Ulrika Holgersson

Ulrika Holgersson

Senior Lecturer, Associate professor

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Personal profile

Research

I am an associate professor in history and a senior lecturer in media history and journalism.

In my research I use different media, for example popular and daily press, newsreels and feature films, to explore the spirit of the times in Swedish 20th century society, especially highlighting negotiations of gender and class and thereby the historical conditions of the formation of democracy and egalitarianism. I am especially interested in the ways that different media express experiences and identities, partake in the construction of events and historical participation, and are used for political formation in different eras.

In my doctoral thesis Popular Culture and Classification. The Discourses of Work, Class, and Gender in Swedish Women’s Magazines at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century (in Swedish, 2005), I analyse discourses of class, the thought structures that governed people's perceptions of themselves and others, as well as the struggles for different representations. A basic result is that the "working-class woman" was not only seen in a negative sense as "the other", but also as a role model for the women who were better off. A small sub-survey deals with the editorial work at Svensk Damtidning (The Swedish Ladies’ Magazine) at the beginning of the last century.

In the project (financed by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond) and monograph The Servant Maid and the Feature Film. Stars of the Swedish “People’s Home” of the 1930s and 40s (in Swedish, 2017) I examine how the maid figure in Swedish feature films worked as a vehicle for negotiations of the so-called servant question, as well as the moral and ideological foundations of the Swedish “People’s Home”. The book also serves as an instructive example of how history can be written with feature films as source material.

In another project (funded by the Swedish Research Council), In Light of the Dead. Constructions of National Identities at Public Funerals in the Shape of Media Events in Sweden, 1901–2003 I examine how democracy and monarchy have been reconciled in the Swedish national narrative. A number of articles (2008; 2018 and forthcoming) focus on various themes such as the creation of memories of the leaders of the labour movement, the social-democratic press’ relationship to the royalties, the influence of famous Swedish women on national identity and unity, and journalism’s role in the shaping of media events before the introduction of broadcasting.

A unifying feature of my research is a theoretical interest in how the linguistic turn can be related to the concepts of class and gender. In the monograph Class. Feminist and Cultural Perspectives (Routledge 2016, reworking of a Swedish edition from 2011) I synthesize different discussions and call for a renewal of the class concept. Furthermore, in the article "Herstory revisited" (2011), as well as in a forthcoming work (2021), I examine how women's history can be written in the aftermath of poststructuralism. Specifically, I have applied these thoughts in a study of the history of women in the city of Lund (2012).

I have also edited several volumes: between 2009 and 2012 as the main editor of the scientific journal Scandia; and more recently, together with Lena Wängnerud, as the editor of the Riksbankens Jubilieumsfond’s and the Swedish Parliament’s research anthology commemorating the 100-year-jubilee of the introduction of general suffrage in Sweden, The Century of Suffrage. The Battle, Development and Future of Democracy in Sweden (in Swedish, 2018). Here, my own contribution is a study of the media history of the Swedish suffrage movement.

Together with Jens Rydström, I founded the Öresund Research Network for Gender History in 2010, joining Swedish and Danish gender historians twice a year. I am also a member of the international research network EMHIS (Entangled media histories) and have been a guest researcher at the historical departments at Manchester University (UK) and KU Leuven (Belgium). Finally, I have a longstanding experience of collaboration, especially through public lectures and participation in various media.

 

UKÄ subject classification

  • History
  • Media Studies

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