Katarina Bernhardsson

Katarina Bernhardsson

Senior lecturer, Associate professor

Personal profile


I am an Associate Professor in Literary Studies and a lecturer in Medical Humanities, especially Literature and Medicine.

I have a special interest in depictions of illness, which was the topic for my dissertation Litterära besvär ('Literary Ills', published 2010). Since 2017 I am lecturer in Medical Humanities, which is the first position of its kind in Sweden, and since 2021 I am assistant director of Birgit Rausing Centre for Medical Humanitites at Lund University. I am coordinating Medical Humanities at the Medical Programme, which includes teaching, development of new seminars, recruitment of teachers, supervision of master's theses and on the PhD level (both within medical humanities and literary studies), as well as research and other coordination.

My interest for the field is broad, and both in my dissertation and in the book Culture and Health – A Wider Horizon (ed. Ola Sigurdson) I have given introductory overviews of Medical Humanities and Narrative Medicine, and to some extent contributed to the establishment of them in Sweden. Presently I study autobiographical illness narratives, so called pathographies, with an emphasis on Swedish matieral, but I also continue to publish literary studies. I am interested in multi-disciplinary contexts and how literature and literary scholarship can find a place within the field. During 2021 I am part of a multi-disciplinary study group under the theme of Reading and Health. I am an educated leader on shared reading. In my former work, where I established a new structure for the publications series in humanities and theology and project managed this work, I also completed courses in project management, and I was part of the group that buildt up from scratch Kriterium, the national portal for review and publication of high-quality academic books.

I am coordinator of “Nordic Network for Narratives and Medicine”. Internationally, I also have contact with Narrative Medicine, Columbia University, where I have attended workshops, and I have a European network of contacts in the subject. I contribute to arrangements within Medical Humanities and Narrative Medicine nationally, which have been established the past few years, and I have an extensive Swedish nwtwork of contacts. I am regularly a peer reviewer for manuscirpts and research applications in the Swedish and Nordic context.

I have earlier worked both within history of the university and scientific publishing. Within Literary History, I was one of the editors for the volume En lundensisk litteraturhistoria ('A Lundensian Literary History'), published in connection with Lund University’s 350th anniversary. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality


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Collaborations the last five years

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