Cecilia Sjöholm

Cecilia Sjöholm


My research is focused on the history of aesthetics and I am particularly interested in the relation between aesthetics and the political.

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Culture and Education

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Education and Qualifications

Cecilia Sjöholm is Professor of Aesthetics at Södertörn University. She has a PhD in Comparative Literature from Stockholm University and a PhD in Philosophy from Radboud University, Holland. She has published extensively on the history of aesthetics. Her books deal with art and Greek tragedy, aesthetics and phenomenology. Her books include Doing Aesthetics with Arendt; How to see Things is published with Columbia University Press (2015), Kristeva and the Political, London: Routledge. (2005) The Antigone Complex; Ethics and the Invention of Feminine Desire, Calif: Stanford University Press (2004).

Sjöholm has initiated and directed several research projects, for instance on the history of aetshetics as a history of reflection on the senses, resulting in an anthology with commented classical texts on aesthetics (with Danius and Wallenstein). Her latest project, Descartes at the Crossroads. Cartesian Perspectives on Aesthetics is funded by the Swedish research Council 2016-2019. The project has resulted in one article so far, “Descartes, emotions and the inner life of the subject”, Palgrave Reader on Affects and Textuality.

Sjöholm has founded and developed a programme of Aesthetics at Södertörn University, with a bacherlor’s degree, masters degree, and PhD programme. She directs a STINT Institutional Grant exchange on Aesthetics – Between Historicity and Neuroscience with Freie Universität, Berlin.

Sjöholm has collaborated with artists and institutions of art in many contexts. She is a member of the board of The Royal College of Art in Stockholm and has conducted a research project of the translatability between text and image with Bonnier Art Gallery in Stockholm, resulting in a book and an exhibition. She has contributed to art catalogues many times, such as the Venice Biennale in 2013. She has contributed to contemporary art journals such as Cabinet (New York) and is a member of its editorial board.

Curriculum vitae, abbreviated

2002 PhD in Philosophy, Radboud University of Nijmegen, Holland:
1996 PhD in Comparative Literature, Stockholm University:
2008 — Professor of Aesthetics, Södertörn University.

Languages: English, French, German.

Selected books

2017 Vem är rädd för Lacan? Ed with Erik Bryngelsson, Tankekraft förlag.
2015 Doing Aesthetics with Arendt; How to see Things Columbia University Press.
2014 Il Complesso di Antigone, transl of The Antigone Complex into Italian by Evelina Somenzi, Edizione L´Iguana.
2012 Aisthesis — estetikens historia I, Thales förlag, ed Cecilia Sjöholm, S-O Wallenstein and Sara Danius.
2013 Regionality/Mondiality; Perspectives on Art, Aesthetics and Globalization, ed Cecilia Sjöholm and Charlotte Bydler, forthcoming in Södertörn Studies in Aesthetics and Art.2011 Translatability, ed Cecilia Sjöholm, Sara Arrhenius and Magnus Bergh, Stockholm: Albert Bonniers Publisher.
2005 Kristeva and the Political, London: Routledge.
2004 The Antigone Complex; Ethics and the Invention of Feminine Desire, Calif: Stanford University Press.

Recent contributions to books

2015 “How to deal wit Chaplin? Adorno and anti-semitism” translated into Dutch in De kunst van kritiek. Adorno in context, ed Johan Hartle and Thijs Lijster, Amsterdam University Press, 154-175.
2014 “Bodies in exile; from tragedy to performance art” in The Return of Antigone, ed Tina Chanter, SUNY Press, 281-297. (peer reviewed)
2014 “Temporal sensibilities; Glissant on Filiation”, in Regionality/Mondiality; Perspectives on Art, Aesthetics and Globalization ed Cecilia Sjöholm and Charlotte Bydler, Södertörn Studies in Aesthetics and Art.
2012 “Ontologizing the public realm – Arendt and the political”, ed Håkan Nilsson, Södertörn Studies in Aesthetics and Art: 1, 125-137.
2011 “Arendts estetiska vändning”, i Konsten att tänka, konsten att handla. Arendt och det politiska, Södertörn University Press, ed Ulrika Björk och Anders Burman, 183-205.
2010 ”Arendt at Colonnus; naked man”, contribution to anthology, Interrogating Antigone: From Philosophy to Performance, Oxford University Press, ed Steve Wilmer and Audrone Zukauskaite, p 48-67 (peer reviewed)


Aisthesis — estetikens historia II. With S-O Wallenstein, Thales förlag.
Verklighetens öken. With Anders Burman, Tankekraft förlag-

Recent select essays

2015 "Nyfascismen, Adorno och psykoanalysen", Divan 1-2 2015.
2013 Naming”, article in the The Encyclopedic Palace. 55th International Art Exhibition: La Biennale di Venezia
2013 “Lessing’s Laocoon; aesthetics, affects and embodiment”, Nordic Journal of Aesthetics, No. 46 (2013), 18–33. (peer-reviewed)
2012 “Den lille mann, småkårsfolk, den lille yid: Zizek, Arendt og anti-semittisme”, Agora 2-3, p 74-91, peer-reviewed.
2012 Revisiting Laocoon; Site-specific imitation. SITE 1-2.
2012 An aesthetics of “realness”; Arendt on the work of art, in Aesthetic Pathways, vol 2, issue 1, 21-38. (peer-reviewed).

Contributions to books

2019 "Art", The Routledge Handbook of Psychoanalytic Political Theory, ed. Yannis Stavrakakis,(London: Routledge, 2019), 341-353.

2019 "Can you handle the truth?" In I always tell the truth, catalogue for the exhibition of Dora Garcia, Stockholm: Bonniers, 57-101.

“Descartes, Emotions and the Inner Life of the Subject”, The Palgrave Handbook of Affect Studies and Textual Criticism, Ed. Donald Wehrs (London: Palgrave, 2017), 649-667.

"Antigone" in "Handbuch Literatur & Psychoanalyse" Ed. Frauke Berndt & Eckart Goebel, (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2017), 305-319

Select Essays

2019 “Frossen subjektivitet. Adornos shakespearske drama.” Agora, nr 4 2018-2019, 57-80.

“Voices in the Belly. The Ear of Critical Thought”. Stasis , European University of st Petersburg, Vol 6 No 1 2018, 138-152. Translated into Russian.

Speech in the Belly: the Ear of critical thought , theory@buffalo 20: doing theory, 2018, 7-20.

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The researcher is not participating in any projects at this moment.