Jobst Welge

Jobst Welge


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Works at Department of Culture and Aesthetics
Visiting address Frescativägen 22B-26
Postal address Institutionen för kultur och estetik 106 91 Stockholm

About me

I am Professor in Comparative Literature. Before coming to Stockholm, I have widely taught in the United States and Germany, in the areas of Comparative Literature, the literatures of the Romance languages (French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese), and the field of Latin American Studies. I teach classes on modernism and the history/theory of narrative fiction and the novel.



In my research I seek to establish connections and transactions between (Southern) European and (Latin) American literatures. I am especially interested in the cultural history of the novel and other narrative forms since the early modern period, as well as literary responses to the experience of modernity from the Enlightenment to the present, from the Fantastic and Realism to travel writing and the interface between literature and bureaucracy. My publications often approach these topics from the perspective of space, nation, or cultural memory and mobility, drawing frequently on examples from Italy, Spain, Argentina, Colombia, or Brazil. For several years now, I am a member of the editorial team of the Collected Writings of Alexander von Humboldt (Bern, Switzerland).

           My doctoral thesis, Hidden Natures. Early Modern Subjects and Authorities (Stanford, 2001) has investigated the interaction between the rhetoric of inwardness and authority, religion and science, as central factors for the emergence of (authorial) subjectivity in writers of the European Renaissance. My book Genealogical Fictions: Cultural Periphery and Historical Change in the Modern Novel (Baltimore, 2014) argues for a strong and long-standing connection between the form of the family novel and the problem of historical/national consciousness in "peripheral" cultural spaces, ranging from Great Britain and Italy to Spain and Brazil, involving examples from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, from Maria Edgeworth's Castle Rackrent to G. Tomasi di Lampedusa's Il Gattopardo (see Recently, I have published a series of essays dealing with the tendency of "hypothetical realism" in contemporary Latin American fiction.

           I am currently working on two book projects. The first, Novel Worlds. An Introduction to the History and Theory of the Novel,  is based on a lecture series in which I connect key episodes in the history of the modern novel to both canonical and current theories of the novel. The second, Amazonian Imaginations. Nature, Culture, and the Affects of Modernity, is representative for my interest in the intersections between European and American cultural history; it argues that the cross-national area of the Amazon has produced a rich cultural imaginary and highly intertextual generic forms (from Jules Verne and A. C. Doyle to Alejo Carpentier and Vargas Llosa) that speak not only to specific regionalist concerns but to fundamental affective ambivalences regarding both tropical nature and the idea of modern civilization.


Recent Publications, Selected:

"Bewegungen der Avantgarde. Reisen nach, aus, in Brasilien," in: Michaela Holdenried, Alexander Honold,  Stefan Hermes, Eds., Reiseliteratur der Moderne und Postmoderne. Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag, 2017, 503-518.

"Transgenerationelle Erinnerung in der argentinischen und brasilianischen Gegenwartsliteratur (Sergio Chejfec/Michel Laub)," artefrakte.  Auseinandersetzungen mit dem Holocaust in experimentellen Verfahren in Kunst und Literatur, edited by Esther Kilchmann (Literatur-Kultur-Geschlecht, Böhlau Verlag: Köln, 2016), 269-282.

"Instant and Identity in the Narrative Poetics of André Gide," in: Jan Baetens, Dirk de Geest, Robin Vogelzang, eds., Time and Temporality in European Modernism and the Avantgardes (1900-1950), EAM series: European Avantgarde and Modernism Studies, Peeters Publishers: Leuven, 2016; 89-98.

"Apocalipsis y Contingencia. Roberto Bolaño y los fines de la novela," in: Roberto Bolaño. Narrando el comprender del mundo. Edited by Ursula Hennigfeld, Vervuert/Iberoamericana (Frankfurt a. M. / Madrid, 2015), 83-99.

"Machado de Assis' Esaú e Jacó and the Problem of Historical Representation," Luso-Brazilian Review 52: 2 (Dec. 2015), 19-36.

"Realidad, Teatralidad y lenguaje en el teatro de Roberto Arlt," in:  Roberto Arlt y el lenguaje argentino. Edited by Volker Jaeckel, Rolf Kailuweit, Ángela Di Tullio, (Vervuert/Iberoamericana: Frankfurt a. M., 2015), 57-68.

"Desire, Deceit, and Defeat in the Work of Roberto Arlt," in: Mimesis, Desire, and the Novel. René Girard and Literary Criticism, edited by Pierpaolo Antonello and Heather Webb (“Studies in Violence, Mimesis, and Culture”), Michigan State University Press: East Lansing, 2015), 219-32.

"Reality, Fiction, and the Limits of Postmodernity in the Contemporary Novel: The Case of Bernardo Carvalho," in: Einheitsdenken. Figuren von Ganzheit, Präsenz und Transzendenz nach der Postmoderne, edited by Irina Hron. Traugott Bautz: Nordhausen, 2015, 105-122.

"Introspecção e Dislocamento em Angústia." Floema. Caderno de Teoria e História Literaria. Dossie Graciliano Ramos. IX/2015, 61-84.

"Italo Svevo's Una vita, inettitudine, and the novel of the employee," in: Italo Svevo and his Legacy for the Third Millenium, 2 vols. (I: Philology and Interpretation; II: Contexts and Influences), edited by Giuseppe Stellardi and Emanuela Tandello Cooper (Troubador, Leicester: 2014), 86-100.

"The Problem of Particularity in Literary History." In: Literary Histories in Portuguese, edited by João Cezar de Castro Rocha (Portuguese Literary and Cultural Studies 26). Dartmouth: Massachusetts, 2014, 77-95.




Last updated: March 19, 2018

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