Cecilia Schwartz, Riksbankens Jubileumsfond's visiting fellow

A Rome of one's own. Female cultural mediators and their international networks in the 20th century Italy

In the 20th century, Rome was a haven for many intellectual women who became important mediators of Italian and Swedish culture. Today their extensive cultural actions have fallen into oblivion, not only to a wider audience, but also to specialists in literary history, cultural mediation and women’s history. This project aims to highlight three of these forgotten cultural mediators – Ellen Lundberg-Nyblom, Gunhild Bergh och Martha Larsson – by reconstructing their lives and careers, mapping out their Swedish-Italian networks and analyzing how their work contributed to intensifying the dissemination of Swedish culture in Italy and vice versa during the 20th century.

Ellen Lundberg Nyblom              Gunhild Berg            Martha Larsson (lasciapassare)

Since cultural mediators are defined as individuals who accomplish many diverse actions, often behind the scenes, their efforts are considered particularly difficult to reconstruct. So far, I have mapped the aforementioned cultural mediators with the help of Swedish sources (archives, newspaper and journal articles, literature), which have resulted in scientific publications. The purpose of a guest researcher stay at the Swedish Institute in Rome is to supplement the material with data from Italian sources and thus be able to complete an ongoing book project. In Rome there are archives, libraries and research contacts that are necessary to fully reconstruct the efforts of these unknown cultural mediators and thus shed some light on an area of the literary field that has been in shadow for too long.