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  • 1.
    Bertilsson, Fredrik
    Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    The Public Space and Informal Accountability: Verdandi’s Study Manual, the Press and Uppsala University2019In: Cogent Arts and Humanities, E-ISSN 2331-1983, Vol. 6, no 1, article id 1586622Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article is concerned with the introduction of new forms of accountability. Instead of studying political reforms in the present, it explores a process in 19th century Sweden where the university became informally accountable to the public. It focuses not on large-scale government interventions but on seemingly mundane educational documentation: the study handbook published by Verdandi, a fraternity at Uppsala University, in 1887. The study is concerned with the impact of the handbook on the infrastructure of control, transparency and agency of the university. It shows how the handbook rearranged the academic structure of agency and provided new venues of assessment. The handbook was the first of its kind and it received nation-wide press coverage. It provided the press and the public with an official point of reference to informally and publicly assess, question and judge university education. At the same time, students were enabled to strengthen their influence within and without the university. The study illuminates a dual process of agency and accountability that was arguably an integral part to the 19th century “modern” university emerging in relation to the public space and contemporary political and social developments.

  • 2.
    Cullhed, Eric
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Linguistics and Philology. Uppsala University, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS).
    Dearness and death in the Iliad2019In: Cogent Arts and Humanities, E-ISSN 2331-1983, Vol. 6, no 1, article id 1686803Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Readers have often pointed out that representations of dying warriors in the Iliad, despite the impersonal, unreflective, heterodiegetic form of narration, are typically suffused with a certain pathos. What do we mean by "pathos" in this context? It is argued that we are referring to a group of distinguishable emotions related to affiliative attachment, elicited by a number of recurring motifs or situation types. Characters perceived as dear and as embodying dear principles are vulnerable, suffer and die, eliciting tenderness, compassion and grief, but also being moved and poignancy. Conceptualizations and expressions of these emotions in the Homeric text are discussed. It is further argued that the recurrent appeals to these emotions throughout the poem cannot be defended against the charge of sentimentality by merely referring to the "noble restraint" manifested by the narrator's dispassionate tone in this context. The ruptured affiliative bonds that form the basis for this pathos are not contemplated in an isolated, undisturbed fashion, but they are crucially presented as existing in opposition to other kinds of affective motivations that push and pull the Homeric heroes in other directions. Dearness makes a brave but futile stand against other values, pleasures and desires that also endow heroic life with meaning, especially the quest for eternal fame.

  • 3. Kukkonen, Karin
    et al.
    Kuzmičová, Anežka
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Culture and Aesthetics.
    Ledet Christiansen, Steen
    Polvinen, Merja
    The place of the cognitive in literary studies2019In: Cogent Arts and Humanities, E-ISSN 2331-1983, no 6, article id 1691841Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 4.
    van Ooijen, Erik
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Making mythopoeic meaning out of plants2019In: Cogent Arts and Humanities, E-ISSN 2331-1983, Vol. 6, no 1, article id 1687256Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The article discusses literary and scientific discourse in relation to plant cognition. I argue that one purpose of literature is to let humans make meaning out of their environment. My focus is not on literature as fiction, or any a priori faculty of counterfactual construction. Rather, I consider literature as the inspired response to external phenomena. In this aspect, literature springs from outside; and this it shares with scientific explanation. But where science lays bare the mechanical laws of the universe, literature operates with compelling narratives of individual wills. I further suggest that the literary mode is specifically suited for envisioning non-human life. Poetic thought is considered as a mode of human cognition that, by suspending the distance between human and world, allows us to think modes of non-human cognition. In literature, we are able to represent those affects we share with other forms of biological life. My focus is on two literary representations of plant life and the blending of life forms in stories where people turn into plants. I start by considering how a few botanists have taken the literary mode as a negative point of departure for their attempts to explain plant behavior. Then, I muster two theoretical accounts in order to read two such stories. Henri and Henriette Frankfort’s description of mythopoeic thought is used as the starting point for an interpretation of Ovid’s take on the myth of Echo and Narcissus; and Roger Caillois’ “comparative biology” for a reading of Johan Borgen’s short story “Kaprifolium”.

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