Elizabeth Howard: "Orality, Queerness & the Supernatural in the Work of Selma Lagerlöf"

  • Date: –15:00
  • Location: Engelska parken – Eng6-0031
  • Organiser: Department of Literature
  • Contact person: Anna Williams
  • Seminarium

The Higher Seminar in Literature

Visiting PhD student Elizabeth Howard, University of Oregon, presents her dissertation project: "Orality, Queerness & the Supernatural in the Work of Selma Lagerlöf"

Chair: Williams

I will present an excerpt from my forthcoming dissertation, The Singing Bone: Collective Creativity & the Creation of a Queer Imaginary, which is a comparative study of oral folklore and supernatural elements in the work of Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy in France (1650-1705), James Macpherson in Scotland (1736-1796), and Selma Lagerlöf in Sweden (1858-1940). I will give a brief overview of the project’s central argument and methodology before focusing in detail on the chapter that deals with orality and the supernatural in three novels by Selma Lagerlöf. I aim to show how Lagerlöf’s use of folklore creates a new kind of orality in the context of the novel, and how her use of the supernatural makes possible queer and anti-patriarchal articulations of creativity, identity, and desire.  Presentation will be in English but questions and discussion in Swedish are welcome.