Erik Mattsson

Erik Mattsson


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Works at Department of Culture and Aesthetics
Telephone 08-674 74 92
Postal address Institutionen för kultur och estetik 106 91 Stockholm


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2018. Erik Mattsson, Egil Törnqvist. Reconsidering National Plays in Europe, 119-153

    The contribution of Erik Mattsson and Egil Törnqvist functions as an example of a more traditional notion of the national play, in which the Swedish king Gustav Vasa is displayed as founding father of the Swedish nation. The play was written at the end of the nineteenth century but is clearly set in the sixteenth century, when Gustav Vasa played an important role in unifying the nation. Törnqvist and Mattsson show that Vasa’s unifying qualities have long been emphasized, whereas his tyrannical and disruptive actions have been concealed. Recent more critical performances of the play have brought those less positive traits to light.

  • 2017. Erik Mattsson.

    Under the title, “Turning Points and Continuity: Reformulating questions to the archives”, this special issue of Nordic Theatre Studies gathers articles emanating from a joint research project – as well as articles by invited guest writers – all dealing with the period 1880-1925. The issue is published with support from the Swedish Research Council. The project, and consequently also this collection of articles, centres on the twofold task of re-examining the period of the so-called modern breakthrough in performing arts and to rethink the historiographical approach, thereby adding to the theoretical and methodological toolbox of historical research. The geographical focus of the project is Sweden, but the research objects – e.g. actors, dancers, texts, and genres – exist on an international scale and, accordingly, the investigations stretch into Finland, Norway, Denmark, and other countries.

  • 2017. Erik Mattsson. Nordic Theatre Studies 29 (1), 1-5
  • 2017. Erik Mattsson. Performance Research 22 (3), 42-48

    This article explores the inherent tension between techniques of distance and proximity in legal practice. Laying bare the interplay between spatial, social and representational distance and proximity, the article clarifies the politics of the trial and the various kinds of subjectivation that take place in the courtroom. Drawing on the writings of Bourdieu and Foucault, legal practice is seen as making use of a range of power techniques. Law is not only using distancing mechanisms, turning humans into de-personed legal subjects, but it also uses personalizing techniques, investigating both the crime and the criminal and striving for social proximity. In conclusion, the trial comes forth as a ‘therapeutized’ event focused on governing and transforming the subjects, rather than merely judging them. The material consists of observations and experiences made during a field study at the lower level courts of Stockholm, Sweden. In addition, perspectives from anthropological and sociological literature are used to highlight the structural and symbolic dimensions of law.

  • 2014. Erik Mattsson (et al.).

    This dissertation studies legal practice and representation from the perspective of Theatre- and Performance Studies. It aims to describe and analyse the theatrical, ritualistic and spatial aspects of law, its practices, representations and buildings. More specifically, the dissertation explores the trial as a performance.

    Cultural as well as artistic performances are explicitly structured. Trials, theatre performances, religious rituals, military parades and political demonstrations all raise a boundary that shuts out what is not part of the performance ("life", "the everyday"). Performances also depend on and create an inner order; they structure the social and material space and produce roles and hierarchies among the participants. The dissertation analyses the ways in which the trial in the lower level court in Sweden produces and maintains these outer and inner boundaries. How does law and legal practice produce frames, boundaries and spaces? How, when and as what does law appear? And what is made to appear in front of or under the law? By approaching the legal practice with a theatrical and performative terminology, the trial comes forth as more than a legal process; it appears as a performative, cultural and social event. The study focuses on the courtroom as a space where power is exercised and produced. It is not only the legal power of the judgment that is exercised, but also other forms of power. The court creates, communicates and sustains its authority in the courtroom by using performative, theatrical and ritual techniques of power. In making these different kinds of power techniques visible, the dissertation exemplifies the strength of a performance perspective. By using a terminology and a way of thinking from the study of performing arts, new knowledge of the trial as a performance is produced.

Show all publications by Erik Mattsson at Stockholm University

Last updated: June 5, 2018

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