Mara Lee Gerdén new professor of fine arts specialising in art theory and art history

29 August 2019

Mara Lee Gerdén has an international artistic practice that stretches from poetry to performance lectures and essays. She has a PhD in literary composition from Valand Academy and is currently running a research project that is investigating the connection between emotions and power within art and literature. 

Photo: Silviu Guiman

What unifies Lee Gerdén’s artistic practice is an approach that integrates marginalised histories and positions based on the problematisation of dominant knowledge traditions.

As an author, essayist and researcher, Lee Gerdén has been widely published and has a broad international network. She has extensive experience of teaching theory and essay writing within tertiary education in the fine arts.

Maria Lantz, Vice-Chancellor of Konstfack, highlights Mara Lee Gerdén’s educational experience: "The ability to lead and drive the development of the subject as well as pursuing educational development work and high-quality research will contribute to strengthen our understanding of the knowledge that stems from artistic processes", she says.

Mara Lee Gerdén’s vision is for the teaching of theory to become an integrated part of artistic practice, not just a necessary evil. She also stresses that "upholding and problematising historical legacies need not be at odds with one another".

According to Lee Gerdén "historical knowledge must be allowed to pose challenges, but this only occurs once we realise that we are a part of this history: we, our bodies, the air we breathe; in other words, when knowledge takes on a form as if embodied".

Mara Lee Gerdén (born in 1972) has published a number of books. Her début was Kom (2000), which addresses issues such as power, sexuality and femininity and the novel Ladies which has been translated into several languages. She has also translated works by the Canadian poet Anne Carson. Mara Lee Gerdén obtained her PhD in 2014 in the subject literary composition from the University of Gothenburg with the thesis När Andra skriver: Skrivande som motstånd, ansvar och tid (The writing of Others: Writing conceived as resistance, responsibility and time).

Updated: 29 August 2019