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Fruktansvärd, ospelad och nyskriven - kriser och konflikter kring ny svensk dramatik: från Gustav III:s originaldramatik till dagens beställningsdramatik
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Culture and Aesthetics.
2016 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Dreadful, “Unplayed” and Newly Written – Crises and Conflicts of New Swedish Playwriting : From the Original Swedish Play Under Gustav III, to the Commissioned Drama of Today (English)
Abstract [en]

The issue of this thesis concerns a selection of historical debates in which new Swedish drama is under discussion. The studied debates take place in the cultural and political fields and within the fields of theater and literature and deal with a recurring assumption in Swedish theatre history – that new Swedish drama is insufficient. The primary object of this thesis is to find explanations to: why is the Swedish new drama so often described as defective? The following questions, guiding the analysis, are: How are the crises described? What are the stakes? How has the dramatic text been influenced by being judged either as literary product or a product for the stage? How is the playwright’s role described, and perhaps changed, in the crises? The aim of the analysis is to understand how traditions and conventions are shaping the debates and contribute to perpetrate the myth of the malfunctioning Swedish new play.

In a historical perspective several attempts have been made to govern new Swedish drama by legislative and political power. New Swedish drama has, for example, been viewed as a possible expression of the nation, as part of shaping the Swedish Welfare state or creating interactive communication with the audience. Despite its many uses, new Swedish drama continues to be describes as flawed.

The study starts with King Gustav III:s Swedish theatre where the purpose was to produce Swedish original plays. The study ends with an analysis of a new government grant for new Swedish drama, which was installed in 1999. The chosen debates are analyzed with the help of concepts borrowed from the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, looking at each historical situation as a possible moment for the establishment of the field ”new Swedish drama”. The survey ends with eight interviews with playwrights, who are active today.

The conditions for the new Swedish drama are the guiding line in this thesis. These conditions are found in the cultural, social and historical contexts that cooperate when a taste or convention is being shaped. They are part of the discourses in the field, where criteria for the new Swedish drama is formulated. In order to understand the significance of, for example, the expression, ”the newly written Swedish drama” research has been pursued in biographical material, historical surveys, and debates in the daily press and in professional journals.

Without being a full bourdieuan analysis, the thesis is using concepts from Bourdieu. The work of British feminist theatre historian Tracy C Davis inspires the critical historic perspective.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för kultur och estetik, Stockholms universitet , 2016. , 360 p.
Keyword [en]
new swedish playwriting, swedish theatre history, swedish drama, Brita von Horn
Keyword [sv]
nyskriven dramatik, svensk dramatik, Brita von Horn, Sveriges dramatikers studio, teaterstriden 1916, Vilhelm Moberg, Tor Hedberg, svensk teaterhistoria, dramatikhistoria
National Category
Performing Art Studies
Research subject
Theatre Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-130250ISBN: 978-91-7649-450-9OAI: diva2:927633
Public defence
2016-09-03, Auditoriet, Humanistvillan, Frescati, Frescativägen 24, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2016-06-09 Created: 2016-05-12 Last updated: 2016-08-23Bibliographically approved

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