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Department of Information Science and Media Studies

Trygve Svensson

What can Ludvig Holberg teach us about rhetoric and conflict resolution? Holberg is in a Nordic context, a key source of perspectives on conflict.

His best-selling Introduction to Natures and Knowledge for the Common Man (1716) was important for early legal thinking in Denmark-Norway. Holberg is even today often used as an example of what one can learn from the humanities and literary approach to legal and judicial issues. In Holberg the ancient classics meet the new perspectives from the Enlightenment. His scriptures are filled with questions about war, gender equality, religious freedom and democracy, all with an autocracy as the historical context. As Stephen Greenblatt has written about Shakespeare, Holberg was a part of the negotiations on how society should be governed. As a part of the enlightenment movement his perspectives on the early formation of a public sphere in Denmark-Norway is also of great interest, even today.

The project is aimed at Holberg’s non-fiction works. But setting clear distinction between non-fiction and fiction is difficult when it comes to pre- romanticism authors like Holberg. That is why Niels Klims Journey also serves as a starting point for my analyses.