Jag är medlem av KuFo (den Kulturvetenskapliga forskargruppen), en av Karlstad universitets starka miljöer.
Mitt huvudområde är amerikansk litteratur, särskilt 1800-talets, men jag intresserar mig överhuvudtaget för frågor om vad litteratur och andra former av berättande gör, och omvänt, vad vi gör med, och med hjälp av, de berättelser vi omges av. Vid sidan av studier i den amerikanska renässansen har jag bland annat intresserat mig för pornografi, deckare, popmusik, litteraturteori och retorik.
I am a member of KuFo (the culture studies research group), one of Karlstad University's prioritized research groups. I acquired my Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Uppsala University in early 2002, with a thesis on the writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Published in 2004 as The Half-Vanished Structure: Hawthorne’s Allegorical Dialectics it was hailed in a review of the Nathaniel Hawthorne Review as “an indispensable addition to all major Hawthorne criticism.”
More recently, in 2009, I published a study on pornography in Swedish called Bara för dig: pornografi, konsumtion, berättande [Just for You: Pornography, Consumption, Narrativity], which argues that rather than a genre, pornography is better seen as a constitutive cognitive aspect of consumer society. My work has also appeared in such journals as New Literary History, Studies in the Novel, Jump Cut and Texas Studies in Literature and Language, as well as in several Scandinavian journals. In addition to articles on American literature, literary theory, and pornography, it includes forays into mass cultural phenomena such as popular crime fiction, pop music, and computer games.
I am presently at work on a study tentatively called Unfinished Work: Faith, Race, and Canonicity in American Literary History, which raises the issue of canonization in relation to a reading of strategically chosen texts from three prominent genres in mid-nineteenth century American literature – the romance, the sentimental novel, and the slave narrative. The study explores the rhetorical strategies the texts employ with a view to changing society, as well as how they subsequently came to be overlooked. In order to fuse these two perspectives, I ask how the texts in question ask to be believed. An important task for the study is thus to theorize the function of faith (in a rhetorical rather than theological sense) in literature as in literary studies. In relation to this project, I recently co-edited and wrote the introduction to a special issue of The Nathaniel Hawthorne Review on Hawthorne’s last and much overlooked posthumous writings.
- Våldsamma fantasier. Studier i fiktionsvåldets funktion och attraktion. (Red.) Kulurvetenskapliga skriftserien 2, Karlstad, 2014.
- Bara för dig: pornografi, konsumtion, berättande [Just for You: Pornography, Consumption, Narrativity]. Stockholm: Vertigo, 2009. 372 pp. Book.
- The Later Works of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Nathaniel Hawthorne Review. Special issue. 35:2 (2009). 1-132. Co-editor with David Greven.
- “Late Hawthorne: A Polemical Introduction.” The Nathaniel Hawthorne Review 35:2 (2009). 1-25. With David Greven.
- “Pornography and its Critical Reception: Toward a Theory of Masturbation.” Jump Cut 51 (2009): http://www.ejumpcut.org/archive/jc51.2009/UllenPorn/index.html.
- “The Manuscript of Septimius: Revisiting the Site of Hawthorne’s ‘Failure’.” Studies in the Novel 40:3 (2008): 239-267.
- The Half-Vanished Structure: Hawthorne’s Allegorical Dialectics. Peter Lang AG: Bern, 2004. 450 pp. Book.
“a brilliant addition to Hawthorne scholarship both in its scope and in its depth [….] thorough, evocative and critically astute.”
Nathaniel Hawthorne Review 32:2 (2006): 39-42
- “Reading with the Eye of Faith: The Structural Principle of Hawthorne’s Romances.” Texas Studies in Literature and Language. 48:1 (2006): 1-36.
- “Dante in Paradise: The End of Allegorical Interpretation.” New Literary History 32:1 (2001): 177-199