Karin Kukkonen er nyansatt i allmenn litteraturvitenskap

Kukkonen har doktorgrad fra Mainz og Tampere på fortellingsstrategier i tegneserier. Hun har vært forsker ved Oxford, og er opptatt av hvordan folks lesevaner endres i vår digitale tidsalder.

Karin Kukkonen. (Foto: Alf Øksdal)

Please tell me a little bit about your background

– Growing up in Germany, I did my master's degree at the University of Mainz. My doctorate, a co-tutelle at the Universities of Mainz and Tampere, Finland (2010), dealt with the topic "Storytelling Beyond Postmodernism" and investigated the storytelling strategies that comics and graphic novels have developed in the twenty-first century. Comics turned into the first focus of my research work, and I have published a book, a textbook and various articles on these colourful, riveting tales and their relevance for the study of literature and narrative.

After my doctorate, I turned to the seventeenth and eighteenth-century debates around the rise of another popular genre, the novel. At the University of Oxford (2010-2013), my project "Rules of Old" traced just how important the neoclassical rules of literature (poetic justice, dramatic unities, etc.) were for the development of the narrative form of the novel in France and Britain, and how they reflected the critics´ knowledge of how literature engages the human mind. A book based on the project will be published soon.

The question of how literature engages the mind is at the centre of my work, and I approach it both from the historical angle of what critics have said about it across time and from the theoretical angle of what today's cognitive sciences can tell us about the cognitive, emotional and intuitive processes at work here.

What will be the focus of your work at ILOS?

– My current research project (2013-, begun at the University of Turku and financed by the Academy of Finland), is called "How the Novel Found its Feet". It investigates how changes in eighteenth-century prose writing contributed to the immersive, emotionally engaging nature of the novel, by looking into novels, translations, and life-writing from the period.

Together with colleagues from the Nordic countries and Europe, I am involved in empirical work on the changes that our reading habits and processes undergo in the digital age (with the COST-action E-READ).

Av Olaf Christensen
Publisert 24. sep. 2015 10:06