Kristina Fjelkestam

Kristina Fjelkestam


Visa sidan på svenska
Works at Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies
Telephone 08-674 79 06
Visiting address Universitetsvägen 10 E7
Room E 715
Postal address 106 91 Stockholm 106 91 Stockholm

About me

I am a professor of gender studies, and as I see it, gender studies builds on three pillars that are grounded in theory, politics, and history. Theory is the binding element in the interdisciplinary field of study; politics is the idea that the subject not only wants to describe oppressive mechanisms but also change them, which is based on an emancipatory struggle with historical roots.

I am particularly interested in research on language and sexuality, as these are such central aspects of people’s lives, but I am also interested because they are complex and, paradoxically, represent both the best and the worst that can happen to us. Language can be artistically enjoyable but also exert violence; sexuality can lead to both wonderful and horrific experiences.


Latest publications:

(2018) ”Does Time Have a Gender? Queer Temporality, Anachronism, and the Desire for the Past”, The Ethos of History. Time, Location and Responsibility, ed. Stefan Helgesson & Jayne Svenungsson, Oxford:Berghahn.

(2018) ”Retrofili och begäret efter det förflutna”, Tidskrift för genusvetenskap nr 2-3.

(2018) ”Våldsam extas”, Ord och Bild nr 4.


My research profile is generally based in feminist cultural theory with a historical focus. I am currently interested in research on queer temporality, which involves alternative notions of time, and I focus on this in the research programme Time, Memory, Representation: On Transformations in Historical Consciousness, funded by the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation. In the past, I have worked with cultural memory (i.e. what and how a society chooses to remember) and different perspectives on the theory and practice of historiography.

As of 2015 I am back at Stockholm University, where I once completed my PhD in comparative literature with the thesis “Ungkarlsflickor, kamrathustrur och manhaftiga lesbianer: modernitetens litterära gestalter i mellankrigstidens Sverige” [Bachelor Girls, Companionate Wives and Mannish Lesbians: Representations of Modernity in Interwar Sweden] (Symposion 2002). By studying now-forgotten literature, I wanted to problematise literary historiography’s consecration of a literary canon. In my second book, “Det sublimas politik: emancipatorisk estetik i 1800-talets konstnärsromaner” [The Politics of the Sublime: Emancipatory Aesthetics in 19th Century Artist Novels] (Makadam 2010), I wanted to continue to problematise historiography in practice, this time by analysing the political consequences of the history of aesthetics. In “Ta tanke: feminism, materialism och historiseringens praktik” [Taking Thought: Feminism, Materialism and the Practice of Historicizing] (Sekel 2012), I continue to reflect on issues relating to the philosophy of history. The book title alludes both to taking the right to think and to the concrete materialisation of insights in a more theoretical sense. In line with this, I choose to consider literary works as responses to contemporary aesthetic and political issues, and as social practices rather than static objects. Thus, in my readings, a novel such as Djuna Barnes’ “Nightwood” becomes an allegorical representation of the Other in traditional historiography.

In addition, I have published articles in national and international journals, edited the anthologies “Reflektionens gestalt” [The form of reflection] (2009) and “Kvinnorna gör mannen: maskulinitetskonstruktioner i kvinnors text och bild 1500-2000” [The women make the man: constructions of masculinity in women’s texts and images] (2013, with Helena Hill and David Tjeder), and participated in various research projects as part of my previous employment at Södertörn University, Umeå University and Linköping University. For a more complete list of my publications, see the SwePub link to the right.

Last updated: October 29, 2018

Bookmark and share Tell a friend