The Nature of Humanity: Posthumanist Perspectives in Contemporary Scandinavian Novels

This project will investigate contemporary literary expressions of a changed conception of humanity, and relate this change to a
larger historical and philosophical context which can be assembled under the concept of posthumanism. The goal of the study is to describe how contemporary literature reflects and is a part of an ongoing philosophical and elhical discussion, and to contribute to the establishment and definition of the concept of posthumanism.

The term posthumanism has previously been employed within the field philosophy to describe a collection of arguments against the conceplion of humanity in a humanist tradition, bu t also to describe the effecls on humans eaused by a massive development within the tieids of genetics and (medical)technology.

My study discusses the implication of this diversity and brings queslions raised by
environmental philosophy about the status of humanity inte the discussion.

My study will combine theories and methods from the fields of cullural studies and ecocriticism, and direct its interest towards representations of human self-conception in contemporary Scandinavian novels by the authors Peter Hoeg, Kirsten Thorup, Kerstin Ekman and Birgitta Trotzig.

The resulls gained from the project will contribute to the definition and establishment of the concept of posthumanism. They will also bring Scandinavian literature inte a hitherto mainly international field of research.


Marie Öhman, Senior Lecturer