Thesis on John Bauer was awarded in “Spegelsalen” in Stockholm

Last summer, Josefine Karlsson graduated from the subject teacher programme at the School of Education and Communication (HLK) at Jönköping University (JU). Her degree project on the artist John Bauer was awarded 30,000 SEK by the Småland Guild. On Saturday, 22 April, Josefine received the prize money during Småland Guild’s spring ball, which was held in the “spegelsalen” (Mirror hall) at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm.

Josefine Karlsson studied at HLK to become a subject teacher, with a focus on high school education with history as the first subject and religion as the second subject. She didn’t settle on the subject matter of her thesis straight away:

“Before writing the essay, I worked in an area involving cultural history and tourism, which brought me into the use of history. Then I looked around Jönköping to see what could be investigated in the immediate area, then John Bauer was there as one of the figures. He has such beautiful illustrations, and it felt a bit like a fairytale world to work with,” says Josefine.

Josefine Karlsson with her boyfriend

Josefine Karlsson her boyfriend after the award ceremony.

"Memories of John Bauer"

With her essay "Sometimes I'm John Bauer, sometimes I'm a troll - A didactic historystudy on how John Bauer's memory is manifested in his hometown Jönköping" Josefine tried to find out how and why the memory of the well-known artist John Bauer lives on in Jönköping.

“Most of those who manifest John Bauer's memory have a strong focus on his paintings with the theme of the forest, which was not surprising,” she says.

Josefine was naturally delighted to be awarded the scholarship for her essay. She has a clear plan for the money.

“It feels very nice that they liked my essay, which I spent a lot of time on. The money will be used for a long trip to the USA this summer with some others who also graduated last year. The trip is a delayed graduation present to ourselves,” she says.

Spring ball

Mirror hall at the Grand Hotel

The Mirror hall at the Grand Hotel before the Spring ball.

Småland Guild’sspring ball and the award ceremony was a nice experience for Josefine.

“It was a real party with operetta as entertainment and the Mirror Hall is an incredible venue. It was also very nice with good food, good company and dancing! I was invited to dance by both the aldermen and other guests. When it came to the presentation of the awards, I had to go up on stage and describe, among other things, why I chose to write about John Bauer and what history didactics, as it says in my subtitle, means. When I accepted the scholarship, I received both flowers and a book about the Småland Guild,” she says.

Five good years at JU

Josefine and her classmates managed to study for almost three years before the pandemic forced studies online and student life became non-existent.

“The last few years were edged by corona, which affected both our third VFU (internship education), which became completely digital, and student life itself. On the other hand, I am happy that we had already studied for almost three years so that we were already more than half way into our education and had met friends, which meant that we still managed well,” she says.

Today Josefine has a temporary position at Per Brahe High School in Jönköping where she teaches history and religion. She is satisfied with the education she received at HLK.

“The history and religion teachers at HLK were very knowledgeable and we received good instruction in our subjects. Based on that aspect, I would absolutely recommend others to study to become subject teachers at HLK,” she says.

The Småland Guild, which has approximately 400 members, was formed in Stockholm in 1890. According to the statutes (with essentially the same purpose since then), the guild shall be an association of Småland residents and islanders (people from Öland) in Stockholm and the surrounding area, thereby aiming to bring the members together for common benefit and enjoyment and to strengthen contacts with the home area.