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Living Happily Ever After? The Swedish Gender Equality Ideal & Literary Representations of Mothers Who Leave

May 24, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Royce Hall 236, 10745 Dickson Court
Los Angeles, CA 90095
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In twenty-first century Swedish literature there is a surprising number of mothers who leave their families. Why do we currently see this literary trend? And why in Sweden of all places, which is usually seen seen as one of the best countries in the world to start a family, especially for mothers? In this talk, Björklund will discuss a number of novels where the mothers leave because of gender inequality with a desire to improve their situations. She will explore the gender equality ideal that is produced in these novels and discuss how it is linked to a Swedish gender equality ideal that promotes dual-career couples who share the responsibility for household work and childcare. In the novels, this gender equality ideal is intimately connected to heteronormativity and ideas of Swedishness and Nordic exceptionalism, and it is shaped through processes of othering.

Jenny Björklund is Associate Professor at the Centre for Gender Research, Uppsala University, and a Fulbright Hildeman Fellow at UCLA during Winter and Spring quarters 2018. She has a background in Gender Studies and Comparative Literature, and at UCLA she teaches courses on minority cultures in Scandinavia.

Lunch will be served. RSVP  here.


Royce Hall 236
10745 Dickson Court
Los Angeles, CA 90095
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UCLA Scandinavian Section
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