Åsa Arping


Faculty of
Visiting address
Renströmsgatan 6
41255 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 200
40530 Göteborg


Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and
Visiting address
Renströmsgatan 6
41255 Göteborg
Room number
Postal address
Box 200
40530 Göteborg

About Åsa Arping

Dean, Faculty of Humanities (from 1 January 2023). Professor (PhD, Docent) in Comparative Literature.

I have held courses in Comparative literature since 1999, in teacher eduation, literature and gender, in cultural studies (Children and youth culture and criticism) and journalism (essay writing). In recent years I have been involved in several interdisciplinary second and third cycle courses at the department and the faculty, concerning literary criticism and literary theory. I am also tutoring exam essays and supervisor of three post graduates.

As Associate Head of Department for Education (2011–2016) at the Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion, I was responsible for strategic educational planning and quality work. During 2019–2022, I represented the teachers at the University Board. I have had several assignments outside the university, for example as member of a working group distributing grants for translated literature in the Swedish Arts Council (2000–2003), and as member of the August Prize jury (The Swedish Publisher’s Association, 2008–2010).

In 2002–2005 I was editor of Kvinnovetenskaplig tidskrift [Journal for Women’s Studies]. 2017–2022 I was Editor in Chief of Kriterium.

Research interests

  • Literature in relation to gender, class and intersectionality
  • Literary criticism (reviewing) and essay writing
  • Literary history writing and canon formation
  • Critical editing
  • Swedish and British 19th century fiction

Projects with external funding

  1. Uncle Tom’s Cabin: Translation, Reception, Transformation (Helge Ax:son Johnson’s Foundation, Kungl. Vetenskaps- och Vitterhets-Samhället in Gothenburg, Wilhelm and Martina Lundgren’s Vetenskapsfond, and Åke Wiberg’s Foundation.
  2. Doing Class: Intersectional Encounters in Swedish Contemporary Fiction (2000–2020) Riksbankens jubileumsfond). This project investigates how class is depicted in Swedish contemporary fiction. Based on literature’s ability to uncover and renegotiate societal as well as emotional and artistic processes, it examines how class is charged with new political meanings and aesthetic expression. The aim is deeper knowledge of the political role of art and post-industrial society’s obscured images of class, as perceptions of work, identity, life style and the welfare state are rapidly changing. In the analyses, class is treated as performative and relational, but also as a set of specific experiences. Theoretically, the study combines norm-critical perspectives, cultural- and textual analysis, and aspects of affect theory and sociology of culture. An intersectional approach is used, with an enhanced awareness of how class interacts with gender and ethnicity. The result will be an academic volume in Swedish and a synthesising peer-reviewed journal article in English. The project includes a research stay at SDU, Odense, in the “Uses of Literature: The Social Dimensions of Literature”-programme.
  3. Writing Gothenburg on the Map (in collaboration with Docent Olle Widhe and PhD Kristina Hermansson, GPS400). Anna Ahrenberg Foundation
  4. Swedish Women Writers on Export in the Nineteenth Century, project 2014–2017 in collaboration with Professor Yvonne Leffler, PhD Jenny Bergenmar, Docent Gunilla Hermansson och PhD Birgitta Johansson Lindh. Swedish Research Council

Editorial assignments

  • 2020–: Editorial Board Samlaren
  • 2019–2020 –: Member of the review panel “Aesthetic disciplines” at the Swedish Research Council
  • 2017–: Editor in Chief of Kriterium
  • 2014–: Advisory Board Nordistica Tartuensia (NT)
  • 2013–: Editorial Board Tidskrift för litteraturvetenskap
  • 2010–2011: Editor of the department’s writing series
  • 2008–2010: Member of the editorial committee for the series Skrifter utgivna av Svenska Litteratursällskapet (Works edited by the Swedish Literary Society)
  • 2006–2009: Editor of Litteraturens historia i Sverige (The History of Literature in Sweden), together with Prof. Anna Williams (Uppsala), FD Annika Olsson (Stockholm) and Maria Sjödin, publisher at Norstedts
  • 2002–2005: Editor of Kvinnovetenskaplig tidskrift (Journal for Women’s Studies), and until 2006 member of the editorial board
  • 2000–2002: member of the editorial committee for Ord & Bild
  • 1997–1998: member of the editorial committee for Tidskrift för litteraturvetenskap (Journal for Comparative Literature)

Selected publications


2022: Att göra klass: Nedslag i svensk samtidsprosa [Doing Class: Encounters in Swedish Contemporary Fiction], Stockholm/Göteborg: Makadam och Kriterium (277 p)

2013: ”Hvad gör väl namnet?”: Anonymitet och varumärkesbyggande i svensk litteraturkritik 1820–50 [What’s in a Name: Anonymity and Branding in Swedish Literary Criticism 1820–50], Stockholm/Göteborg: Makadam (350 p)

2002: Den anspråksfulla blygsamheten: Auktoritet och genus i 1830-talets svenska romandebatt [diss.] [Pretentious Modesty: Authority and Gender in the 1830s debate on the Novel in Sweden], Eslöv: Symposion (304 p)

Edited volumes

2019: Swedish Women’s Writing on Export: Tracing Transnational Reception in the Ninetenth Century, ed. Yvonne Leffler, Åsa Arping, Jenny Bergenmar, Gunilla Hermanson & Birgitta Johansson Lindh, Göteborg: lir.skrifter 10 (372 p)

2016: Fredrika Bremer, Hertha, eller En själs historia, eds. Åsa Arping & Gunnel Furuland, Stockholm: Svenska Vitterhetssamfundet (364 p). New edition in 2020

2016: ”inte kan jag berätta allas historia?”. Föreställningar om nordisk arbetarlitteratur, eds. Beata Agrell, Åsa Arping, Christer Ekholm & Magnus Gustafson, Göteborg: lir.skrifter (254 p)

2016: Humanister i fält. Metoder och möjligheter, eds. Åsa Arping, Christer Ekholm & Katarina Leppänen, Göteborg: lir.skrifter.varia (176 p)

2014: En dag i Dublin. Om James Joyces Ulysses, eds. Åsa Arping & Mats Jansson, Göteborg: LIR.Skrifter.Varia (239 p)

2013: Litteraturens historia i Sverige, sjätte upplagan, eds. Olsson, Algulin et al, Lund: Studentlitteratur (640 p)

2010: Genusvetenskapliga litteraturanalyser, eds. Åsa Arping och Anna Nordenstam, Lund: Studentlitteratur (259 p)

2009: Litteraturens historia i Sverige, red. Olsson, Algulin et al, Stockholm: Norstedts (640 p)

2008: Kritikens dimensioner. En festskrift till Tomas Forser, eds. Åsa Arping och Mats Jansson, Stockholm/Stehag: Symposion (520 p)

2008: Moderniteter. En vänbok till Ingrid Holmquist, eds. Åsa Arping, Anna Nordenstam och Kajsa Widegren, Göteborg: Makadam (342 p)

2005: Feministiska litteraturanalyser 1972–2002, eds. Åsa Arping och Anna Nordenstam, Lund: Studentlitteratur (472 p)

2001: Mig törstar! Studier i Fredrika Bremers spår, eds. Åsa Arping & Birgitta Ahlmo-Nilsson, Hedemora: Gidlunds förlag (295 p)

2001: Ung och stolt. Antologi, eds. Åsa Arping, Anna Nordenstam och Anna Williams, Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell (208 p)

2000: Fredrika Bremer, Famillen H***, ed. Åsa Arping, Stockholm: Svenska Vitterhetssamfundet (242 p). New edition in 2019