Former LCE-assistants Mats Haraldsen and Marlene Andresen start their PhD fellowships.
Mats Haraldsen and Marlene Andresen have previously been assistants at LCE. Now started their fellowships as doctoral students at ILOS. In this article, they talk about their upcoming projects.
Mats Haraldsen has a master´s degree in French literature, and in Comparative Literature. In addition, he has studied Spanish Literature and Latin. Mats´ academic concern mainly centres around literature written in the Romance languages, as well as memory studies and cognitive literary studies.
It is this academic background, as well as his great interest in the theoretical issues, which has led to the choice of his research project. Using memory studies, especially what is called "post memory", and cognitive science of memories, Mats will examine how the French author George Perec (1936-1982) considers his memories from World War II where both his parents died. "Perec was only a child during the war. Because of that his memories are very deficient", Mats says: "I would argue that through the literature Perec is both able to think about his own history, but also reflect on how the human memory works," he states.
George Perec is perhaps one of the most important French writers of the post-war period, especially through his work with the form-experimenting group OULIPO. "His reflections and work with his own history provide a fascinating insight into how literature can treat memories," Mats explains: "This gives an interesting opportunity to work with theoretical approaches from memory studies and cognitive science."
When asked what he looks forward to the most during his period as a research fellow, Mats answers that he feels very grateful and lucky to be a part of UiO, and for the professional and administrative support he experiences at ILOS. "I look forward to having the time to immerse myself in and write about some of the questions and topics that interest me the most," he accentuates.
Border poetics and narratology
For Marlene Andresen, too, the opportunity to pursue what truly interests her, on a full-time basis, is what motivates her being a research fellow.
Marlene has a bachelor´s degree in English literature, and a master´s degree in Comparative Literature. Her academic concerns include English literature, modernism, children in literature, and critical discourse analysis to name a few.
Her project will address boundaries and the liminal dimensions of literature in a selection of works of fiction by Doris Lessing, Nella Larsen, Jean Rhys, and Katherine Mansfield. Marlene has published an article about Mansfield in Edinburgh University Press and an entry to Store norske leksikon.
"At the moment, I find myself somewhere between border poetics, narratology and cognitive literary theory," she says. Marlene is particularly interested in how textual composition affects readers, and what happens when readers cross the boundary into the text´s universe.
Marlene applied for the position as a doctoral fellow in Comparative Literature because she saw clear connections between border poetics and her own professional interests and competence: "I had such a good time writing the project draft. I feel I have something to contribute with, at the same time as I am very eager to learn more", she concludes.