Abstract image of a river delta

Doctoral project: World-Literature, World-Ecology, World-Grotesque: Capital Crises and Climate Emergencies

This project establishes the concept of the ‘world-grotesque’ as a way of interrogating and representing grotesque literary forms in the context of the world-ecology, and examines the ways that these forms are linked to an unfolding terminal crisis.

Project information

Doctoral student
Elliott Berggren
Johan Höglund
Assistant supervisor
Rebecca Duncan
English (Department of Languages, Faculty of Arts and Humanities)

More about the project

This project examines how grotesque literary forms in the context of the world-ecology register and interrogate the conditions of radical socio-ecological transformations in the world. To do this, the project establishes the concept of the ‘world-grotesque’ to investigate the myriad ways in which the conditions of terminal crisis in the world-ecology are apprehended by grotesque aesthetics and themes.

The project examines contemporary world-literatures and situates them within a world-ecological framework in order to address the ways that socio-ecological and -economic violence manifest in literary texts from regions disproportionately affected by capitalist extraction and exploitation, which are largely conceived of as the peripheries of the world. It aims to deploy the concept of the world-grotesque to locate the appearance of grotesque forms in fiction in those moments where capitalist modernity is forcibly imposed and adopted, and subsequently felt very intensely, particularly in these regions.

The project is thus invested in addressing the world-grotesque as a response to a current unfolding and multiscalar crisis that is creating increasingly incomprehensible and unlivable conditions, prompting new ways of registering and representing these in fiction.

The project is part of the research in:
Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies