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Department of Linguistic, Literary and Aesthetic Studies
research group

Research group Text, Action and Space (TAS)

An Inter-Disciplinary Approach to Aesthetic and Cultural Studies.

Research group Text, Action and Space
Photo:
Alf Edgar Andresen

The TAS research group stems from and is anchored in the Bergen-based, international and comparative research project “Text, Action and Space (TAS): Performative Language (Textual Action) and Topographical Patterns as Converging Areas in Modern Prose Fiction, Drama and Film. An Inter-Disciplinary Approach to Aesthetic and Cultural Studies”.

The research group comprises TAS’s Bergen contingent and in addition network scholars in Oslo and Tromsø, and internationally: in Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain, France, USA, and elsewhere. A number of TAS’s members also contribute regularly to The Norwegian national PhD researcher-training school Text, Image, Sound, Space (TBLR).

A number of TAS’s members also contribute regularly to The Norwegian national PhD researcher-training school Text, Image, Sound, Space (TBLR).

The project and the research group initiate basic research into an inter-disciplinary field of aesthetic and cultural analysis, focusing on the study of two phenomena shared by the materials selected from modern drama, prose fiction, film and visual culture: performative language (textual action) and the topographical modelling of space. Textual action and space are studied

  1. as distinctive aesthetic features,
  2. as areas of genre converging in modern drama, prose fiction, film and visual culture,
  3. as fundamental strategies in the formation of culture and the assignment of values.

TAS conducts close readings of a broad and rich comparative, early and late modern material of art works. It critically assesses relevant theoretical trends. On the basis of empirical analyses of selected works of art, TAS elicits a theory of textual action and space capable of emulating with the object areas of performativity and topographies – across the genres of drama, fiction, film and visual culture, as well as in their interplay with culture and the assignment of values.

Textual action and space installation are analysed as agencies of culture-formation by way of their discursive and signifying concerns for the “impurity” involved in the converging of genres. TAS explores how this interplay installs cultural effects and values in four inter-related fields: in the re-assignments of selves, communities, knowledge, and regimes of discursivity.

TAS’s studies are generated by basic-questions and are contributions to the development of a measure of order and direction within the vast output in aesthetic and cultural studies, as well as to putting an alternative, dynamic methodology into use.

TAS is dedicated to including in its group of researchers both senior and junior professors as well as postdoc and PhD-student scholars, and is committed to working towards a balanced gender composition.

Publications

Within its framework, TAS has by 2018 published internationally three comprehensive research anthologies in English with Aarhus University Press:

Exploring Textual Action (2010) questions how we analyse works of art after the performative turn and shows how the interplay of performativity (textual action), space and topography, and the converging of genres and art forms are essential in modern drama, theatre, prose fiction, poetry and film. The volume also fosters a keen concern for the development of congenial theory. – Its fourteen detailed essays analyse works of art ranging from Balzac, Melville and George Eliot, to Breton, Kafka, Benjamin, Blixen and Woolf; and from W.C. Williams, Bresson and Scorsese, to Sarraute, Duras, Reygadas, Dumont and Waltz. The approach of these studies discloses the art works as creative and dynamic utterances with active and shaping forces so powerful, and consequential, that they have the potential to transform human perception and blur clear distinctions between art and “real” life. – Using an alternative and dynamic method and suggesting a direction towards the detailed analysis of literature, art, media and culture, Exploring Textual Action addresses current debates within the humanities.

Book cover: Exploring Textual Actions
Photo:
Aarhus University Press

Exploring Text and Emotions (2014) investigates the functions, values and effects of emotions in literature and the arts, fostering the affective turn in textual theory and analysis. – Fifteen essays on various art works analyse how modern fiction, drama, theatre, poetry and film, as well as Greek tragedy, succeed in both expressing and suggesting a vast and nuanced array of emotions while provoking affective responses in readers and spectators. The volume focuses on the exemplary way in which literature and the arts act upon our minds and have a strong impact on our understanding of aesthetic, political and moral values, challenging, shaping and transforming culture. The volume also intends to show how seminal writers and works have anticipated contemporary theories of emotions and can contribute to their growth. – Linking formal, aesthetic and cultural-studies approaches, and combining the latest developments in the affective sciences with the close reading of texts, the volume puts forward a new direction for the study of literature, arts, media and culture.

