Lothe, Jakob (ed.): The Future of Literary Studies

Lothe, Jakob (ed.): The Future of Literary Studies

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The discipline of literary studies has a long tradition of borrowing the concepts and methods of related disciplines in the humanities and the social sciences, while also itself exerting a significant influence on other disciplines. In this book, 15 literary scholars hailing from five different countries consider these processes of mutual enrichment from various critical perspectives.

What is the current state of literary studies, and what does the future of this many-faceted field look like? How can the approach of, or trend within, literary studies that each of these scholars represents contribute to literary studies in general? The chapters of the book are revised versions of papers given in June 2016 at a conference entitled “The Future of Literary Studies” at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Oslo. Demonstrating that literary studies constitutes a remarkably active and strikingly diverse area of study and research, the chapters confirm that the field of literary studies is dynamic and open-minded, receiving impulses from other disciplines yet conscious of the characteristics, demands and possibilities appropriate to a discipline in its own right. The book has an introduction by the editor and an afterword by Frederik Tygstrup, University of Copenhagen.

“It is refreshing that this book, situated between ‘state of the art’ and ‘where do we go from there?’ revisits the many approaches to literature that have for long been the staple of the field, simultaneously with due respect and a critical edge. Taking on board the more recent attention to issues of inequality and injustice so rampant in the contemporary world, the tense of this book seems to be ‘the future is now.’”


Mieke Bal. Cultural analyst, Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, video artist and occasional curator; former Academy Professor of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Jakob Lothe is professor of English literature at the University of Oslo.


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