Maria Holmgren Troy
I am Director of KuFo (the research group for culture studies), one of Karlstad University's prioritized research groups.
Research interests: American literature, the gothic, science fiction, Octavia Butler
Current research projects: 19th-century American fairy tales, science fiction and intercultural encounters
The book Nordic Gothic, written together with Johan Höglund (Linnaeus University), Yvonne Leffler (University of Gothenburg), and Sofia Wijkmark (Karlstad University/KuFo), was published by Manchester University Press as part of the International Gothic series in January 2020.
Nordic Gothic traces Gothic fiction in the Nordic region from its beginnings in the nineteenth century, with a main focus on the development of Gothic from the 1990s onwards in literature, film, TV and new media. The volume gives an overview of Nordic Gothic fiction in relation to transnational developments and provides a number of case studies and in-depth analyses of individual narratives. It creates an understanding of this under-researched cultural phenomenon by showing how the narratives make visible cultural anxieties haunting the Nordic countries, their welfare systems, identities and ideologies. Nordic Gothic examines how figures from Nordic folklore function as metaphorical expressions of Gothic themes and Nordic settings are explored from perspectives such as ecocriticism and postcolonialism. The book will be of interest to researchers and post- and- undergraduate students in various fields within the Humanities.
In 2014, I finished up a book project, Making Home: Orphanhood, kinship, and cultural memory in contemporary American novels, together with Liz Kella (Södertörn) and Helena Wahlström (Uppsala U.). The book was published by Manchester University Press (2014), and it is now (from July 2021) available in paperback.
Making Home explores the orphan child as a trope in contemporary US fiction, arguing that in the times of perceived national crisis concerns about American identity, family, and literary history are articulated around this literary figure.
Making Home moves scholarship on literary orphans in new directions. It focuses on orphan figures in a broad, multi-ethnic range of contemporary fiction by Barbara Kingsolver, Linda Hogan, Leslie Marmon Silko, Marilynne Robinson, Michael Cunningham, Jonathan Safran Foer, John Irving, Kaye Gibbons, Octavia Butler, Jewelle Gomez, and Toni Morrison. It also investigates genres as carriers of cultural memory, looking particularly at the captivity narrative, historical fiction, speculative fiction, the sentimental novel, and the bildungsroman. From a decisively literary perspective, Making Home engages socio-political concerns such as mixed-race families, child welfare, and racial and national identity, as well as shifting definitions of familial, national, and literary home. By analyzing how contemporary novels both incorporate and resist gendered and raced literary conventions, how they elaborate on symbolic and factual meanings of orphanhood, and how they explore kinship beyond the nuclear and/or adoptive family, this book offers something distinctly new in American literary studies. It is a crucial study for students and scholars interested in the links between literature and identity, questions of inclusion and exclusion in national ideology, and definitions of family and childhood.
I have developed, am responsible for and teach on a number of courses at the M.A. and Ph.D. levels: Dystopia and Apocalypse, Science Fiction and Intercultural Encounters, African American Women's Novels in addition to two courses on American literature.
I teach and supervise Ph.D. students as well as writers of degree projects on the B.A. and M.A. level.
Board member of the Swedish Association for American Studies (SAAS) from 2012–2020 (Secretary 2012-2014, 2016-202.) I have been a member of SAAS since it was founded in 1997 and served as the chair of the nomination committee 2005-2010.
Member of the editorial advisory board of WiN: The EAAS Women's Network Journal 2017-
Member of the international advisory board of European Journal of American Studies 2015-2021
Member of the international editorial board of American Studies in Scandinavia 2014-2015
President of the Nordic Association for American Studies (NAAS) and board member of the European Association for American Studies. 2013-2015
Collaboration with Yvonne Leffler (Comparative Literature, University of Gothenburg) and Johan Höglund (English, Linnaeus University) within the book project "Nordic Gothic" 2017-2019.
Collaboration with Elizabeth Kella (English, Södertörn) and Helena Wahlström (Gender Studies, Uppsala U) within the book project "Making Home: Orphanhood, Kinship and Cultural Memory in Contemporary American Novels." The project was funded by Vetenskapsrådet (the Swedish Research Council) 2009-2011.
European Life-Long Learning Project (2007-10): The Language Network for Quality Assurance (LanQua): The LanQua Toolkit has been developed by a network of teachers of languages and related studies across Europe. The 60 partners in the Language Network for Quality Assurance (LanQua) have worked together to map the current landscape for languages in higher education (described in the Frame of Reference) and to reflect on how a subject practitioner-led approach to quality assurance can inform quality assurance processes and enhance the quality of the learning experience for students.
I have been employed in English at Karlstad University, Sweden, since January 1999.
Ph.D. in English (American Literature), Uppsala University, Sweden, 1999.
Teaching degree (secondary and upper secondary school) in Swedish, English, and History, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, 1990.
Visting scholar at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, December 2011-February 2012.
Visiting scholar at UC Berkeley, USA, fall semester 2009.
Visiting scholar at Stanford University, USA, September-November 1998.
Visiting (Fulbright) scholar at Stanford University, USA, 1995/1996.
- Nordic Gothic. Co-written and co-ed. with Johan Höglund, Yvonne Leffler and Sofia Wijkmark. Manchester UP, 2020
- Making Home: Orphanhood, Kinship, and Cultural Memory in Contemporary American Novels. Co-written with Elizabeth Kella and Helena Wahlström. Manchester: Manchester UP, 2014
- Space, Haunting, Discourse. Ed. and introduction with Elisabeth Wennö. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008.
