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  • 2017-11-10

    Public defences of theses in October

    Two of Södertörn University’s doctoral students defended their theses in October: Fredrik Bertilsson in the History of Ideas and Lovisa Andén in Philosophy.

    Fredrik Bertilsson

    Thesis title: Frihetstida policyskapande - uppfostringskommissionen och de akademiska konstitutionerna 1738-1766 [Policy Creation in the Age of Liberty – the Educational Commission and the academic constitutions 1738-1766] 

    Fredrik Bertilsson’s thesis has been inspired by the changes to higher education policy in recent decades, and is particularly guided by an interest in how political aims and ideas about the ideal society have been capitalised on in state higher education policy and what the results are. Instead of studying the present day, he focuses on a period in the mid-1700s, when what came to be called the modern state and public administration, as well as modern higher education, started to take shape.

    The Educational Commission was appointed in 1745 and was the first large-scale state commission to take an overall approach to Swedish education. Using a modern policy perspective, Fredrik studied the commission’s work on changing academic constitutions. He argues that its activities had significant consequences even though it never completed its official task; it created a legitimate system of governance in public administration. New state routines were introduced for action as regards the universities. New forms of review and governance, new structures for communication and work and audit procedures were established. At the same time, the universities’ room to manoeuvre was formalised vis-à-vis the state.Fredrik Bertilsson

    The Educational Commission was appointed in 1745 and was the first large-scale state commission to take an overall approach to Swedish education. Using a modern policy perspective, Fredrik studied the commission’s work on changing academic constitutions. He argues that its activities had significant consequences even though it never completed its official task; it created a legitimate system of governance in public administration. New state routines were introduced for action as regards the universities. New forms of review and governance, new structures for communication and work and audit procedures were established. At the same time, the universities’ room to manoeuvre was formalised vis-à-vis the state.

    Read a summary of the thesis.

    Lovisa Andén

    Thesis title: Litteratur och erfarenhet i Merleau-Pontys läsning av Proust, Valéry och Stendahl [Literature and Experience in Merleau-Ponty’s Reading of Proust, Valéry and Stendahl]

    How should we understand the relationship between literature and experience? The aim of Lovisa Andén’s thesis is to explore the relationship between literary expression and experience in the philosophy of Maurice Merleau-Ponty. It primarily relates to two of his first courses at Collège de France 1953-1954: Sur le problème de la parole (On the Problem of Speech) and Recherches sur l’usage littéraire du langage (Research on the Literary Use of Language)Lovisa Andéns avhandling.

    In the partly unpublished course notes, Merleau-Ponty explores the relationship between our experience and the linguistic expressions through which we express it. This is done through in-depth discussions of writing by Proust, Valéry and Stendhal. In Marcel Proust’s writing, he finds a writer who tirelessly investigates his experience and searches for expressions that write the world as it presents itself to him. In Stendhal’s work, he discovers a literary method where the world appears through “small true facts”. In Paul Valéry’s poetry he sees words superimposed on other words to create new linguistic meaning. In their literary expression, he finds a “capacity to seize the world anew, beyond our habitual preconceptions”. In this way, literature brings us closer to the experience we can already perceive.

    Read more about the thesis. The thesis is published in Uppsala and is not available digitally.