Professor Mats Malm new member of the Swedish Academy

At its meeting on Thursday, the Swedish Academy decided to appoint Mats Malm, Professor in Comparative Literature at the University of Gothenburg, to become a new member.

Mats Malm says it still seems unreal, that he received the question "not so long ago", and got some time to think about it. It was not obvious to say yes.

"I have just stepped back from a few rather important assignments and was looking forward to a somewhat quieter period where I could conduct research in peace. That may have to wait a bit, says Mats Malm.

Why did you say yes?

"The Academy is a fantastic institution, and does a tremendous work. It has been an unstable period, but now it seems to be going in the right direction, and I would like to contribute to a constructive future.”

What can you contribute to the Academy?

"I do not know what they have in mind, but what I like best is the older literature. I have been the head of the Swedish Literature Bank with the support of the Academy for quite some time. The Swedish Literature Bank is on the one hand that everyone should have access to the classics, on the other hand to go around it, to overlook the canon.”

"I started the Centre for Digital Humanities at the University of Gothenburg to get an environment for new types of research, computer-aided methods for researching literature. This is something huge for the future. It opens a view of the cultural heritage which is not always about the best literature, but that new methods can make us discover new things.

"Delightful" says the Vice-Chancellor

Eva Wiberg, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Gothenburg, says this about the appointment:
“It is a delightful message that one of our professors has been appointed as a new member. It is important that the Swedish Academy now continues its work and I am convinced that Mats Malm will be an asset.”

Marie Demker, Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Gothenburg, also expresses joy over the fact that a colleague has been chosen for the Academy.

“The Academy has a major responsibility in managing and advancing the Swedish heritage and the “purity, vigour and majesty” of the Swedish language, in accordance with the wishes of Gustav III of Sweden. It is satisfying that the work on renewing the Academy now has begun, and we are convinced that the appointment of Mats Malm will promote the Academy's operations and development," says Marie Demker.

Succeeds Klas Östergren

Mats Malm succeeds the author Klas Östergren on chair number 11, and will attend the Academy's Meeting on December 20th.

Malm was born in 1964 and became a PhD in 1996. He is also a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities and board member of the Swedish Society for Belle-Lettres.

Two of the Faculty of Art's employees are today members of the Swedish Academy: Sture Allén, Professor Emeritus in Language technology, and Bo Ralph, Professor Emeritus in Nordic Languages.