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Selma Lagerlöf 2011: Text, Translation, Film

Photo by A. Blomberg, Stockholm

A major international conference, SELMA LAGERLÖF 2011: TEXT, TRANSLATION, FILM, will take place at University College London, 20-22 June 2011. The conference is hosted by the Department of Scandinavian Studies at UCL in conjunction with the Division of European Languages and Cultures (Scandinavian Studies) at the University of Edinburgh and the Department of Literature, History of Ideas and Religion at the University of Göteborg. The conference will mark the publication of the first three volumes in the new series 'Lagerlöf in English', published by Norvik Press, London, and will be the first international gathering of Lagerlöf scholars in well over a decade. The organisers hope the conference will contribute to raising Selma Lagerlöf's international profile and to the repositioning of her work in a global context. The organisers are planning a publication consisting of selected and considerably expanded conference papers.

The programme will include a plenary lecture on translation followed by a panel debate, a film evening including a screening of The Phantom Carriage, a plenary lecture focusing on the new Selma Lagerlöf Archive, and around 30 papers. The organisers would like to thank all those who have submitted abstracts for papers.

Conference venues:

The conference is taking place at University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT. Please refer to maps of UCL for directions.

On Monday 20 June, the lecture, panel debate and papers will be in the Lankester Lecture Theatre, Medawar Building, UCL. For the opening of the conference at 13.00 on Mon. 20 June, please come straight to this lecture theatre, where the conference packs will be available!

On Tuesday 21 June and Wednesday 22 June, the lectures and papers will be in Malet Place Engineering 1.03. For access to the building, unless you have a UCL card, please go to the Security Desk in the Roberts Building, which is the next building to the south, just inside the big iron gates off Torrington Place (opposite Waterstone's Bookshop). Give your name and you will be shown to Malet Place Engineering 1.03.

Foster Court rooms 113-114, close to both the Medawar Building and Malet Place Engineering, will be the conference hub throughout, with the conference desk, book sales etc. This is also where tea and coffee will be served.

The Conference Dinner, Wednesday 22 June at 19.00, will take place in The Old Refectory, UCL.

Please note that the conference will now start with the keynote lecture on translation, just after lunch on Mon. 20 June. The keynote lecture will be followed by the panel debate on translation. We are pleased to announce that the panel will include Eva Bonnier of Albert Bonniers förlag, Stockholm, and Rebecca Carter of Harvill Secker, London, along with Sarah Death, UCL and Linda Schenck, Göteborg.

Anyone with an interest in literature and translation is most welcome to attend the keynote lecture and panel debate, 13.30-15.00 on Mon. 20 June in the Lankester Lecture Theatre, Medawar Building, University College London.


We are delighted to announce that the pianist Matti Bye, who has composed music specifically for The Phantom Carriage, will be playing during the screening at the Horse Hospital on 21 June. This promises to be a unique event!

If you would like to come to the Film Evening but are not attending the conference, there are still tickets available - please see the information further down on this page.

The keynote lectures will be given by

Dr Jenny Bergenmar, University of Göteborg, 'Selma Lagerlöf - Archive, Networks, Future'

Dr Sarah Death, UCL, '"Cirkus hade förkastat dem, men inte konsten." How the Art of Translation Can Serve Selma Lagerlöf Today'

Professor Tytti Soila, University of Stockholm, 'The Phantom Carriage and the Melodramatic Concept of Earthly and Eternal Love'

The programme ranges widely across the themes of Text, Translation and Film. There will be a number of papers on the translation of Lagerlöf and her reception and impact in different cultures (France, Latvia, Czechoslowakia, Germany, Nazi Germany, the Netherlands). Other papers will focus on film, including film and intermediality. Papers on specific texts will explore e.g. Gösta Berling's Saga, Lord Arne's Silver, Banished, The Miracles of Anti-Christ, and Nils Holgersson, highlighting perspectives such as gender, nation-ness and the transnational, colonialism, and the Gothic. The programme also includes papers on Lagerlöf as a performer, and on her correspondence.