Bokomslag: Exploring Text and Emotions
Photo:
Aarhus University Press

Exploring Text, Media, and Memory (2017/2018) investigates the link between memory and media by asking a series of questions pertinent to our time. How do individual and collective memories blend? How do traumatic experiences from past events and catastrophic projections of the future reveal the human condition in the epoch of frenetic technological reproduction of works of art? How is the human body tied to narrations – and why? – A group of international scholars tackle questions like these across art forms, media, and cultural history. In nineteen essays they argue that modern and contemporary literary texts and visual arts show how photography, film, tape recording, television, and internet are not just means of storing memory and information, but objects that we interact with every day – challenging static visions of places and the linear notions of past, present and future.

Book cover: Exploring Text, Media, and Memory
Photo:
Aarhus University Press

 

Areas explored and researched by TAS

  • Textual action; Performativity as speech act (as nuanced from performance)
  • Text and emotions
  • Text, media, and memory
  • Text and materialities
  • Text and illness, therapy, and healing
  • Text and spatial topographies
  • Textual action, space, and creativity
  • Text and apperception
  • Text and subjectivities
  • Text and knowledge
  • Text and converging, transformations, aesthetic and cultural effects
  • Textual action, space, and history, the political, and cultural construction

…and others

Members of the Research group (entirety)

Bergen

  • Prof. Lars Sætre (TAS Project Leader; Comparative Literature)
  • Prof. Atle Kittang († 2013; Comparative Literature)
  • Associate Prof. Anders Kristian Strand (Comparative Literature)
  • Associate Prof. Anders M. Gullestad (Scandinavian and Comparative Literature)
  • Prof. Randi Koppen (British Literature)
  • PhD Jorunn S. Gjerden (French Literature)
  • PhD student Helle Håkonsen Lapeniene (American Literature)
  • Prof. Asbjørn Grønstad (Infomedia, Visual Culture, Nomadikon)
  • Associate Prof. Øyvind Vågnes (Infomedia, Visual Culture, Nomadikon)
  • Prof. M.D. Psychiatry & PhD Comparative Literature Merete Sæbø Torvanger (Comparative Literature, Medical Humanities)
  • Associate Prof. Ingrid Nielsen (Comparative Literature; Stavanger)
  • Associate Prof. Anemari Neple (Comparative Literature; Volda)
  • Postdoc Tonje Haugland Sørensen (History of Arts, Visual Culture)
  • M.A. Thomas Anthony Hill (Comparative Literature)
  • M.A. student Anna Solbakk Fredsvik (Comparative Literature)

Oslo

  • Prof. Tone Selboe (Comparative Literature)
  • Prof. Em. Ragnhild Evang Reinton (Comparative Literature)
  • PhD student Emma Helene Heggdal (Comparative Literature)

Tromsø

  • Associate Prof. Henrik Gustafsson (Infomedia, Visual Culture)
  • PhD-student Ingri Løkholm Ramberg (Scandinavian and Comparative Literature)

Internationally

  • Prof. Patrizia Lombardo († 2019; French, Comparative Literature, Film Studies; Geneva)
  • Prof. J. Hillis Miller (Comparative Literature; Irvine, USA)
  • Prof. Em. Svend Erik Larsen (Comparative Literature; Aarhus)
  • Prof. Susana Onega (Anglophone Literatures, Univ. of Zaragoza)
  • Postdoc, PhD  Julien Zanetta (Ann Arbor, USA; French, Comp. Lit., Geneva)
  • Postdoc, PhD Sara Tanderup Linkis (Aarhus U, Lund U., U of Southern Denmark, Odense)
  • Prof. Hans Lauge Hansen (Spanish; Aarhus)
  • Prof. Mads Rosendahl Thomsen (Comparative Literature; Aarhus)
  • Prof. Erika Fischer-Lichte (Theatre Studies; Freie Universität, Berlin)
  • PhD Mads Thygesen (Aarhus Univ., Danish National School of Playwriting, Aarhus)
  • Associate Prof. Mads Anders Baggesgaard (Comparative Literature, Aarhus U)
  • Associate Prof. Jakob Ladegaard (Comparative Literature, Aarhus U)
  • Prof. Angela Esterhammer (English, American, Comparative Literature; Zürich)
  • Assist. Prof. Corina Stan (Comparative Literature, Duke Univ., USA)
  • Prof. Philippe Roger (CNRS/Paris-Sorbonne, l’EHESS; Paris)
  • Prof. Martine Beugnet (Univ. Paris 7–Diderot)
  • Prof. Frederik Tygstrup (Comparative Literature; Copenhagen)
  • Prof. Niels Lehmann (Theatre Studies; Aarhus U)
  • Lecturer, PhD Laurent Darbellay (French, Comparative Literature, Film Studies; Geneva)
  • PhD Boris Grknić (Theatre, Film, Media Studies; Vienna)
  • PhD Maja Petrić (Digital Arts and Experimental Media, Univ. of Washington, Seattle; Artist)
  • PhD student Teresa Carbayo López de Pablo (French Lit., Université Paris 1 Panthéon– Sorbonne/Zaragoza)

Research published by TAS

Sætre, Lars, Patrizia Lombardo, and Anders M. Gullestad (eds.). Exploring Textual Action. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2010.

