Lecturer and researcher

Room: E873
Telephone: +46 (0)8 16 25 71

elisabet.dellming@english.su.se

I received my PhD in English literature from Stockholm University in 2015 and I am Director of Studies, lecturer and researcher at the Department of English. In spring 2016  I was granted research time as part of  Literature studies as a prioritized field of research at Stockholm University.

My doctoral thesis explored the phenomenon of awe in the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins. The study suggests that as experience awe constitutes a shattering jolt that brings about a fundamental and revelatory re-conception of life: a full awareness of the invisible life, filled, “in a flash”, to the brim while at the same time taking into consideration experiential and existential as well as epistemological concerns. In the thesis, I argue that  a phenomenological approach (e.g. Edmund Husserl’s epochetic method and Michel Henry’s concept of the invisible) helps illuminate Hopkins’s poetics; a poetics which solicits a special focus precisely on awe in its various aspects. Hopkins’s poetry has a unique ability to constitute a crossing where in-depth feelings and forces of the wondrous in the striking aspects of awe can be vocalised. The focus on the phenomenon of awe appearing poetically therefore allows for a consideration of this life-transforming jolt as an irresistible force reverberating throughout Hopkins’s work.  Furthermore, such a focus allows me to explore the experience of invisible life that lies at the heart of the possibility of conversion as a fundamental change of world-view. The thesis was reviewed in the online version of the Newman Institute publication Signum under the title “Awe in Hopkins’ Poetry” by Joseph J. Feeney, S.J., Professor Emeritus of English at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and Co-Editor of The Hopkins Quarterly.

My current research focus is on how literature can critique the production and attainment of knowledge and I specifically look at how silence can constitute an alternative epistemology through narratives. Silence in this respect is also key to the research project I am developing.  In the project I am looking at Marilynne Robinson’s fiction through the lens of the clandestine as an active epistemological stance exploring how Robinson’s narratives function as (what Virginia Woolf called) ”pre-communicative zones of silence”.

Other research interests include various phenomenological aspects of literature and issues relating to education in literature and literature in education.

As a teacher I try to prompt and encourage students’ own sense of discovery and to help them see how literature studies can bring something to the understanding of literary texts that is not obvious at a casual reading.

I would be able to supervise essay writers interested in a phenomenological perspective on literary texts ranging from the Victorian period to the present and would be willing to supervise essays on poetry as well as fiction. Being interested in metaphysical as well epistemological issues related to literature, I would also be interested in supervising essays addressing such questions/concerns.