Gunnar Theodór Eggertsson: “‘Explorers of an Unknown World‘“
- Date: –15:00
- Location: Engelska parken - Eng9-1017
- Organiser: The Department of Literature
- Contact person: Torsten Pettersson
The Higher Seminar in Literature
Gunnar Theodór Eggertsson, University of Iceland: “‘Explorers of an Unknown World‘: Realist Animal Fiction in a Post-Darwinian World“
The publication of Darwin‘s On the Origin of Species in 1859 had a profound effect on the representation of animals in the arts. This influence helped spawn a new genre of animal writing: the „realistic“ animal story, defined, in part, by an inherent resistance to the animal symbolism of previous ages. Rooted in literary realism and naturalism, as well as the growing animal rights and welfare movements, these stories were radical literary experiments in terms of how their authors imagined the viewpoints of other species and directly engaged with the controversial issue of animal inner lives. The genre enjoyed immense popularity around the turn of the 20th century, but gradually disappeared as animal protagonists became relegated to children‘s culture and realistic animals shifted from literary fiction into documentary film and ethology. The seminar examines the complicated history of this little known genre with special emphasis on 19th century Nordic animal stories.
Gunnar Theodór Eggertsson holds an MA in film studies from the University of Amsterdam and a PhD in comparative literature from the University of Iceland. His dissertation is entitled Literal Animals: An exploration of animal worlds through language, culture and narrative and his main research topics are animal studies, animal ethics and genre fiction. Gunnar is currently working on a post-doctoral project on Nordic realist animal stories at the University of Iceland.