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Johan Hellberg

Doctoral student

  • Academic degree: BA
  • Subject: English Literature


I work at Nordinskolan, a Junior High school in Smålandsstenar in the county of Jönköping since 1998. I was earlier employed within the same municipality, namely that of Gislaved, in 1996 at the College of Gislaved where I taught Swedish as a second language and English at a beginners’ level at the introductory programme and at Komvux, the school’s own municipal adult education unit.

I have studied French and English between 1984-1993 at Gothenburg University where I also initiated my doctoral studies in English. I developed a special interest in Indian fiction written in English as early as 1987. It is not surprising then, that I, between 1990-1991, took an active part as a speaker at two international conferences which specialized in the field of World Literature Written in English. The venue of the first one was located in Southern Italy and led to a publication three years later and the second one was held at Gothenburg University in connection with the university’s centenary celebration of 1991 and led to a rewarding meeting with Shashi Deshpande, one of the writers with which my present research project is concerned (see below for publication details).

In the Autumn Term of 2014 I was keen to resume my research studies again at Gothenburg University where I had returned between 2009-2010 to study Spanish and thereby obtained full credentials in the subject. This entitled me to be issued a Teacher’s Licence with a third language along with my BA from Gothenburg University and my University Diploma in Education for Upper Secondary School in the subjects of French and English from the University of Lund 1994.

I was born and raised abroad. Born in Tanzania which I left at three months of age for Lund I later left Southern Sweden with my family to the cosmopolitan city of Geneva, located in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, at the age of two. This is where I lived with my family between 1966-1979 before our move to Gothenburg. My two last years of High School were therefore completed in Gothenburg at Samskolan and not at the International School of Geneva which I had attended since 1967 in the English-speaking section.

Research Project

Title: ”The Woman in White”-Readings of Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and Shashi Deshpande in the light of the Rasa-Dhvani theory

The aim of my project is to widen and resituate the debate on two writers, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and Shashi Deshpande, whose common denominator is the lack of a deeper understanding of their work by critical assessments which insist on reading their work in the constricting light of a postcolonial legacy imposed on them. This is partly because of the Indian background which forms the backdrop of their most reknown works but also because of the narrowly defined label of ’Women Writers’ which they have been stuck with for the simple reason that both often write about womens’ predicaments from within a domestic context. In my view their works would greatly benefit from being approached from the angle of a wider sociocultural theoretical framework viewed from a woman’s perspective.

Publications and Conferences


”Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and Gandhi: the problem of formulating an identity” Paper delivered at the ”Gothenburg University Centenary Conference on Women in Postcolonial Literatures, June 7-16, 1991” in the presence of Shashi Deshpande among other writers present (unpublished)


”Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and the theory of Jean Baudrillard” in Commonwealth Literary Cultures: New Voices, New Approaches edited by Bernard Hickey et.al. 1993 Lecce: Edizioni del Grifo, pp. 337-351 (published version of a paper delivered at the Triennial EACLALS conference 3-7 April 1990 at the Universita degli studi di Lecce)

Contact Information

Johan Hellberg

Page Manager: Annika Andersson|Last update: 4/12/2018

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