Sigrid Schottenius Cullhed

Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor at Institutionen för litteraturvetenskap och retorik

+46 18 471 29 02, +46 73 469 72 98
Visiting address:
Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3 P
Postal address:
Box 632
751 26 UPPSALA

Short presentation

I am an Associate Professor and Senior Lecturer in Literary Studies at Uppsala University. My research interests include literature, gender, history and interdisciplinary methods and approaches. My roles include serving as the Chair of the Centre for Medical Humanities, Work Package Leader in the EU project Mothernet, and a management team member of the research centre WOMHER. Since 2021, I have been an active member of the Young Academy of Sweden.


  • classical studies
  • comparative literature
  • cultural history
  • digital humanities
  • french literature
  • gender history
  • hermeneutics
  • medical narratology
  • narratology
  • philology
  • reception history
  • swedish literature


I am an Associate Professor and Senior Lecturer in Comparative Literature at Uppsala University. My research interests are in literature, gender, history and interdisciplinary questions and approaches.

I am currently a collaborator in the CIRCUS network "Domestic Violence / Men's Violence Against Women", led by Cecilia Strand (Department of Informatics and Media) and Susanne Mattson (NCK).

Since 2023, I have chaired the Center for Medical Humanities in Uppsala and served on the steering committee for WOMHER (Women's Mental Health during the Reproductive Lifespan). In Womher's Ressearch school, I co-supervise Daniela Lillhannus' interdisciplinary research project "Stories of Rape Trauma: Narratological and Psychotraumatological Perspectives,' with Filip Arnberg, Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology and Program Director at the Centre for Disaster Psychiatry.

In 2022, I was a visiting researcher at the Fondation Hardt in Geneva.

Since 2021, I have been an active member of the Young Academy of Sweden. In this same year, I began a three-year period as research leader for the EU project "MotherNet: Developing a New Network of Researchers on Contemporary European Motherhood.'

Between 2020 and 2023, I led the literary research project "Philomela Returns: Ancient Myth and the Public Secret of Rape", which was funded by the Swedish Research Council and explored literary representations of sexual violence in ancient Greek and Roman literature and the classical tradition.

From 2014 to 2020, I was employed as an Academy Researcher at Uppsala University with the project "Late Antiquity in the Scholarly Imagination".

In 2008, I started my Ph.D. studies in Comparative Literature at the University of Gothenburg, which I completed in 2012, when I defended my dissertation on the late Roman poet Faltonia Betitia Proba. A revised version of my thesis was published in Brill's book series Mnemosyne Supplements in 2015.

During my doctoral studies, I spent a year at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa from 2009 to 2010.

In 2007, I obtained a Master's degree in Comparative Literature from Stockholm University, with minors in French and Latin.

I have been married to Eric Cullhed since 2011, and we have two children born in 2013 and 2014.


Current Research projects

Philomela Returns: Ancient Myth and the Public Secret of Rape

My research addresses questions about how literary narratives about sexual violence and its aftermath affect the way we conceptualize, talk about, deal with and maybe even experience and react to such episodes in real life. My material is mainly contemporary stories and reworkings of a limited number of vastly influential ancient stories about rape and sexual abuse.

I am particularly interested in how the victim’s experience is dramatized and configured in these stories, and how characters articulate it. I want to find out how stories about sexual violence are constructed, how they function and what they do in a society. Theoretically, the project engages with ongoing discussions in cultural and social anthropology (mainly Pratiksha Baxi’s theory about rape as a public secret in Michael Taussig’s sense); methodologically, I work with (post-) narratological, reception-historical and rhetoric-analytical tools.

Project funded by the Swedish Research Council (2020–2022):


Since January 2022, I have been one of the Work Package Leaders of the MotherNet project, "Developing a New Network of Researchers on Contemporary European Motherhood MotherNet”, which is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 952366.

MotherNet is a small consortium consisting of three universities, Vilnius University (Lithuania), Uppsala University (Sweden) and the National University of Ireland Maynooth. The project is coordinated by Vilnius University.

Previous Research

Propha the Prohet

My doctoral dissertation examines the late Roman poet Faltonia Betitia Proba's Vergilian cento poem, Cento Vergilianus de Laudibus Christi, and its reception history (Proba the Prophet, 2012). This piece stands as one of the earliest surviving Christian poems and represents one of few extant ancient poets authored by a woman.

Late Antiquity in the Scholarly Imagination

My postdoctoral project, 'Late Antiquity in the Scholarly Imagination,' funded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities, 2014–2020, investigated the mechanisms shaping contemporary conceptualizations of late antiquity as both a literary and cultural-historical period.

Research Interests

Gender history, Greek and Roman literature, the utilization of antiquity in contemporary art, literature and entertainment, depictions of sexual violence, socio-cultural anthropological perspectives on literature, studies of motherhood, the relationship between literature and mental health


Recent publications

All publications





Sigrid Schottenius Cullhed