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Sara Maria Danius (born 5 April 1962 in Täby[1]) is a Swedish scholar of literature and aesthetics. Danius is professor of aesthetics at Södertörn University[2] and docent of literature at Uppsala University.[3]

Sara Danius
Sara Danius - 2016 (cropped).jpg
Danius in October 2016
Sara Maria Danius

(1962-04-05) 5 April 1962 (age 57)
Alma materUppsala University
Duke University
University of Nottingham
University of Stockholm
InstitutionsSwedish Academy
Södertörn University
Uppsala University

Danius is the daughter of the author Anna Wahlgren (b. 1942) and Lars Danius (1907-1996).[1] She is the oldest of eight siblings and half-siblings.[4]

Danius graduated from the University of Stockholm in 1986. She received her Master of Arts in critical theory at the University of Nottingham in 1989. In 1997 she received a Ph.D. from Duke University, and in 1999 she received a Ph.D. from Uppsala University.[5] She has published on the relationship between literature and society and written about Marcel Proust, Gustave Flaubert, and James Joyce.

Danius has been a literary critic for the Swedish daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter since 1986.[1] She has been an executive member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters since 2010.

In March 2013, Danius was elected to the Swedish Academy, succeeding Knut Ahnlund on chair 7. Danius was formally installed in the academy at a ceremony on 20 December 2013.[2][3] She took over the post as permanent secretary of the academy from Peter Englund on 1 June 2015.[6][7] She was asked to resign from her position and left the academy on 12 April 2018 against the background of critique over the academy's handling of the Jean-Claude Arnault scandal.[8][9] Two former permanent secretaries, Sture Allén and Horace Engdahl, called Danius a weak leader in her handling of the affair.[10] On February 26, 2019, she officially resigned from her seat at the Swedish Academy.[11]


  • Försök om litteratur (1998)
  • Prousts motor (2000)
  • The senses of modernism: technology, perception, and aesthetics, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2002. ISBN 0-8014-3899-3
  • The prose of the world: Flaubert and the art of making things visible, Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2006. ISBN 91-554-6599-4
  • Voices: contemporary ceramic art from Sweden, Stockholm: Carlsson, 2006. ISBN 91-7203-778-4
  • Proust-Benjamin : om fotografin, 2011. ISBN 978-91-86883-05-8
  • Näsa för nyheter : essä om James Joyce, 2013. ISBN 978-91-87219-02-3
  • Den blå tvålen: Romanen och konsten att göra saker och ting synliga, 2013. ISBN 978-91-0-012049-8
  • Knut Ahnlund, 2014
  • Husmoderns död och andra texter, 2014.
  • Om Bob Dylan, 2018. ISBN 9789100177812


  1. ^ a b c Sara Danius, Vem är det: Svensk biografisk handbok 1993, p. 235
  2. ^ a b Ny ledamot i Svenska Akademien Archived 2013-03-11 at the Wayback Machine, press release from the Swedish Academy, 7 March 2013 ‹See Tfd›(in Swedish)
  3. ^ a b DN-medarbetare tar plats i Svenska akademien, Dagens Nyheter 7 March 2013 ‹See Tfd›(in Swedish)
  4. ^
  5. ^ Sara Danius, profile at Södertörn University ‹See Tfd›(in Swedish)
  6. ^ Sara Danius ersätter Peter Englund, Dagens Nyheter 20 December 2014 ‹See Tfd›(in Swedish)
  7. ^ "Chair no. 7 - Sara Danius". The Swedish Academy. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  8. ^ "Sara Danius forlater Svenska Akademien". Aftenposten (in Norwegian Bokmål). Retrieved 2018-04-12.
  9. ^ Jones, Evelyn (12 April 2018). "Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy leaves her position". Dagens Nyheter. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  10. ^ Christina Anderson (12 April 2018). "In Nobel Scandal, a Man Is Accused of Sexual Misconduct. A Woman Takes the Fall". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  11. ^ Sara Danius lämnar Svenska Akademien, Svenska Akademien, February 26, 2019.
Cultural offices
Preceded by
Knut Ahnlund
Swedish Academy,
Seat No.7

Succeeded by
Åsa Wikforss