Svenskt kvinnobiografiskt lexikon

To advanced search

For more advanced searches and combinations please use the Språkbanken tool Karp. This is particularly relevant for researchers seeking to analyse the information contained in SKBL (Biographical Dictionary of Swedish Women).

  To Karp (External link)

Anna Birgitta Svanberg


Teacher, literary historian, feminist

Birgitta Svanberg was a Swedish teacher and a literary researcher. She was one of the founders of the feminist network known as Grupp 8. She was also a pioneer within Swedish women’s literature.

Birgitta Svanberg was born in Linköping. She grew up in Skövde where her father was a serving officer. She studied at Stockholms högskola (college) and subsequently trained as a teacher. Towards the end of the 1960s she registered at Uppsala university where she attended the seminar on gender roles run by Karin Westman Berg. In May 1968 Birgitta Svanberg, along with some of her fellow colleagues attending the seminar, founded the feminist network called Grupp 8.

Whilst Birgitta Svanberg undertook her research she also worked as a high-school teacher, at Åsö high-school as well as at other schools. In 1989 she gained her doctorate with a thesis entitled Sanningen om kvinnorna, which focused on the writings of Agnes von Krusenstjerna. Birgitta Svanberg’s analysis of that author’s scandalous series of novels based on the Misses von Pahlen revealed how radical and well-thought out those works were in terms of sexual politics. Further, Birgitta Svanberg’s doctorate was the first to be completed within the field of Swedish women’s literature.

Birgitta Svanberg was an influential writer who contributed to a range of different works on female writers. She was on the editorial board of Nordisk kvinnolitteraturhistoria, which was published from 1993–1998. She, along with Ulla Torpe, also co-wrote the book Manligt och kvinnligt i litteraturen which was intended for use in high-schools and she, along with Ebba Witt-Brattström, compiled a three-part anthology of female writers from antiquity to the year 2000.

Birgitta Svanberg married Olof Billingberg in 1953. The marriage was dissolved in 1959. In 1965 Birgitta Svanberg married Jan Svanberg, an art specialist, and together they had a daughter named Katinka.

Birgitta Svanberg died in 2013 and is buried at the cemetery in Bromma.

Lisbeth Larsson
(Translated by Alexia Grosjean)

Published 2018-03-08

You are welcome to cite this article but always provide the author’s name as follows:

Anna Birgitta Svanberg,, Svenskt kvinnobiografiskt lexikon (article by Lisbeth Larsson), retrieved 2024-05-24.

Other Names

    Maiden name: Schoerbin Barthelson

Family Relationships

Civil Status: Married
  • Mother: Lilly Ingeborg Barthelson, född Petzén
  • Father: Gustaf Barthelson
  • Brother: Clemens Göran Schoerbin Barthelson
more ...


  • Lärarseminarium, Stockholm: Lärarutbildning, gymnasielärare
  • Universitet, Uppsala: Fil.dr.examen, litteraturhistoria, Uppsala universitet


  • Profession: Gymnasielärare, svenska, bl a Åsö gymnasium
  • Profession: Forskare, litteraturhistoria


  • Colleague: Karin Westman Berg
  • Colleague: Ulla Torpe
  • Colleague: Ebba Witt-Brattström


  • Grupp 8


  • Birthplace: Linköping
  • Skövde
  • Stockholm
more ...



Further References