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Popular Culture and the Civic Imagination


Start date: Monday 2 May 2022

Time: 09.00

End date: Tuesday 3 May 2022

Time: 13.00

Location: The Auditorium, Manne Siegbahn Buildings, Frescativägen 24E, Stockholm University Campus

The Department of Culture and Aesthetics, Stockholm University, welcomes you to the conference Popular Culture and the Civic Imagination with Henry Jenkins (University of Southern California) as keynote speaker.

A mural in Istanbul depicting Tokyo from Netflix's Casa de Papel/Money Heist. Photo by Sebnem Baran. Source:

The conference is open and free of charge.

For participation and a final programme, contact:

The conference aims at bringing together scholars – PhD students as well as senior researchers – interested in all kinds of popular media. The conference’s specific concerns include, but are not limited to, the relations between popular culture/ media and the civic imagination and between participatory culture and political activism.

Henry Jenkins is the Provost Professor of Communication, Journalism, Cinematic Arts and Education at the University of Southern California, and the author and/or editor of many books on various aspects of media and popular culture, including Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture (1992), From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games (1998), Hop on Pop: The Politics and Pleasures of Popular Culture (2002), Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide (2006), Spreadable Media: Creating Meaning and Value in a Networked Culture (2013), By Any Media Necessary: The New Youth Activism (2016), Comics and Stuff (2020).

Together with the research group The Civic Imagination Project, Jenkins has recently published two books that directly relate to the conference topic: the edited volume Popular Culture and the Civic Imagination: Case Studies of Creative Social Change (2020) and the handbook Practicing Futures: A Civic Imagination Action Handbook (2020).

Read more about Henry Jenkins here:


Sonya Petersson, Research Officer at the Department of Culture and Aeshtetics:



2 May


Welcome, Staffan Bergwik, Professor of History of Ideas, Department of Culture and Aesthetics, Stockholm University


Moderator Doron Galili, Research Fellow, Department of Media Studies, Stockholm University


Keynote. From the Harry Potter Alliance to the BTS Army: Fan Activism, Civic Imagination, and Social Change (ONLINE), Henry Jenkins, Provost Professor of Communication, Journalism, Cinematic Arts, and Education, University of Southern California.
10:30–11:00 Coffee

Flipping the Paranoid Chronotope, Frida Beckman, Professor of Literature, Stockholm University

11:30–12:00 Troubling Aesthetics When Rewriting the Everyday: Mapping Vulnerability as a Generative Force in Community Theatre, Elsa Szatek, PhD Student in Teaching and Learning, Stockholm University
12:00–12:30 Expanding Southeast Asian Social and Political Discussions via Political Cartoons on Social Media: Cases from Indonesia and Malaysia (ONLINE), Indah S. Pratidina, Lecturer, Department of Communication, University of Indonesia; Suraya binti Md Nasir, Lecturer, Department of Creative Multimedia, Sultan Idris Education University
12:30–13:30 Lunch
  Moderator Jacob Kimvall, Assistant Professor, Department of Visual Arts and Sloyd Education, University of Arts, Crafts, and Design, Stockholm
13:30–14:00 Transnationalism and Critique in the Global Culture TV Magazine Kobra, Kristina Riegert, Professor of Journalism, Södertörn University
14:00–14:30 “A Whiskey Lullaby” – Functions of Alcohol in Country Music Lyrics, Tindra Thor, Senior Lecturer in Media and Communication, Örebro University; Ketil Thorgersen, Senior Lecturer in Music Education, Stockholm University/University College of Music Education in Stockholm
14:30–15:00 Coffee
15:00–15:30 We’re Here: The Queer Labor of Empathy, Allyship, and Drag in Reality Television, Candice Roberts, Associate Professor of Communication Arts, St. John’s University, New York
15:30–16:00 Visuality and Civic Imagination: El Lissitzky and the Russian Avant-Garde, Lisa Källström, Senior Lecturer, Department of Communication Studies, Lund University/Department of Communication, Language and Media, Malmö University
16:00–16:30 Art of Recursion: Labor and Creativity as Technical Individuation, Per Israelson, Assistant Professor, Department of Culture and Aesthetics, Stockholm University

Concluding Discussion, moderated by Sonya Petersson, Assistant Professor/Research Officer, Department of Culture and Aesthetics, Stockholm University.

3 May

  Moderator Per Israelson, Assistant Professor, Department of Culture and Aesthetics, Stockholm University.
09:00–09:30 Nuclear Spectators: When Globocide Turned Entertainment, Fannie Frederikke Baden, PhD Student in Art History and Visual Studies, Lund University
09:30–10:00 Internet Memes for Civil Disobedience: Reflections from Recent Hong Kong’s Protest Culture, Lee Wing Ki, Assistant Professor, Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University
10:00–10:30 Queer Motifs of Desire and Identificatory Reading in the Jane Austen Fandom, Camilla Wallin Lämsä, PhD Student, Department of Culture and Society, Linköping University


11:00–11:30 Participatory Travels of Poetry – How New Practices of Poetry Distribution Puts Poetry back into Popular Culture, Camilla Holm Soelseth, PhD Student in Library and Information Science, Oslo Metropolitan University

Visit to Accelerator

12:15–12:20 Final Words, Per Israelson, Assistant Professor, Department of Culture and Aesthetics, Stockholm University

Conference Programme with abstracts (242 Kb)


How to Get to the Conference

The conference takes place at the Auditorium, Department of Culture and Aesthetics, Frescativägen 24E.

To get to Stockholm University, you can travel by metro (tube/underground) from the central station in Stockholm (“T-centralen”). Take the red line northbound to Mörby Centrum and get off at the station “Universitetet.” The journey takes about 10 minutes.

From the station at campus it is a one-minute walk to the Department of Culture and Aesthetics. Turn left when you exit the station. Walk towards the red-brown brick buildings, entrance 24E. The Auditorium is on the first floor.

Finding your way on the Department of Culture and Aesthetics

Finding your way on Stockholm University campus