Hélène Ohlsson, doktorand i teatervetenskap

Héléne Olsson


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Works at Department of Culture and Aesthetics
Telephone 08-16 15 45
Postal address Institutionen för kultur och estetik 106 91 Stockholm

About me

Hélène Ohlsson is a PhD student in Theatre Studies. She has a background as an actress, director and scriptwriter. She is educated at Stockholm University and Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris. As an actress she has been linked to, among others Västanå Teater and Riksteatern, as a director she has worked with for example Dala Teatern and Västerbottensteatern. She has also been active as a drama teacher and dramaturg.


Theater Diva Ellen Hartman – Provocative and Popular

The dissertation's purpose is to investigate femininity and diva status, career strategies and acting style, by actress Ellen Hartman (1860-1945) to highlight her contribution and importance to Swedish theater during fin-de-siècle. The study also contributes to the knowledge of actor's career history and Hartman's role as a celebrety in the Nordic public sphere at this time. Hartman was a popular actress, but was also provocative as Gustaf Fröding's review of her guest performance in Karlstad in 1894 testifies. He wrote that they are many “who have written and spoken badly about Mrs Ellen Hartman. It's not easy to write something new and I have no claim to do so.“ In contrast to Fröding, I have a claim to write something new about Hartman. The thesis's purpose is followed up by the following research questions:

  • How did Ellen Hartman stage femininity?

  • What diva codes were important to her?

  • What characterized her style of play?

  • What career strategies did she use?

Reflected by her story, I also aim to contribute to the knowledge of the so-called old Dramaten on Kungsträdgårdsgatan in the last two decades of the 19th century. In the dissertation, Hartman will also be written into the 19th century diva tradition.

This thesis is written in a gender perspective with preferably critical femininity studies and with some queer theoretical concepts, a feminist historiographic perspective, as well as concepts from diva studies. Dissertation is planned in june 2018.

Key words: Ellen Hartman, femininity, pariah femininity, diva, diva code, carrer strategies, the art of acting, acting style, demonization, historical actresses.

Last updated: March 29, 2018

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