Speakers confirmed:

Dr Kajsa Andersson, University of Örebro

Anne Bachmann, University of Stockholm

Charlotte Berry, University of Edinburgh

Dr Anna Bohlin, University of Umeå

Dr Elettra Carbone, UCL

Lena Carlsson, Lund

Dr Git Claesson Pipping, Södertörn University College

Professor Helena Forsås-Scott, UCL

Dr Dagmar Hartlova, Charles University, Prague

Ann-Charlotte Knochenhauer, National Library of Sweden, Stockholm

Dr Ilona Laha, Daugavpils University, Latvia

Ann-Sofie Ljung Svensson, University of Lund

Dr Anna Nordlund, University of Uppsala

Professor Tom Olsson, Södertörn University College

Dr Kristina Sjögren, University of Lund

Dr Anna Smedberg Bondeson, University of Copenhagen

Dr Lisbeth Stenberg, University of Göteborg

Dr Astrid Surmatz, University of Amsterdam/Linnaeus University, Sweden

Professor Sylvia Söderlind, Queen's University, Canada

Dr Bjarne Thorup Thomsen, University of Edinburgh

Roald van Elswijk, University of Groningen

Dr Jennifer Watson, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA

Dr Sofia Wijkmark, University of Karlstad

Professor Ebba Witt-Brattström, Humboldt-Universität, Berlin


The registration fee covers the cost of

  • tea and coffee during the Conference (afternoon Monday 20 June, morning and afternoon Tuesday 21 June, morning and afternoon Wednesday 22 June)
  • the Film Evening at the Horse Hospital on Tuesday 21 June, including buffet and drinks
  • the full Conference programme, abstracts and other material provided in the Conference Folder

Lunches are not included. There are plenty of cafeterias and restaurants in the area around UCL.

The standard registration fee is GBP 55.

For PhD students, and for those who are attending only part of the conference, there is a reduced registration fee of GBP 30.

Register for the conference here.

Film Evening - information for those NOT registering for the Conference

Interested in early film? We have 20 tickets available for the screening of Victor Sjöström's The Phantom Carriage (Körkarlen, 1921), based on Selma Lagerlöf's novel Körkarlen (1912) and one of the iconic films of early cinema. A new English translation by Peter Graves of Lagerlöf's text, also entitled The Phantom Carriage, is being published by Norvik Press, London, in time for the Conference.

The Film Evening will take place on Tuesday 21 June, 19.00, at The Horse Hospital, The Colonnade, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1JD (right behind the Russell Hotel in Russell Square). For those not registering for the conference, the cost of the ticket is GBP 9.00 and includes a talk on the film and a reception. 

Register for the film evening here.

Conference Dinner

The conference Dinner will take place in the Old Refectory, UCL, in the evening of Wednesday 22 June. A three-course meal with wine will be served. The cost of the dinner is GBP 33. If you prefer the vegetarian option or have any special dietary requirements, please indicate this when you make your booking.

Register for the conference dinner here.


Conference participants are responsible for arranging their own accommodation. 

Student rooms are available at Frances Gardner House, Goldsmid House and James Lighthill House. The rooms are single en-suite bedrooms, and the cost is GBP 43.50 per person per night. For further details and booking information, please refer to UCL Residences.  

If you are planning to book a student room, please keep in mind that the UCL Summer Term ends on Friday 17 June which means that you cannot move into a student room before Monday 20 June. Should you want to spend time in London ahead of the conference, you need to look at alternative accommodation. 

Please refer to Visit London for information about hotels and bed & breakfasts in London.

UCL is situated in Bloomsbury, and there is a great range of accommodation in this part of London.

For information on how to get to UCL by public transport (trains, underground, buses), please consult the maps etc. on this page.

Support for PhD students

Thanks to Riksbankens Jubiluemsfond/The Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Fund the organisers have a limited amount of funding available to support PhD students attending the Conference and giving a paper. For further information, please contact Helena Forsås-Scott,


Useful maps of UCL

The organisers would like to thank

img: Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Fund

The Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Fund, Stockholm; the Cultural Section at the Swedish Embassy, London, and especially Carl Otto Werkelid, Cultural Counsellor; and Magn. Bergvalls Stiftelse, Stockholm, for their generous support.

The organisers also want to thank Karin Charles, Departmental Co-ordinator, Department of Scandinavian Studies, and Chris Dillon, IS-Central Services, UCL, for all their practical help and support.

Additional information

If you have further questions, please contact Helena Forsås-Scott ( or Karin Charles (

Helena Forsås-Scott, London

Lisbeth Stenberg, Göteborg

Bjarne Thorup Thomsen, Edinburgh