–––––, Patrizia Lombardo, and Julien Zanetta (eds.). Exploring Text and Emotions. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2014.

–––––, Patrizia Lombardo, and Sara Tanderup Linkis (eds.). Exploring Text, Media, and Memory. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2017/2018.

Baggesgaard, Mads Anders. “A World of Emotions – Mediality in the Works of Pierre Alfery”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text and Emotions. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2014. 197-220.

Fischer-Lichte, Erika. “Culture as Performance – Developing a Concept of Performance”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Textual Action. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2010. 123-140.

Gjerden, Jorunn S. “The Reader Address as Performativity in Nathalie Sarraute’s L’Usage de la parole”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Textual Action. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2010. 367-393.

–––––. “Emotion, Knowledge, Alterity: Aesthetic Experience in Proust”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text and Emotions. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2014. 295-324.

–––––. “Negotiating Cinematic Staging of Colonial Past in the Blogosphere: Abdellatif Kechiche’s Vénus Noire”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text, Media, and Memory. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2017/2018. 125-142.

Grknić, Boris. “Appraisal Theory and the Emotions Eleos and Phobos: A Contribution of Current Emotion Theory to the Interpretation of Greek Tragedy”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text and Emotions. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2014. 177-195.

Grønstad, Asbjørn. “Dead Time, Empty Spaces: Landscape as Sensibility and Performance”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Textual Action. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2010. 311-331.

–––––. “John Akomfrah’s The Nine Muses and the Ethics of Memory”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text, Media, and Memory. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2017/2018. 93-113.

Gullestad, Anders M. “Loving the Alien: Bartleby and the Power of Non-Preference”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Textual Action. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2010. 395-422.

–––––. “Emotional Turbulence on a Floating Stage in Melville’s ‘Benito Cereno’”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text and Emotions. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2014. 267-294.

–––––. “Cleansing the Soul of Images: Overcoming Forgetfulness in Mattis Øybø’s Alle ting skinner”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text, Media, and Memory. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2017/2018. 493-513.

Gustafsson, Henrik. “‘The past still has possibilities’: The Art of Memory in Daniel Eisenberg’s Postwar Films”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text, Media, and Memory. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2017/2018. 221-250.

Hansen, Hans Lauge. “Testimony, Documentary, Fiction: The Remediation of Stolen Children”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text, Media, and Memory. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2017/2018. 313-340.

Hill, Thomas. “Textual Memory: Preservation and Loss in To the Lighthouse”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text, Media, and Memory. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2017/2018. 361-385.

Håkonsen, Helle. “‘Murdered and so discreetly bound in linens’. Djuna Barnes’ Ryder and the (W)hole in Weaving Memory”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text, Media, and Memory. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2017/2018. 387-412.

Kittang, Atle. “Topography and Textual Action in the Urban Prose of Balzac and Breton”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Textual Action. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2010. 223-251.

Koppen, Randi. “Re-thinking the ‘Performative Turn’: Fashioned Bodies, Sartorial Semiotics and the Performance of Culture, 1900-1930”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Textual Action. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2010. 165-185.

–––––. “The Economy of Emotions: Sympathy and Sentimentality in Victorian Culture”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text and Emotions. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2014. 241-265.

–––––. “Remembering Ceylon: Leonard Woolf’s Colony in the Age of Extremism”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text, Media, and Memory. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2017/2018. 341-360.

Ladegaard, Jakob. “Spatial Affects: Body and Space in Philippe Grandrieux’s La Vie nouvelle”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text and Emotions. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2014. 151-175.

Larsen, Svend Erik. “‘Speak again. Speak like rain’ – The Mediality of Performance”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Textual Action. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2010. 59-82.

–––––. “Emotion and Forgiveness in Literature”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text and Emotions. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2014. 63-89.

–––––. “Body and Narrative: Mediated Memory”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text, Media, and Memory. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2017/2018. 143-170.

Lombardo, Patrizia. “Bazin, Bresson and Scorsese: Performative Power and the Impure Art of Cinema”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Textual Action. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2010. 187-219.

