Swedish Academy: No Nobel Prize in literature in 2018

On Friday, the Swedish Academy announced that it will not award the Nobel Prize in literature this year. Instead, the Swedish Academy intends to decide on and announce the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2018 in parallel with the naming of the 2019 laureate. The Academy said the decision was arrived at in view of the currently diminished Academy and the reduced public confidence in the Academy. The Swedish Academy has seen many of its members leave recently, following divisions and intrigues in the wake of the reverberations of the #MeToo movement.

Seven times previously, the Swedish Academy has chosen to declare a “reserved prize”: in 1915, 1919, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1936 and 1949. On five of those occasions, the prize was delayed then awarded at the same time as the following year’s prize, according to a press release.

Mundus comment: The crisis engulfing the Swedish Academy has dominated the news this month in Sweden. It has not only been an object of fascination for a domestic audience –  international media have also taken an interest in a series of events which some say could threaten Sweden’s long-held reputation for gender equality and even the esteem the Nobel Prizes themselves are held in. In an article in the latest Monthly Policy Review, Mundus examined how the crisis has snowballed and what it says about Sweden and the #metoo movement.

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Jessica Nilsson Williams is the CEO & Founder of Mundus International. She has a long-standing interest in international affairs, having studied and worked in the field for more than 20 years. She began her career as the political advisor at the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm, and then worked in London and Singapore before returning to Stockholm. In 2011 she took up a senior role at the New Zealand Embassy before founding Mundus International in 2012. In addition to working for foreign missions, she has worked in sectors such as NGOs and non-profit organisations (e.g. the Clinton Foundation and the International Red Cross), and TV.