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Signe Leth Gammelgaard


Institutionen för litteratur, idéhistoria och
Renströmsgatan 6
41255 Göteborg
Box 200
40530 Göteborg

Om Signe Leth Gammelgaard

My PhD project targets the literary motif of debt as it developed during the 19th century in French and British literature. It traces the shift of literary genres and aesthetic strategies going mainly from realism, through naturalism and into the symbolic genres of the fin de siècle. This trajectory is analyzed in tandem with developments in economic thinking and with the increasing role of debt in the economy, changing from an interpersonal relation to an impersonal structure. The approach is inspired by New Economic Criticism; a method of reading literature alongside economic theory. The research questions are thus: How do literary engagements with the topic of debt change in the second half of the 19th century? How does this correlate with philosophical and legislative changes in political economy? How do these changes relate to the larger aesthetic shift going largely from realism to the more symbolic forms of decadence, symbolism and the supernatural?