Centre for Languages and Literature

The Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology | Lund University


Associate Professor of French Literature at Lund University, PhD in 2003 on Stendhal. Publications on the translation and reception of French literature in Sweden in the nineteenth century, the "bovarysm" of Jules de Gaultier, endings in Balzac and mimetic desire in the novels of Stendhal. Currently working within the research programme Cosmopolitan and Vernacular Dynamics in World Literatures” ( I am also in charge of a comparative literature seminar at Lund Univ. (

Research interests are the French nineteenth-century novel, the role and function of literature, the translation and reception of nineteenth-century French literature in Sweden, the role of emotions in literature teaching.

Completed peer review commitments within sev. areas: translation, reception, didactics, children's literature, Proust, Simone de Beauvoir, George Sand, Stendhal (for French Studies, OUP), Zola.

Member of SERD, SDN and in the committee of L'Année Stendhalienne.


About the research

I am associate professor of French literature at the Centre for languages and literature, Lund University. I have been working there as a researcher and teacher since 1995, with responsibility for courses within French literature, language and translation at all levels. Most of my publications have dealt with the nineteenth-century French novel, from various angles: - the translation and reception of French literature in Sweden in the nineteenth century, - the "bovarysm" of Jules de Gaultier in novels by Stendhal and Flaubert, -"triangular desire" in Stendhal (doctoral thesis, 2003), - the problem of endings and closures in Balzac. Currently, I have two main areas of research: firstly, the dynamics between the vernacular and the cosmopolitan in the nineteenth-century French novel (see below, 1);  secondly, the role of emotion in the teaching of literature (see a case study below, 2).

1) The dynamics between the vernacular and the cosmopolitan in the nineteenth-century French novel 

The purpose is to study how the cosmopolitan/vernacular dynamic is represented in novels by Balzac, Stendhal, Flaubert and Zola, at a thematic, intratextual level as well as in translations of the novels into Swedish and in their reception in Sweden. In these novels, the movement from the provinces to a more global milieu, primarily Paris, is fundamental. How is this movement represented in the novels and how do the protagonists deal with it? Paris is an important centre for art, literature and politics, a cosmopolitan city, with innumerable connections with a wider world. By studying this topic in widely spread novels from the nineteenth century, the project will reveal new aspects of these texts and of their reception. These revelations will also mean insights concerning the vernacular/cosmopolitan dynamic in general; in fact, the novels constitute representations of human and social structures, in local and global contexts — in the nineteenth century but, to a large extent, valid at all times.

The reception part of the study will focus on the Scandinavian countries, primarily Sweden, and mainly cover the last 20 years. In cases where reception studies already exist of the same texts in other parts of the world (Russia and the USA, for instance) and in the past, comparisons to these will be made. Several theoretical fields will be useful: narrative theory, world literature theory, translation and reception theories. Methods will consist of close reading of the novels and study of different types of reception: in Swedish press (that is by journalists), on the Internet (by a wide range of readers) and among students studying the novels within university courses. 

2) Emotion and narrative in literature classes: Swedish university students reading Le Père Goriot and Madame Bovary 

The role of emotions in our relation to literature is a research area in rapid evolution since the "affective turn” at the beginning of the 21st century, thanks to scholars like Patrick Colm Hogan (2011[i]), Suzanne Keen (2007[ii]), Martha Nussbaum (2001[iii]), Jenefer Robinson (2005[iv]) and Jean-François Vernay (2013[v]).

Despite this fact, there is little room for emotion in literature courses at the university today. Traditionally, affects do not belong in the academic world, are not seen as compatible with science, the domain of objectivity. We have few teaching hours at our disposal and a large mass of content to put into them. There is little time for discussions about the role of literature in our lives and about how it affects us emotionally and existentially. This is somehow paradoxical; is the very reason why we need literature not because it engages and enriches us emotionally? In other words, is it not the case that this emotional relation to literature is absolutely essential?

A point of departure will be the ongoing theoretical discussion about the crisis within education and about how to recreate a passion for literature among teachers and students in the teaching process. These problems are treated for instance in the studies by Antoine Compagnon (1998[vi]), Tzvetan Todorov (2007[vii]), Yves Citton (2007[viii]) and Vincent Jouve (2010[ix]), and more recently by Jean-François Vernay (2013[x]), Raphaël Baroni and Antonio Rodriguez (2014[xi]).

One way of succeeding with this task is to create an atmosphere in the classroom where students dare to express themselves more freely about their emotional relation to the texts studied. This is a central thesis in the two last publications and I would like to examine it further. How could such an atmosphere be created? When should a more distanced and critical reading be introduced? How is it possible to assess the students' performance when they express emotions?

The study will partly be based on discussions with students of French during their second term at Lund University in Sweden. Thus my approach is rather "practical". I will also discuss the results of a written survey among students having read Le Père Goriot by Balzac and Madame Bovary by Flaubert.


[i] Affective Narratology: The Emotional Structure of Stories, University of Nebraska Press, 2011.

[ii] Empathy and the Novel, Oxford University Press, 2007.

[iii] Upheavals of thought: The Intelligence of Emotions, Cambridge University Press, 2001.

