Postdoctoral researcher

charlotta.elmgren@english.su.se 

My research interests lie primarily in the intersection between literature and philosophy. I am currently working on a monograph project that explores literary imaginings of human potentiality in contemporary autofiction.

I received my PhD in literature from the Department of English at Stockholm University in 2019. My monograph, published by Bloomsbury in 2020 as J.M. Coetzee's Poetics of the Child: Arendt, Agamben, and the (Ir)responsibilities of Literary Creation, explores how central tensions in J.M. Coetzee’s fiction converge in and are made visible by the child figure. Its central claim is that the child draws attention to how Coetzee’s writing is characterized by the constant interplay between irresponsibility and responsibility - to the self, the other, and the world. In dialogue with Giorgio Agamben’s emancipatory thinking on infancy and with Hannah Arendt's reflections on natality, education, and amor mundi, the book demonstrates the inextricable links in Coetzee's writing between freedom, play, and serious attention to the world.

Selected publications

“Languages at Play: Teaching Intercultural Awareness with J. M. Coetzee,” Anglophone Literature in Second-Language Teacher Education: Curriculum Innovation through Intercultural Communication, edited by Justin Quinn and Gabriela Klečková. Routledge, 2021.

J. M. Coetzee’s Poetics of the Child: Arendt, Agamben, and the (Ir)responsibilities of Literary Creation. Bloomsbury, 2020.

“‘Let us keep going and see what comes up’: The Poetics of Study in J. M. Coetzee’s The Childhood of Jesus.” ariel: A Review of International English Literature 50:2-3 (2019): 163-190.