Histcon.se Time, Memory and Representation Tid, Minne, Representation

A Multidisciplinary Program on Transformations in Historical Consciousness

Ett mångdisciplinärt forskningsprogram om historiemedvetandets förvandlingar

Kristina Fjelkestam

Professor, Gender Studies, Stockholm University


B. 1967. PhD 2002 from Stockholm University in Comparative Literature with the dissertation Ungkarlsflickor, kamrathustrur och manhaftiga lesbianer: Modernitetens litterära gestalter I mellankrigstidens Sverige [Bachelor Girls, Companionate Wives and Mannish Lesbians: Representations of Modernity in Interwar Sweden]. She has participated in two research projects, on “The New Woman” and “The aesthetics of masculinity”, and in 2004 she was a STINT post-doc to New York University.

Ongoing research

Fjelkestam’s research is concerned with gender aspects of the literary representation of time and memory. Literary narratives are explored in their role of both creating and representing - thus ultimately strengthening - marginal voices and groups within general historical consciousness. For instance, in the article ”Gendering Cultural Memory: Balzac’s Adieu” Fjelkestam examines how this French narrative en-genders a silenced national trauma, and as such attempts to mediate repressed historical events. Balzac wrote the story in the spring of 1830, i. e. at a time when the French discontent with the Restoration regime was soon to explode in the July Revolution. The Restoration’s repression of a revolutionary past then instead turned into an obsession with questions on how history could be represented in a productive way without silencing traumatic memories, something which also preoccupies the protagonist in Adieu. In ”Histories Matter: Materializing Politics in the Moment of the Sublime” Fjelkestam analyzes Fanny Lewald’s German novel Jenny (1843) and its articulation of the opression of the Jewish people. By means of Jenny’s singing voice, the non-representable other is suddenly represented in an ambiguous movement of absence and presence. A Jewish song is thus transformed into an experience of irrepressible and almost haunting truth through aesthetic expression, and in a sublime moment the repressed return to inhabit the awareness of the audience.

Contact: Kristina.Fjelkestam[at]gender.su.se

Selected bibliography

- ”En-Gendering the Sublime: Aesthetics and Politics in the Eighteenth Century”, NORA: Nordic Journal of Women’s Studies 2014:1.

- ”Gendering Cultural Memory: Balzac´s Adieu”, Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research 2013: 5

- ”To Live or to Die for Art: Vicki Baum’s Artist Novel Die Karriere der Doris Hart in the Light of Willa Cather’s The Song of the Lark”, TRANS: Journal of Literary and Comparative Literature Studies 2013: 15.

-  ”Musan som man: kärleken, döden och den konstnärliga praktiken”, Kvinnorna gör mannen, red. Kristina Fjelkestam, Helena Hill och David Tjeder (Stockholm: Makadam 2013)

- ”The Turn of the Shrewd: teoretiska vändningar då och (mest) nu”, Fält i förvandling. Genusvetenskaplig litteraturforskning, red. Eva Heggestad, Anna Williams, Ann Öhrberg (Hedemora: Gidlunds 2013)

Ta tanke. Feminism, materialism och historiseringens praktik [Taking Thought: Feminism, Materialism and the Practice of Historicizing] (Lund: Sekel 2012)

- ”Histories Matter: Materializing Politics in the Moment of the Sublime”, Rethinking Time. Essays on Historical Consciousness, Memory and Representation, red. Hans Ruin och Andrus Ers, Södertörn Philosophical Studies: Huddinge: Södertörn Philosophical Studies 2011)

- Det sublimas politik. Emancipatorisk estetik i 1800-talets konstnärsromaner [The Politics of the Sublime: Emancipatory Aesthetics in Artist Novels from the Nineteenth Century] (Göteborg/Stockholm: Makadam 2010)

- ”Att göra skillnad. Feminism, kulturteori och (litteratur)historiens berättelser”, Bloch, butch, Bertel – kontextuella litteraturstudier, red. Michel Ekman och Kristina Malmio (Uniprint: Åbo: Uniprint 2009)

- "Den sentimentala romanen och kampen för medborgarskap. Rousseaus Julie och Staëls Delphine", iSjuttonhundratal: Nordic Yearbook for Eighteenth-Century Studies 2009.

- “Estetik som politik. Moderniteten, sublimiteten och medborgaren som man”, TFL 2008: 3-4.

- “Tale of Transgression: Charlie and the Representation of Female Homosexuality in Interwar Sweden”, NORA: Nordic Journal of Women´s Studies 2005: 1

- “Allegorizing Modernity. The New Woman and the Metropolis as Metonymies in Djuna Barnes 'Nightwood'”, The New Woman and the Aesthetic Opening, ed. E. Witt-Brattström (Stockholm: Södertörn Academic Studies, 2004)

- “Historicitet”, Kvinnovetenskaplig tidskrift 1999: 4.

Produced by MarsApril