Mats Arvidson

Mats Arvidson

Senior Lecturer, Reader

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Personal profile


I am associate professor (reader) of musicology, senior lecturer in intermedia studies and active within a broad field of cultural sciences. This has led to a research activity that is multi- and interdisciplinary in nature, where music usually is in focus, but not solely. My research activities so far have moved in four overlapping areas:

  1. Music from the perspective of history of ideas and sciences
  2. Music and sound from an intermedial perspective
  3. Musicology and intermedial studies as fields of research
  4. Cultural sciences in a broad sense

My dissertation dealt with Swedish art music during the period 1945–1960 and focused on the debates about the social and aesthetic aspects of modern music (Måndagsgruppen). Research on music and sound from an intermedial perspective has varied: from studies of music's relation to record sleeves (Gustav Mahler and Gustav Klimt), to music and narrativity in instrumental music (Brad Mehldau) and the functions of music and sound in radio drama (The Unforgiven).

Musicology has increasingly become fragmented (specialized) in a variety of sub-fields. In recent years, the concept of media has taken on a greater role within the discipline. In this context, I have contributed with perspectives and have published texts concerning the relationship between musicology and intermedial studies. I see this relationship as central to my research science.

The fact that my research activities also move in the broad field of cultural sciences is partly a result of an open institution where collaborations across subject boundaries form a natural part of the activities through various research nodes (for example digital cultures, aesthetic studies, medical humanities and popular culture studies). This has led to two autoethnographic studies in the medical humanities (type 1 diabetes and colon cancer), as well as a collection of essays that revolve around the activities of the author, poet and philosopher Lars Gustafsson.

My current research continues in the above areas: on the one hand a number of case studies on the functions of music and sounds in radio drama, on the relationship between words and music, on mediatized performances, on cover version as intermedial phenomena, and on the other hand in-depth theoretical and methodological perspectives in the practice of interpretation (especially hermeneutic phenomenology).


In addition to my research in music-related subject fields, I teach and supervise students in different subjects. My teaching experience is broad and multifaceted, but there is a common denominator: culture as signifying practice. I teach and have taught within the following subjects (in parenthesis exemplification):

  • intermedia studies (the cultural study of intermediality and supervision of bachelor theses)
  • cultural management (cultural theory and supervision of bachelor theses)
  • publishing studies (cultural theory and supervision of bachelor theses)
  • book history (material culture)
  • history of ideas and sciences (the intellectual history of astrobiology)
  • digital cultures (aesthetics and narrativity and supervision of bachelor theses)
  • musicology (method and theory and supervision of bachelor theses)
  • fashion studies (supervision of cbachelor theses)
  • archive studies (supervision of master thesis)


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