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Bergström Walker, CatharineORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-5076-0468
Alternative names
Publications (8 of 8) Show all publications
Walker Bergström, C. (2014). Recognizing the Ache of the Other: Jonathan Franzen's Reasons for Bothering. In: Champion, Margrét Gunnarsdóttir & Goloubeva, Irina Rasmussen (eds.) (Ed.), Ethics and Poetics: Ethical Recognitions and Social Reconfigurations in Modern Narratives (pp. 107-134). Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Recognizing the Ache of the Other: Jonathan Franzen's Reasons for Bothering
2014 (English)In: Ethics and Poetics: Ethical Recognitions and Social Reconfigurations in Modern Narratives / [ed] Champion, Margrét Gunnarsdóttir & Goloubeva, Irina Rasmussen (eds.), Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014, p. 107-134Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Having undermined any notion of innocent language, postmodern fiction has been criticized for its loss of connection to the social sphere, rendering null and void its potential for bringing about political reconfigurations. All that postmodernist authors can manage is self-reflexive irony—a parody of representation. Yet, as a result of essays like “Why Bother?” (1969), Jonathan Franzen has been placed in a new category of writers who are worried that the inertia of postmodernism has robbed them of serious readers. “Where to find the energy to engage with a culture in crisis when the crisis consists in the impossibility of engaging with the culture?” he asks.

  Franzen’s most recent novel Freedom is his attempt to answer this question. Focusing on his characters’ deep anxiety and sense of remorse at having made mistakes in their lives, he portrays their relentless agonizing over bad decisions as illustrations of the flip-side of their liberty, or rather, what it is grounded in: ethics. Freedom is a heavy burden, especially for the novel’s female protagonist, who, as a teen, has rejected her politically active, New York-liberal family to study and play basketball in the more conservative Midwest. The hyper-competitive Patty Berglund’s efforts—first to be a team-player, then to be as “good” as her self-righteous, environmentalist husband Walter, and finally to trump his moral superiority by over-mothering their son Joey—all backfire on her, leaving her to self-medicate a mid-life depression with alcohol.

 As Emmanuel Levinas posits, prior to our sense of freedom is the recognition of “the other in me,” which comes with an infinite responsibility. For Levinas, justice is what recognizes rather than institutes this responsibility. In his essay “Difficult Freedom,” he asserts that ethics is the primordial religious emotion, and that justice should be the raison d’être of the state, not the other way round. This essay will demonstrate that it is not any codified moral law that brings about justice. Rather, it is the recognition that freedom is always already preceded by a primordial responsibility to the face of the Other, which is in turn checked by the presence of a third party. It is this ethical challenge that drives the plot of Franzen’s novel about people who, in the words of the Berglund family’s neighbors, have to “figure out how to live.” 

 

