Torsten Pettersson

Professor at Department of Literature and Rhetoric

Email:
Torsten.Pettersson[AT-sign]littvet.uu.se
Telephone:
+4618-471 2956
Visiting address:
Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3 P

Postal address:
Box 632
751 26 UPPSALA

Short presentation

I am Chair Professor of Literature and a writer of poetry and fiction (for the latter, see: www.torstenpettersson.com). My research is often interdisciplinary, comprising world views in literature; literature and secularization; the depiction of violence; the epistemology of fiction and interpretation; and empirical reader studies. Periods studied include the English novel c. 1850–1925; poetry and fiction in Germany, Sweden, Finland, and the U.S. c. 1850–2000; and nineteenth-century opera.

My scholarly work is described and contextualized at length in the document "Academic Biography in Narrative Form and Curriculum Vitae". In brief, I believe that scholarly creativity is best developed and displayed through cross-pollination between different subjects and perspectives rather than through narrow specialization. In that spirit I have studied a wide range of topics frequently interfacing with aesthetics, philosophy, theology, musicology, and, in my recent empirical reader studies, psychology and sociology. In one case the interface was my work as a poet: a 2012 volume in which my translation into Swedish of 144 poems by 18 Finnish poets were complemented by a formal and historical analysis of Finnish poetry from 1860 to 1960.

Oeuvres illuminated from such perspectives include those of Joseph Conrad and Charles Dickens; Adalbert Stifter, Rainer Maria Rilke, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Hans Fallada; Eyvind Johnson, Hjalmar Gullberg, Ola Hansson; Edith Södergran, Gunnar Björling, Elmer Diktonius, Aleksis Kivi; Frank Norris, Norman Mailer, Truman Capote; Richard Wagner and Giuseppe Verdi.

In the list below called “Alla publikationer / All Publications” (numbering 147 in April 2021), please note the division into “Artiklar / Journal Articles” (59), “Böcker / Books” (40), “Kapitel i bok / Chapters in Books” (45), and others (1+2). My most recent work is listed at the top of each section.

This paragraph is not available in English, therefore the Swedish version is shown.

Academic Profile

I am Chair Professor of Literature and a writer of poetry and fiction (for the latter, see: www.torstenpettersson.com). My research is often interdisciplinary, comprising world views in literature; literature and secularization; the depiction of violence; the epistemology of fiction and interpretation; and empirical reader studies. Periods studied include the English novel c. 1850–1925; poetry and fiction in Germany, Sweden, Finland, and the U.S. c. 1850–2000; and nineteenth-century opera.

Ongoing projects (as of June 2023):

Reading and Discussing Literature at School: A Large-Scale Empirical Project Linked to Democracy and Prosocial Values (with Anna Lyngfelt and Olle Nordberg)

The Use of Literature in Professions Outside the Field of Literature (with Taeda Tomic)

Swedish Neutrality: A Study of Eyvind Johnson’s 1951 Polemical Intervention

Omniscient Narration in Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace

Levels of Narration in Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment and The Idiot

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Torsten Pettersson