· Collective Traumas: Memories of War and Conflicts in 20th-Century Europe. Co-ed. with Conny Mithander and John Sundholm. Multiple Europes 38. Brussels: P.I.E. Peter Lang, 2007.
· Memory, Haunting, Discourse. Ed. and introduction with Elisabeth Wennö. Karlstad, 2005.
· In the First Person and in the House: The House Chronotope in Four Works by American Women Writers. Studia Anglistica Upsaliensia 108. Uppsala: Uppsala University, 1999.
Editor of special issues of peer-reviewed journals:
- Past Imaginings, with Fredrik Svensson and Andreas Nyström. Spec. issue of Nordic Journal of English Studies 19.4 (2020).
- Gothic and Uncanny Explorations, with Sofia Wijkmark. Spec. issue of Edda 104.2 (2017).
- Currents and Countercurrents, with Magnus Ullén. Spec. issue of American Studies in Scandinavia 47.2 (2015).
Articles, essays, chapters:
- "Imagining Gender in Nineteenth-Century Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen and Richard Henry Stoddard." Nordic Journal of English Studies 19.4 (2020): 61-84.
- "Two Nordic Gothic Icons: Hans Christian Andersen and Selma Lagerlöf" with Sofia Wijkmark in Nordic Gothic. Manchester UP, 2020. 29-46.
- "'The Chosen Ones': Sara B. Elfgren and Mats Strandberg's Teenage Witch Trilogy" in Nordic Gothic. Manchester UP, 2020. 84-102.
- "Lost (and Gained) in Translation: Nordic Gothic and Transcultural Adaptation" in in Nordic Gothic. Manchester UP, 2020. 147-68.
- "'Strange Matings' and Cultural Encounters: Octavia Butler's Fiction as 'Companion Species' to Theory." An Eclectic Bestiary: Encounters in a More-than-Human World. Eds. Birgit Spengler and Babette B. Tischleder. Transcript Verlag, 2019. 263-75.
- "Predator and Prey: The Vampire Child in Novels by S. P. Somtow and John Ajvide Lindqvist." Edda 104.2 (2017): 130-44.
- Introduction: Gothic and Uncanny Explorations. Maria Holmgren Troy and Sofia Wijkmark. Edda 104.2 (2017): 108-14.
- “The Fact of Metafiction in Nineteenth-Century American Children’s Literature: Nathaniel Hawthorne’s A Wonder Book and Elizabeth Stoddard’s Lolly Dinks’s Doings." Nordic Journal of English Studies 15.2 (2016): 132-141.
- "Dealing with the Uncanny? Cultural Adaptation in Matt Reeves Vampire Movie Let Me In.” American Studies in Scandinavia 48.1 (2016): 25-41.
- “Chronotopes in Harriet Jacobs's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.” African American Review 49.1 (2016): 19-34.
- “The Bereaved Post-9/11 Orphan Boy: Representing (and Relativizing) Crisis and Healing, Tradition and Invention.” American and British Studies Annual 7 (2014): 11-19.
- ”Bilda familj. Om föräldralösa barn, släktskap och nationsskapande i samtida amerikanska romaner.” Helena Wahlström Henriksson, Elizabeth Kella och Maria Holmgren Troy. Tidskrift för genusvetenskap 35.4 (2014): 13-32.
· “‘Between Memory and History’: The Nineteenth Century in Jewelle Gomez’s Novel The Gilda Stories and the TV Series True Blood.” American Studies in Scandinavia 42.2 (2010): 57-73.
· “Negotiating Genre and Captivity: Octavia Butler’s Survivor.” Callaloo 33.4 (2010): 1116-31.
· “‘the cleverest children’s book written here’: Elizabeth Stoddard’s Lolly Dinks’s Doings and the Subversion of Social Conventions.” Enterprising Youth: Social Values and the Project of Acculturation in 19th-Century American Children’s Literature. Ed. Monika Elbert. New York: Routledge, 2008. 149-63.
· “The Novelist as an Agent of Collective Remembrance: Pat Barker and the First World War.” Collective Traumas: Memories of War and Conflicts in 20th-Century Europe. Ed. Conny Mithander, John Sundholm and Maria Holmgren Troy. Brussels: P.I.E. Peter Lang, 2007. 47-78.
· “Narrative and Trauma: Kaye Gibbons’s Ellen Foster and Margaret Atwood’s ‘Death by Landscape.’” Berätta för att förstå: sju essäer. Ed. Åke Bergvall, Anders Tyrberg and Elisabeth Wennö. Karlstad: Karlstad UP, 2006. 125-52.
· “Memory and Literature: The Case of Pat Barker’s Another World.” Memory Work. Ed. Andreas Kitzmann, John Sundholm and Conny Mithander. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2005. 85-103.
· “Loss of Words: Octavia Butler’s ‘Speech Sounds.’” The Power of Words. Festschrift in honour of Moira Linnarud. Ed. Solveig Granath, June Miliander and Elisabeth Wennö. Karlstad: Karlstad University, 2005. 73-80.
· “Negotiating Culture, Gender and Genre: Octavia E. Butler’s ‘Bloodchild.’” Collusion and Resistance: Women Writing in English. Ed. Kerstin Shands. Huddinge: Södertörns Högskola, 2002. 200-09.