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014
Keywords
ethics, freedom, Jonathan Franzen, Emmanuel Levinas
National Category
Humanities Philosophy
Research subject
HUMANITIES, English
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-6188 (URN)9781443856416 (ISBN)1-4438-5641-X (ISBN)
Available from: 2014-04-29 Created: 2014-04-29 Last updated: 2015-06-24Bibliographically approved
Andersson Hval, U., Henry, A. & Walker Bergström, C. (Eds.). (2013). Postcolonial texts and events: cultural narratives from the English-speaking world (1. ed.ed.). Lund: Studentlitteratur
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Postcolonial texts and events: cultural narratives from the English-speaking world
2013 (English)Collection (editor) (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2013. p. 410 Edition: 1. ed.
Keywords
Postcolonialism in literature, Afrikansk litteratur, Australisk litteratur, Indisk litteratur, Irländsk litteratur, Kanadensisk litteratur, Maltesisk litteratur, Nyzeeländsk litteratur, Västindisk litteratur
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
HUMANITIES, English
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-5907 (URN)9789144070698 (ISBN)
Available from: 2014-02-10 Created: 2014-02-10 Last updated: 2016-01-19Bibliographically approved
Henry, A. & Walker Bergström, C. (2012). Texts and events: cultural narratives of Britain and the United States (2ed.). Lund: Studentlitteratur
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Texts and events: cultural narratives of Britain and the United States
2012 (English)Book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2012. p. 474 Edition: 2
Keywords
American literature, English literature - History and criticism, Amerikansk litteratur, Engelsk litteratur - historia
National Category
Humanities
Research subject
HUMANITIES, English
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-4815 (URN)978-91-44-07064-3 (ISBN)
Available from: 2012-11-23 Created: 2012-11-23 Last updated: 2016-01-19Bibliographically approved
Walker Bergström, C. (2010). Intuition of an Infinite Obligation: Narrative Ethics and Postmodern Gnostics in the Fiction of E. L. Doctorow (1ed.). Frankfurt am Main: Lang
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Intuition of an Infinite Obligation: Narrative Ethics and Postmodern Gnostics in the Fiction of E. L. Doctorow
2010 (English)Book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Grounded in theoretical studies of postmodern and narrative ethics, this book proposes the need for a re-examination of E. L. Doctorow's work from an ethical perspective. Through in-depth analyses of previously neglected intertexts, it questions the classification of his fiction as an expression of postmodern skepticism. Seven of Doctorow's most widely acclaimed novels are dealth with in chronological order, tracing his finely tuned characterizations of the human quest for narrative truth. Growing out of the early protagonists' vague sense of moral consciousness is their recognition of an obligation to interpret signs from and for the Other. Through logical deliberation and close reading, the study gradually identifies the narrative voice of the postmodern gnostic.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Frankfurt am Main: Lang, 2010. p. 189 Edition: 1
Series
Anglo-amerikanische Studien : Anglo-american studies, ISSN 0177-6959 ; 38
Keywords
ethics, postmodernism, E. L. Doctorow, narrative ethics, self-reliance, Emerson, intuition, Jung, gnosticism, kabbalah, deconstruction, Welcome to Hard Times, Book of Daniel, Ragtime, Loon Lake, Billy Bathgate, The Waterworks, City of God
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
HUMANITIES, Literary studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-2236 (URN)978-3-631-58749-2 (ISBN)
Available from: 2010-02-23 Created: 2010-02-23 Last updated: 2015-06-24Bibliographically approved
Bergström Walker, C. (2008). Narrative ethics and intuition of the infinite: E. L. Doctorow's gnostic hope for the postmodern era. (Doctoral dissertation). Göteborg: Department of English, Göteborg university
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Narrative ethics and intuition of the infinite: E. L. Doctorow's gnostic hope for the postmodern era
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: Department of English, Göteborg university, 2008. p. 174
Keywords
Doctorow, E. L., Etik i litteraturen
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
HUMANITIES, English
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-1702 (URN)
Public defence
(English)
Available from: 2010-03-03 Created: 2009-09-29 Last updated: 2015-06-24Bibliographically approved
Walker Bergström, C. (2005). Searches for the Significant:: Robert Zemecki's Cast Away asa Late Twentieth Century Response to Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. Journal of Religion and Film, 9(1)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Searches for the Significant:: Robert Zemecki's Cast Away asa Late Twentieth Century Response to Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe
2005 (English)In: Journal of Religion and Film, ISSN 1092-1311, E-ISSN 1092-1311, Vol. 9, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe has over the centuries become one of the most mythologized characters of Western literature. In the most recent adaptation of this novel, the film Cast Away (directed by Robert Zemeckis), Defoe's treatment of Crusoe's spiritual awakening has been highlighted. Postmodern man, as represented by efficiency expert Chuck Noland, is faced with a search for Meaning similar to that which  Defoe's "economic man" embarks upon when isolated from humanity 300 years earlier. This essay examines the way Cast Away deals with the ever present paradox of faith in a Divine Plan and belief in individualism and the free will.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Omaha: University of Nebraska Press, 2005
Keywords
Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe, Robert Zemecki, "Cast Away", film adaptation
National Category
Studies on Film
Research subject
HUMANITIES, Literary studies; HUMANITIES, Cultural studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-2269 (URN)
Available from: 2010-03-09 Created: 2010-03-09 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
Henry, A. & Walker Bergström, C. (2003). Interactive learning in culture studies. In: Aijmer, Karin& Olinder, Britta (Ed.), Proceedings from the 8th Nordic Conference on English Studies: (pp. 319-332). Göteborg: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Interactive learning in culture studies
2003 (English)In: Proceedings from the 8th Nordic Conference on English Studies / [ed] Aijmer, Karin& Olinder, Britta, Göteborg: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis , 2003, p. 319-332Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper will outline a text-based teaching strategy for culture courses and in particular will examine the contribution that ’in-text’ questions can make towards generating ’deep approaches’ to learning when they are used in a collaborative setting. A course in the history of literature and the cultural context of that literature’s reception can often involve one-way communication and a significant amount of verbatim learning. The memorisation of authors’ names, the titles and dates of works, as well as the process of categorisation (placing those works in periods or genres) are activities that reward surface approaches to learning but which are deemed a necessary evil, even by the most pedagogically-minded instructors. The purpose of this project has been to move away from such methods. In implementing this model for text-based, collaborative learning, we asked ourselves two things: First, could the use of carefully formulated in-text questions in a student-oriented, interactive setting encourage a deep, rather than a surface approach to learning, and second, could such a course help to solve the budget-versus-quality dilemma created by the steadily decreasing number of contact hours teachers are permitted to schedule, while still maintaining high educational standards.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis, 2003
Series
Gothenburg studies in English, ISSN 0072-503X ; 84
Keywords
learning
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
HUMANITIES, English
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-2982 (URN)91-7346-458-9 (ISBN)
Available from: 2011-01-04 Created: 2011-01-04 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
Henry, A. & Walker Bergström, C. (2001). Texts and events: cultural narratives of Britain and the United States (1ed.). Lund: Studentlitteratur
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Texts and events: cultural narratives of Britain and the United States
2001 (English)Book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Abstract [en]

This textbook provides university-level students with a basic introduction to British and American literature by weaving it into a context of contemporary historical events. The authors have created learning material that includes a carefully chosen selection of literary texts, followed by thought-provoking ‘in-text’ questions, which are designed to contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between literature and history. Texts and Events also attempts to be open-ended in its version of the past, encouraging readers to seek knowledge outside the text by analyzing other narratives, both fictional and historical, to which they are referred at the end of each chapter.  These ‘Suggestions for Further Study’ include Internet resources that expand upon and present alternatives to the narratives offered here. In this way, students are challenged to begin to question the exclusive nature of literary canons, to fill in the gaps of historical narratives and to realize that such canons and texts are never complete.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2001. p. 456 Edition: 1
Keywords
Britain, the United States, history, literature
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
HUMANITIES, Literary studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-2270 (URN)91-44-01030-3 (ISBN)
Available from: 2010-03-09 Created: 2010-03-09 Last updated: 2016-01-19Bibliographically approved
Organisations
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ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-5076-0468

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