The Swedish Academy has a long history of advancing Swedish language and literature. Peter Englund will step down from his role as the Academy's permanent secretary in May 2015 as planned, after six years in the position, but will maintain chair 10 of the Academy's illustrious 18. The new permanent secretary will be Sara Danius, literary critic at Dagens Nyheter, author and professor at Stockholm University and member of the Academy since March 2013.
The Swedish Academy's permanent secretary makes the announcement for the Nobel Prize in Literature and also handles administrative functions for the group.

Danius, who was born in Sweden in 1962, has been writing literary criticism since 1986. She has spent time in the U.S. — at UCLA and the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, where she worked on a project about Proust and modernity, and at Duke University, where she studied under Frederick Jameson and received a doctorate in philosophy in 1997. Her extensive work includes exploring the connection between literature, aesthetics and technologies in modern society, realism and visualization in 19th century literature. Her doctoral thesis was published in book form in 2002: "The Senses of Modernism: Technology, Perception and Aesthetics."


Genius and taste
The Swedish Academy was founded in 1786 by King Gustav III. According to the statutes, its purpose is to "work upon the Swedish language purity, strength and sovereignty." It annually appoints the recipient of several awards and scholarships, including the Nobel Prize in Literature. As the number of Academy members is always 18 (except when a member has died and a successor has yet to be elected), it is sometime also called "the eighteen." It is said that Gustaf III originally intended there to be 20, half the number of those in the French Academy, but eventually decided on 18 because the Swedish word for that number had such a nice ring ("De aderton," in more old-fashioned Swedish). Membership is for life. The Swedish Academy's motto is "genius and taste" (Snille och Smak).

The building hosting one of Sweden's most well-known restaurants, Den gyldene freden (The Golden Peace) is owned and thus secured for the future by The Swedish Academy. Every Thursday, The Academy convenes there in Stockholm's Old Town (Gamla Stan) for their weekly dinner. Freden has during the centuries been a central place for many of Sweden's famous writers, painters and songwriters; most significant for its story is Anders Zorn, who bought the restaurant and saved it from shutting down in 1919 then later donated it to the Academy.