Past Paradigms in Twenty-First Century Literatures in English

Coordinator: Inge Birgitte Siegumfeldt

Departing from both literary theory and praxis, this project addresses questions concerning the current status of Anglophone literatures and the direction(s) they seem to be taking in the twenty-first century. As they evidently flow across boundaries, traditionally erected, between the postmodern, the postcolonial, the national and the regional and undo conventional constructions of ethnicity, race, class, sexuality and gender, a measure of unpredictability is inevitably instilled with regard to literary technique and readerly expectations, and so, it is our claim that literary criticism must acknowledge a growing need for new approaches in theory and analysis.

Jeffrey Nealon, for example, describes what Brian McHale calls ‘post-postmodern’ literature as ‘an intensification and mutation of features already present’ within postmodern and postcolonial literatures and points to new directions that are ‘…mutated, passed beyond a certain tipping point to become something recognizably different in its contours and workings’ (Nealon, 2015: 177). Supplementing such insights, Mary K. Holland comments on a literary strategy that ‘not only returns us to presence and the real, after decades of literature's obsession with the void, but also to remind us of the powerful ways in which acts of reading and writing impact the real world’ (Holland, 2013: 7). Similarly, in our most recent research projects, In Search of the Afropolitan (2016, Eva and Ulla) and … en verden i ord (2016, Inge Birgitte), we have also noted the tendencies in twenty-first century literatures in English to transgress, intensify and mutate. The aim of Past Paradigms is thus to further explore these literary re-orientations in two major research projects (listed below). Colleagues with similar research interests will be warmly welcome to join the group.












Knudsen, Eva RaskAssociate professor +45 353-28584E-mail
Rahbek, UllaAssociate professor +45 353-29280E-mail
Siegumfeldt, Inge BirgitteAssociate professor +45 40 23 85 88E-mail