts.
SEK 5 million grant to art project
27 september 2016
The Swedish Research Council has selected seven art research projects to receive grants, out of a total of 51 applications. One of the grants is awarded to Katarina Pirak Sikku and the Uppsala University Centre for Gender Studies.
Augmented reality app presents Old Uppsala in a new way
24 augusti 2016
In Old Uppsala lie the remains of one of Scandinavia’s most fascinating royal estates from the Iron Age. Once there were numerous houses and other buildings here, which visitors up until now have had to imagine from sketches. A new app called ‘Aug...
Innovative games win prizes at the Swedish Game Awards
20 juni 2016
Game Design students from Uppsala University Campus Gotland won half of the prizes at the Swedish Game Awards on 11 June.
Major international meeting on cultural heritage held
16 april 2016
Uppsala University’s Vice-Chancellor Eva Åkesson and Professor of Building Conservation Tor Broström at Campus Gotland participated in a large international conference on cultural heritage and cultural preservation at Yale University in mid-April....
New book documents terrorism from Shakespeare's time
02 december 2015
There was no word for terrorism in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but outbreaks of terrorist violence were frequent. In his new book on terrorism in history and literature, Uppsala University Professor of English Literature, Robert Appel...
Heléne Lööw to be awarded the Martin H:son Holmdahl Scholarship
10 november 2015
The Martin H:son Holmdahl Scholarship is Uppsala University’s most prestigious award for the furthering of human rights and liberty. This year, the award is being given to docent Heléne Lööw at the Department of History for her important contribut...
Faculty of Arts awards honorary doctorates
02 oktober 2015
Robert Darnton, Professor Emeritus and previously university librarian at Harvard, and Hiroshi Maruyama, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Muroran Institute of Technology, Japan, have been made honorary doctors by the Faculty of Arts, Uppsala Uni...
Uppsala University recruits Professor Don Kulick
27 januari 2015
The internationally recognised anthropologist Professor Don Kulick is being recruited by Uppsala University. He will lead a broad, multidisciplinary research programme funded by the Swedish Research Council which will allow us to better understand...