–––––. “Stendhal and Hazlitt’s Theories of Emotion”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text and Emotions. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2014. 35-62.

–––––. “Memory as Resurrection in Roland Barthes”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text, Media, and Memory. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2017/2018. 437-466.

Miller, J. Hillis. “Performativity 1 / Performativity 2”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Textual Action. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2010. 31-58.

–––––. “Text; Action; Space; Emotion in Conrad’s Nostromo”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text and Emotions. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2014. 91-117.

Onega, Susana. “Traumatic Memory, Shame, and the Artistic Representation of the Shoah”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text, Media, and Memory. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2017/2018. 279-309.

Reinton, Ragnhild Evang. “Producing ‘…images we never saw before we remembered them’. Memory as Textual Action in Walter Benjamin’s Berliner Kindheit um Neunzehnhundert”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Textual Action. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2010. 254-281.

–––––. “A Political and Emotional Experience of Aesthetic Transcendence in Marguerite Duras’ Film/Text India Song”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text and Emotions. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2014. 347-370.

–––––. “Memory and the Tape Recorder: Krapp’s Last Tape”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text, Media, and Memory. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2017/2018. 68-91.

Selboe, Tone. “Virginia Woolf and the Ambiguities of Domestic Space”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Textual Action. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2010. 283-310.

–––––. “Emotional Mapping in Jean Rhys’s Good Morning, Midnight”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text and Emotions. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2014. 325-346.

–––––. “Virginia Woolf and the Perception of Things”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text, Media, and Memory. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2017/2018. 413-435.

Strand, Anders Kristian. “Textual Action in W.C. Williams’ Paterson”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Textual Action. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2010. 333-365.

–––––. “‘Labour of Love’: The Emotional Turn in R.M. Rilke’s Die Aufzeichnungen des Malte Laurids Brigge”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text and Emotions. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2014. 371-402.

–––––. “‘Memory is a seamstress’: Media of Memory in Virginia Woolf’s Orlando”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text, Media, and Memory. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2017/2018. 171-194.

Sætre, Lars. “Powering Textual Action: Duras’ Space in Véra Baxter ou Les Plages de l’Atlantique”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Textual Action. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2010. 83-121.

–––––. “Topography, Sense and Emotion: The Alterity of Textual Action in Jon Fosse”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text and Emotions. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2014. 119-150.

–––––. “Media, Memory, and Meaning in Narrative Art: Trauma in Renate Dorrestein’s Novel A Heart of Stone”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text, Media, and Memory. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2017/2018. 195-220.

–––––, Patrizia Lombardo, and Anders M. Gullestad. “Exploring Textual Action”. Sætre, Lars, Patrizia Lombardo, and Anders M. Gullestad (eds.). Exploring Textual Action. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2010. 7-27.

–––––, Patrizia Lombardo, and Julien Zanetta. “Text and Emotions”. Sætre, Lars, Patrizia Lombardo, and Julien Zanetta (eds.). Exploring Text and Emotions. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2014. 9-31.

–––––, Patrizia Lombardo, and Sara Tanderup Linkis. “Text, Media, and Memory”. Sætre, Lars, Patrizia Lombardo, and Sara Tanderup Linkis (eds.). Exploring Text, Media, and Memory. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2017/2018. 9-34.

Tanderup Linkis, Sara. “Bits of Books in Boxes: Remembering the Book in Anne Carson’s Nox and Ella Hegnhøj’s Ella is my name do you want to buy it?”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text, Media, and Memory. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2017/2018. 37-65.

Thomsen, Mads Rosendahl. “Posthuman Memory”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text, Media, and Memory. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2017/2018. 515-536.

Thygesen, Mads. “Interaction and Framing in the Performance Insideout by Sasha Waltz”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Textual Action. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2010. 141-164.

–––––. “An Absence of Character: Subjectivity and Emotions in Martin Crimp”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text and Emotions. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2014. 403-431.

Vermeulen, Pieter. “‘Magnificent desolation’: The Memory of Welfare and the Archeology of Shame in the Novels of Johan Harstad”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text, Media, and Memory. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2017/2018. 251-278.

Zanetta, Julien. “Portrait of a Lady: Painting Emotion in Jean-Luc Godard’s Vivre sa vie”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text and Emotions. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2014. 223-240.

–––––. “Will and Indolence: Proust, Reader of Baudelaire”. Sætre, Lars et al. (eds.). Exploring Text, Media, and Memory. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2017/2018. 467-492.