What is truly Swedish? The Changing Mythemes of /folkhem/

February 18th 2021, 6pm        
Maria Hansson (Sorbonne University)

Watch the video here:

Millenium. Reproduit d’après Joakim Lind, Sweden Beyond the Millennium, 2012

In 2012, the Swedish Institute publishes a study on the image of Sweden through Millennium by Stieg Larsson, entitled Sweden Beyond the Millennium. In it, Sweden is described as less safe, less “Swedish” and more like the world around it.
In February 2020, SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) publishes an advertising film that claims that nothing is really Scandinavian, but that everything is borrowed from other countries and imported into Scandinavia to become, as time goes by, an integral part of the common image of the North.
This is the starting point of an investigation I wish to undertake in search of the mythemes of Sweden. What is the reception and transformation of folkhem over the past decades and especially today in the media? In order to understand this, it will be necessary to start from an overview of this political concept before proposing a study on the reception and transformation of the social knowledge of this folkhem in recent years through Swedish literature and media.

Maria HANSSON is a doctor and lecturer of Swedish language at Sorbonne-University. She also teaches at the Swedish Institute in Paris. The title of her thesis is Le surnaturel en question. Désir d’émancipation chez les femmes de lettres de la Percée moderne suédoise (The supernatural in question. Desire for emancipation among women writers of the Swedish Modern Breakthrough). Author of numerous articles on the link between Scandinavian folklore and women’s emancipation in 19th century literature, she also studies the link between fantasy and social criticism, particularly of folkhem.

Conférence dans la série des wébinaires Mythemes of the North