Axel Englund

Axel Englund


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Works at Department of Culture and Aesthetics
Telephone 08-674 73 26
Postal address Institutionen för kultur och estetik 106 91 Stockholm

About me

I am a Wallenberg Academy Fellow in Literature at the Department of Culture and Aesthetics.


I am the coordinator for the Master's Programme in Literature at the Faculty of Humanities. My other teaching activities at the Department of Culture and Aesthetics include, for instance, literary interpretation and modernist poetry.


My research mainly revolves around word-and-music relations: literary representations of music, the idea of musical poetry, and the interaction between music and text in opera and lieder are all among my primary interests. I completed my doctorate at Stockholm University in 2011, with a dissertation on the poetry of the German-speaking Holocaust survivor Paul Celan. The resulting book, Still Songs: Music In and Around the Poetry of Paul Celan (2012) explores, on the one hand, music as motif and structure in Celan’s œuvre and, on the other hand, musical settings of his poetry.

In addition to my work on Celan, I have written about other figures in the German tradition, including Heinrich Heine, Rainer Maria Rilke, Theodor W. Adorno and Nelly Sachs. Together with Anders Olsson, I edited the volume Languages of Exile: Migration and Multilingualism in Twentieth-Century Literature (2013). In recent years, I have devoted myself to the little-studied poetry of W.G. Sebald, which I have also translated into Swedish. Currently, I am focusing on two different projects, one of which continues to explore the idea of music in European modernist poetry, while the other deals with aspects of power and sexuality in contemporary opera stagings.

I have held visiting scholarships at Columbia University (2009 and 2015) and Freie Universität Berlin (2013), and in 2011, I was an Anna Lindh Fellow at Stanford University.

Last updated: June 21, 2018

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