PhD course: Feminist Reading Methods, 7.5 credits

This course is given in collaboration with Södertörn University. 

Date and place: 29-31 March 2023, Södertörn University, Stockholm.

Teachers: Jenny Björklund (Centre for Gender Research, Uppsala University) and Ann-Sofie Lönngren (Department of Literature, Södertörn University).

Requirements: Admitted to doctoral studentship.

Description: The course discusses the origins, elaborations, and applications of a range of different feminist reading methods. “Feminism” is understood in an intersectional way and thus includes power structures of, for instance, gender, race, class, sexuality, functionality and species. The course focuses on different kinds of reading methods that can be used to analyze how such intersecting categories are constructed and resisted in texts such as literature, film and traditional media, and also interview transcripts, scientific texts, social media and field notes. Ultimately, the course aims at developing the students’ sense of the broad concept of “text” and to elaborate their interpretational skills.

Assessment: Students are expected to attend the course in person at Södertörn university, Stockholm, Sweden, March 29-31, 2023. They need to submit three shorter written reflections in relation to the course readings before the course days, and one longer, linked to their individual PhD projects, afterwards. Students are also expected to perform assigned oral presentations during the course days.

Language: English.

Preliminary schedule

Friday 24 March
Deadline for submission of the three reflections on the course readings (2 p. each)

Wednesday 29 March 
1 pm-5 pm: The linguistic turn

Thursday 30 March
9 am-noon: On the spatiality of texts
1 pm-4 pm: Kinship and colonialism

Friday 31 March 
9 pm-1 pm: More than fiction – texts in a wider sense

Friday 21 April
Deadline for submission of the final paper (6 p.)

Sign up!

Are you interested in taking this course? Please sign up by sending an email to
jenny.karlsson@sh.se no later than 28 February 2023.

If you have any questions about the course, please contact Jenny Björklund or Ann-Sofie Lönngren

