Professor Victoria Kahn från Berkeleyuniversitetet gästar Institutionen för kultur och estetik i vår
Victoria Kahn.

Professor Kahn holds the Katherine Bixby Hotchkis chair in English at the University of California, Berkeley. She specializes in Early Modern literature, and has published widely on Machiavelli and Hobbes, combining her longstanding interest in history and political theory with literature. Her books include The Future of Illusion: Political Theology and Early Modern Texts, 2014, Wayward Contracts: The Crisis of Political Obligation in England, 1640-1674, 2004, Machiavellian Rhetoric from the Counter-Reformation to Milton, 1994, and Rhetoric, Prudence, and Skepticism, 1985. She has also edited several anthologies, the latest being Politics and the Passions, 1500–1850, 2006, with Neil Saccamano.

"The Trouble with Literature"

The lecture explores the meaning of literariness from Plato to Jakobson and beyond. It argues that modern understandings of literature as "making strange" represent a decline from a more robust understanding of the dialectic between making and believing that we find in the literature of the Renaissance and English Reformation. It concludes by suggesting that any form of writing that rejects the authority of philosophy and, later, theology, for the autonomy of human making acquires the attributes of literature or in our modern parlance literariness. Literariness is one form the questioning of the authority of philosophy or theology, and their corresponding notions of belief, takes in the Western tradition.

Professor Kahn will also present the lecture "Literariness in Kant, Kierkegaard, and Coetzee" Wednesday, at May 16th, 3–5 pm.

Information: Professor Ulf Olsson,