The Section for the Sociology of Literature
The Section for the Sociology of Literature was founded in 1965 by Lars Furuland (1928–2009). Together with Bo Bennich-Björkman (1926–2010) and a number of other people, Furuland built Uppsala’s Department of the Sociology of Literature into a broad research-focused instution that includes both analysis of literary works and studies of literature's external conditions.
The ambition has been to shed light on the entire literary process – the path and conditions of the literary work from author to reader, via publishers, critics, bookstores, libraries, schools. A large part of the research has also been devoted to forgotten and marginalized forms of literature, among them workers' literature, popular literature, children's and youth literature, emigrant literature and amateur literature.
Among the other areas of the sociology of literature are, for example, popular movements such as cultural environments, author identity and author livelihood, taste formation and the literary field, publishing statistics, publishing history, library history, historical and contemporary reader research, literary canon, the importance of computerization for literary culture. Read a more detailed presentation of the sociological perspective of literature and various research efforts based on it.
The head of the Section for the Sociology of Literature is Ann Steiner.
Research and Publications
The Section for the Sociology of Literature has long worked with larger externally financed research projects and profile area that gathers more researchers.
Some of the current and newly finished projects are:
- Swedish Book Market during the Interwar Period (SU)
- From close reading to distance reading. Digital humanities and new forms of text analysis.
- The special assignment—The Nobel Prize and literary culture
- IT, the narrative and the literary system (ITLIT)
- Afterwar Swedish book market and Swedish literature’s way out into the world
- Author identity and author livelihood in Sweden, approx. 1810-2010
The Section publishes the following journal series:
- Litteratur och samhälle. Meddelande från Avdelningen för litteratursociologi, and
- Journals published by the Section for the Sociology of Literature
These are listed under the department's publications pages and some abstracts are available online.