[iv] Deeper than Reason: Emotion and Its Role in Literature, Music, and Art, Clarendon Press, 2005.

[v] Plaidoyer pour un renouveau de l’émotion en littérature, Éditions Complicités, 2013.

[vi] Le Démoin de la théorie, Seuil, 1998.

[vii] La littérature en péril, Flammarion, 2007.

[viii] Lire, interpréter, actualiser. Pourquoi les études littéraires?, Éditions Amsterdam, 2007.

[ix] Pourquoi étudier la littérature, Armand Colin, 2010.

[x] Pladoyer pour un renouveau de l’émotion en littérature, Éditions Complicités, 2013.

[xi] Les passions en littérature De la théorie à l’enseignement, Université de Lausanne, n° 295, 2014.



Books (1)
Editorships (2)
Articles (7)
Book chapters (8)
Encyclopaedia entries (1)
Conference contributions (16)
Reviews (3)

Research portal (Lund University)


Other tasks and qualifications

2018 Reviewer for French Studies, Oxford University Press and for Orbis Litterarum, John Wiley & Sons.

2016- Employed within the research programme "Cosmopolitan and Vernacular Dynamics in World Literatures" (

2016- Working member of the Society for Science, Lund (Vetenskapssocieteten i Lund).

2015 Associate professor / Habilitation à diriger des recherches.

2009-2015 Position as Research Fellow in French, Lund University.

2006-2008 Postdoctoral scholarship from Einar Hansens Allhemsstiftelse.

2008 Award from The Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities for research on the reception of Stendhal in Sweden and on the cultural relations between Sweden and France in the late 19th century.

2004-2005 Position within the international project "French Realism in Scandinavia", financed by NOS-H and RJ.

2003 Award for the doctoral thesis on Stendhal and René Girard by the Society of Letters in Lund.

2000-2001: invited researcher at Université de la Sorbonne-Nouvelle, Paris III (STINT-scholarship).

1995 Master of Arts and Master of Education for the Upper Secondary School: English and French (Lund University, University of Sussex, Université de Provence).

Some international conferences, invitations, etc:

31 Oct. 2018, Oxford University, invited speaker to the Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation Seminar (OCCT). Title: "World Literatures: Multilingual Locals and Cosmopolitan Dynamics". Presentation together with Francesa Orsini (SOAS). Chair: Matthew Reynolds (Oxford).

6-9 July 2017, Utrecht University, ACLA / American Association of Comparative Literature (Annual Meeting). Title of paper: "Paris and Stockholm in the novels Illusions Perdues by Balzac and The Red Room by August Strindberg"

3 February 2017, "Vive Stendhal", Université de Génève, CISA /Centre Interfacultaire en sciences affectives. Title of paper: ”Enseigner Stendhal”. Invited speaker by Prof. Patrizia Lombardo.

16-18 June 2016, Amsterdam: conference on Narrative, ISSN (International Society for the Study of Narrative), Title of paper : "Emotion and narrative in literature classes: Swedish university students reading Le Père Goriot and Madame Bovary".

8-10 April 2015, Université de Lorraine, Metz: « Pratiques et l’enseignement du français ». Title of paper : « La place des émotions dans l’enseignement de la littérature. De la théorie à deux cas pratiques: Le Père Goriot et Madame Bovary. » Programmet :

28-29 March 2014 : University of Sheffield, Society of Dix-Neuviémistes (SDN) Twelfth Annual Conference : « The Emotions ». Title of paper: « The Nineteenth century Novel and the existential position of its readers ».(

3-4 November 2014, Åbo Academy, Finland: Journée d'étude sur la recherche en litteratur francaise en Finlande et en Suède (invited speaker). Title of paper : « Känslors plats ilitteraturundervisningen. Exempel från franska 1800-talsromaner ».

28 maj – 1 June 2012 « The sense of an Ending – in Life and Narrative » (with Anna Cabak Rédei, Lund) at the conference "Narrative Matters - Life and Narrative », American University i Paris.

3 November 2006, Sorbonne. « Bovarysme: littérature et philosophie. Il y a cent cinquante ans Madame Bovary paraissait dans la Revue de Paris... » Journée d’étude organisé par André Guyaux (Centre de recherche sur la littérature francaise du XIXe siècle, Sorbonne) et Per Buvik (Centre de coopérationfranco-norvégienne en sciences sociales et humaines, FMSH). Invited speaker. (

21-22 October 2005, Université Paris 7: ”Le réalisme français en Scandinavie. Réception, traductions, poétiques ” Title of papers 1) ”La bibliographie suédoise du RFS” + 2. ”La réception de Stendhal en Suède”.

4-6 december 2003, Université Stendhal-Grenoble III: "Stendhal à Cosmopolis :Stendhal et ses langues." Colloque international du Centre d’Études Stendhaliennes et Romantiques. Two presentations: "Traductions suédoises et danoises", ”Le language du désir”.

Annika Mörte Alling

French Studies
Centre for Languages and Literature

Contact information

E-mail annika.morte_allingrom.luse

Phone +46 46 222 91 47

Room L511A

Visiting address Helgonabacken 12, Lund

Postal address Box 201, 221 00 Lund

Internal post code 20