SSE Literary Agenda
The SSE Literary Agenda is a three-year initiative, financed by Natur & Kultur, that gives students the opportunity to participate in book-circles and author’s talks or literary lectures arranged by the school. The aim is to promote self-reflection, empathy and cultural literacy among students.
Over 200 students, doctoral students, faculty and staff have voluntarily signed up to be part of the newly started SSE Literary Agenda. The members of the SSE Literary Agenda will read seven novels selected by an advisory board mainly consisting of representatives from the publishing industry. These members are Eva Bonnier, publisher, Nina Eidem, publisher, Elise Karlsson, author, Cilla Naumann, author, Mikael Robertson, senior partner McKinsey & Co, Maria Schottenius, PhD and literary critic and professor Lars Strannegård, President of the Stockholm School of Economics.
“We hope literature will be able to open other worlds for students, helping them see circumstances from other people’s perspectives. Future leaders will need this empathy and capacity for reflection,” says Lars Strannegård.
The initiative is led by Erik Wikberg, PhD, who is a teacher and researcher at Stockholm School of Economics specialized on the Swedish book markets. In addition, 25 people from faculty and staff act as book circle leaders for the students, who are divided in small groups. Each member of the initiative receives the books for free and are provided free meals for the book circle discussions. All students who attend all seven book circles, four authors’ talks or literary lectures, and writes a reflection paper will be awarded the SSE McKinsey & Co Literary Certificate.
“The SSE Literary Agenda has in short time attracted a remarkably large number of members. It really shows what an intellectually vibrant school this is, and that our students are interested in reflecting upon societal issues through the lens of contemporary fiction,” says Erik Wikberg.
The Advisory Board selected seven novels for the book circles in the fall of 2018 and the spring of 2019. The first book circle focused on Theodor Kallifatides’ book Another Life. The author came to the Aula and held a lecture on this book, and the importance of reading, on November, 5, 2018. This book deals with themes such as immigration, love, freedom of speech, historical and political awareness, and language use. The students are currently reading Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist, that shares several of these themes. These two authors are rare in the sense that they write in another language than their native tongue.
Would you like to know more about the SSE Literary Initiative? Please feel free to contact Erik Wikberg.