Ralitsa Lazarova defended her dissertation “True stories: The Politics of Emotion in Works of Performative Realism in Recent Swedish Fiction," on May 28, 2014. Lazarova’s dissertation analyzed works of contemporary Swedish fiction by authors Per Olov Enquist, Sara Stridsberg, and Jonas Hassen Khemiri, which make prominent use of the aesthetic strategies of performative realism. These works focus thematically on extreme and marginalized figures such as the monster, the hysteric, the angry feminist, the murderous mother, and the international terrorist. Lazarova’s analysis demonstrated that strong, negative emotions such as abjection, anger, horror and geopolitical fear are employed to foreground relationality and vulnerability. In that sense they address and speak critically of the intense transformation, which Sweden is undergoing, linked primarily to the changing role of the welfare state, multiculturalism, and globalization.
Professor Lotta Gavel Adams was the chair of Lazarova’s PhD committee and the main advisor for the dissertation.