Reading list

  • Ahmed, Sara, The promise of happiness, Durham NC: Duke university press 2010, p. 1–87 (this reference can be read in any language and edition; available in bookstores and libraries)
  • Austin, J.L. How to do things with words: the William James lectures delivered at Harvard university in 1955, eds. J.O. Urmson & Marina Sbisà, Oxford: Oxford University press 1976, p. 9–27 (this reference can be read in any language and edition; the pages correspond to the edition that is available online via Södertörn university library)
  • Barthes, Roland, “The theory of text,” Untying the text: A post-structuralist reader, ed. Robert Young, New York: Routledge 1981, p. 31–47 (uploaded on the course’s digital platform)
  • Best, Stephen & Sharon Marcus, “Surface reading: An introduction,” Representations 108, 2009:1, p. 1–21 (available online via Södertörn university library)
  • Bewes, Timothy, ”Reading with the grain: A new world in literary criticism,” differences 21, 2010:3, s. 1–33 (available online via Södertörn university library)
  • Björklund, Jenny, Maternal abandonment and queer resistance in twenty-first-century Swedish literature, New York: Palgrave Macmillan 2021, p. 1–39 + a chapter of your choice (ca. 50 pages) (available online via Södertörn university library)
  • Björklund, Jenny & Ann-Sofie Lönngren, “Now you see it, now you don’t: Queer reading strategies, Swedish literature, and historical (in)visibility,” Scandinavian studies 92, 2020:2, p. 196–228 (available online via Södertörn university library)
  • Butler, Judith, Excitable speech: a politics of the performative, New York & London: Routledge 1997, p. 1–13 (uploaded on the course’s digital platform)
  • Deleuze, Gilles, “What children say [1993],” Essays critical and clinical, transl. Daniel W. Smith and Michael A. Greco (London, New York: Verso, 1998), 61–67 (uploaded on the course’s digital platform)
  • Derrida, Jacques, ”Structure, sign and play in the discourse of the human sciences [1969],”Writing and difference, transl. Alan Bass, reprint., 15 p. (uploaded on the course’s digital platform)
  • Derrida, Jacques, “Signature event context [1972],” A Derrida reader: between the blinds, ed. Betty Kamuf, New York: Columbia university press 1991, p. 82–111 (this reference can be read in any language and edition; available in bookstores and libraries)
  • Felski, Rita, “Introduction,” Uses of literature, Blackwell publishing: Malden & Oxford 2008, s. 1–22 (available online via Södertörn university library)
  • Foucault, Michel, “What is an author? [1969],” reprint., 16 s. (uploaded in the course library)
  • Hall, Stuart, “The work of representation,” Representation, eds. Stuart Hall, Jessica Evans & Sean Nixon, London: Sage 2013, p. 1–59 (this reference can be read in any language and edition; available in bookstores and libraries)
  • Holmqvist, Sam, “Trans readings: A legacy from myself to myself”, lambda nordica 23, 2018:1–2, p. 185–197 (available via lambdanordica.org)
  • hooks, bell, Black looks: Race and representation, Boston: South End Press 1992, p. 21–40 (uploaded on the course’s digital platform)
  • King, Samantha, “Feminist cultural studies,” The Palgrave handbook of feminism and sport, leisure and physical education, eds. Louise Mansfield et al., London: Palgrave Macmillan 2018, p. 375–91 (uploaded on the course’s digital platform)
  • Kristeva, Julia, “The bounded text,” Desire in language. A semiotic approach to literature and art, ed. Leon S. Roudiez, New York: Columbia university press, p. 36–63 (this reference can be read in any language and edition; available in bookstores and libraries)
  • Love, Heather, “Close but not deep: Literary ethics and the descriptive turn,” New literary history 41, 2010:2, p. 371–391 (available online via Södertörn university library)
  • Lönngren, Ann-Sofie, Following the animal. Power, agency and huma-animal transformations in modern, Northern-European literature, Cambridge: Cambride scholars publishing, 2015, p. 1–32 (available online via Södertörn university library)
  • Lönngren, Ann-Sofie, “Metaphor, metonymy, more-than-anthropocentric. The animal that therefore I read (and follow)”, The Palgrave Handbook of Animals and Literature, eds. Susan McHugh, Robert McKay and John Miller, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan 2021, p. 37–50 (available online via Södertörn university library)
  • Mbembe, Joseph-Achille, On the postcolony (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001), s. 1–24 (available online via Södertörn university library)
  • McClintock, Anne, “The angel of progress: Pitfalls of the term ‘post-colonialism.’” Social text, no. 31/32 (1992), s. 84–98 (15 s.) (available online via Södertörn university library)
  • Mignolo, Walter D., “Coloniality is far from over, and so must be decoloniality,” Afterall 43, 2017:1, s. 38–45 (available online via Södertörn university library)
  • Moya, Paula L., The social imperative: race, close reading, and contemporary literary criticism, Palo Alto: Stanford University Press 2015, p. 1–37 (available online via Södertörn university library)
  • Muñoz, José Esteban, Cruising utopia: the then and there of queer futurity, New York: New York University Press 2009, p. 19–32 (available online via Södertörn university library)
  • Said, Edward, Orientalism [1978], New York: Vintage Books 2003, c. 30 p. according to the teachers’ instructions (this reference can be read in any language and edition; available in bookstores, libraries and online)
  • de Saussure, Ferdinand, Course in general linguistics [1916], Bloomsbury Publishing 2013, p. 75–91 (Part One: General Principles, chapter 1 & 2) (this reference can be read in any language and edition; the pages correspond to the edition that is available online via Södertörn university library)
  • Spillers, Hortense J., “Mama’s baby, papa’s maybe: An american grammar book”, Diacritics 17, 1987:2, p. 64–81 (available online via Södertörn university library)
  • Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty, Can the subaltern speak? 1988, c. 45 p. (this reference can be read in any language and edition; available in bookstores, libraries and online)
  • Stryker, Susan, “(De)subjugated knowledges. An introduction to transgender studies,” Transgender studies reader, eds. Susan Stryker & Stephen Whittle, New York & London: Routledge2006, p. 1–17 (uploaded on the course’s digital platform)
  • Tallbear, Kim. “Making love and relations beyond settler sex and samily,” Making kin not population, eds. Adele E. Clarke & Donna Haraway, Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press 2018, p. 145–164 (uploaded on the course’s digital platform)
  • Wiegman, Robin, “The times we’re in: Queer feminist criticism and the reparative ‘turn’”, Feminist theory 15, 2014:1, p. 4–25 (available online via Södertörn university library)

Texts for analyses

  • Blixen, Karen, ”The monkey” 1934 (uploaded on the course’s digital platform)
  • Butler, Octavia, “Bloodchild” 1984 (uploaded on the course’s digital platform)
  • Gröndahl, Aino, ”Summary,” AVSLAGSMOTIVERINGAR I HBTQI-ASYLÄRENDEN. En rättsutredning av Migrationsverkets, migrationsdomstolarnas och Migrationsöverdomstolens prövning av sexuell läggning, könsidentitet och könsuttryck, Stockholm: RFSL 2020, p. 9–13 (uploaded on the course’s digital platform)
  • Interview excerpts (available online)
  • Additional texts of app. 50 p. may be included later according to the teachers’ instructions
Last modified: 2022-12-20