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Transhistorical tropes of female subordination

Final Report Summary - TTFS (Transhistorical tropes of female subordination)

In her application for an Intra-European Fellowship (IEF) Dr Åström set up three goals for her stay at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, United Kingdom (UK). One was to conduct research for her project TTFS. Another was to set up an international network of scholars working with transhistorical methods primarily through organising two international colloquia, in 2012 and 2013. A third was to gather experience that would make her eligible to supervise doctoral students and apply for promotion to Reader at the Department of Language Studies. All three have been fulfilled. She conducted research for her project. She organised an international colloquium in June 2012 and another will take place in May 2014. She further plans to submit her application for promotion in January 2014.

Research, writing and publishing

In consultation with Professor Sarah Brown, she adapted the scope of her research and tightened the focus onto the transhistorical literary tradition of dead and absent mothers. During her stay in Cambridge, she carried out data collection for the three first chapters of a planned monograph entitled 'Dead and absent mothers in Western literary tradition' and wrote the first chapter. She contacted the publishing house McFarland, who encouraged her to submit a full book proposal, which she will do in January 2013.

She further wrote and submitted an article entitled 'They keep killing mother: Dead and absent mothers in western culture', which is under review by the journal Women: a Cultural Review.

She also wrote an article entitled '"Sucking the corrupte Mylke of an infected nurse": Regulating the maternal body in western culture,' which will shortly be submitted to the journal Women’s History Review.

She further began writing three more articles, which will be submitted to journals during spring 2013.

Moreover, together with a scholar at Anglia Ruskin University, Dr Tanya Horeck, she edited an anthology 'Rape in Stieg Larsson's millennium trilogy and beyond: Scandinavian and Anglophone contemporary crime fiction', which was published by Palgrave in October 2012.

She also wrote the Introduction and one chapter in the anthology 'Over her dismembered body: The crime fiction of Mo Hayder and Jo Nesbø.'

Conference participation and organisation

Together with Professor Brown, she organised the international colloquium Allusions and Echoes - Cultural Recycling and Recirculation at Anglia Ruskin University, 16 June 2012, which gathered participants from the United States (US), Switzerland, Bulgaria, Sweden and the UK.

She presented the paper 'A world without mothers: Dystopian male pregnancy fan fiction' at the international colloquium Allusions and Echoes - Cultural Recycling and Recirculation at Anglia Ruskin University, 16 June 2012.

She presented the paper 'They keep killing mom: Contextualising the dead mother of contemporary culture' at the National Conference of the Popular Culture Association in Boston, US, 11 to 14 April 2012.


After her return to Umeå University she has been teaching full time (80 %) so she has not been able to follow up on the research carried out in Cambridge as much as planned, but she has been given a grant by the Faculty of Arts because of her time in Cambridge, which allows her to carry out full time research during 2013, so she expects to be able to complete the articles and write chapters 2 and 3 of the monograph. She will also present her research at two conferences in the US in the spring.