sh.sePublications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
  • apa-old-doi-prefix.csl
  • sodertorns-hogskola-harvard.csl
  • sodertorns-hogskola-oxford.csl
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Låg panna, ljusa ögon: En raskritisk läsning av Stina Aronsons Hitom himlen (1946)
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education.
2022 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Low forehead, light eyes : A critical reading on the construction of race in Stina Aronson’s novel This Side of Heaven (1946) (English)
Abstract [en]

Stina Aronson (1892–1956) is a celebrated Swedish modernist who published twenty-five works during the first part of the 20th century. Her writings are considered to be progressive and ethical due to extensive feminist and eco-critical research. Aronson’s novel Hitom himlen(This Side of Heaven, 1946) captures the life in upper Northern Sweden, in the Torne Valley, during the beginning of 20th century.

In this thesis, I examine the narrative by placing it in relation to the racial hierarchies permeating society during the initial decades of the 20th century. The Finnish-speaking minority living in the Torne Valley came to be considered racially different from the national majority, due to national and international race science – today understood as scientific racism– and anthropology. My analysis shows how the characters are racialized using such ideas as the Mongolian theory and the cephalic index. It is further made evident that the novel captures a perception claiming the so-called ‘Finns’ were of an inferior race. And further, the belief that a mixture of Swedish, Finnish and Sami blood had weakened the group genetically. The mixture of races was defined as a serious threat to the Swedish population, who was regarded as the whitest and purest population on earth. Aronson captures this belief of a future extinction by depicting the death and illness of the youngest generation in the novel.

Furthermore, the main character, Emma Niskanpää, believes that she meets God during the church service at the yearly holiday Marie bebådelsedag. I argue though, that the man she encounters is a fictitious Herman Lundborg (1868–1943), the most prominent of the Swedish race biologists, who, in reality, repeatedly performed skull measurement during this celebration. Directly following on this encounter, the ”deaf-and-dumb” daughter of the family Renström is buried along with several others and Emma Niskanpää’s son falls ill with tuberculosis. In this way, the novel captures the racial surveys carried out on minority groups– surveys which are today considered a national trauma. In This Side of Heaven, Stina Aronson turns into literature a specific form of racism and a forgotten part of Swedish history as a pioneering country in the formulation of race hierarchies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2022. , p. 75
Keywords [sv]
Stina Aronson, Hitom himlen (1946), Sanningslandet (1952), Sång till polstjärnan (1948), raskritik, vithetsstudier, Tornedalen, tornedalingar, samer, Svensk rasbiologi, Herman Lundborg, Anders och Gustaf Retzius
National Category
General Literature Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-49389OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-49389DiVA, id: diva2:1675878
Subject / course
Comparative Literature
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2022-06-30 Created: 2022-06-23 Last updated: 2022-06-30Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(1334 kB)256 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 1334 kBChecksum SHA-512
4bb6c0ff825b5e301980a013b09aebf0d351c67a4ca4b60f2bae9c4de4a4374a8c7918f9800b467bece6ddfa5aad8b4e7de453299658da3ebe80f74828cddd0b
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

By organisation
School of Culture and Education
General Literature Studies

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 256 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

urn-nbn

Altmetric score

urn-nbn
Total: 717 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
  • apa-old-doi-prefix.csl
  • sodertorns-hogskola-harvard.csl
  • sodertorns-hogskola-oxford.csl
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf