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Dr Jesper Gulddal Sorensen

Senior Lecturer

School of Humanities and Social Science (English)

Moving with the times

The University of Newcastle's Head of English, Dr Jesper Gulddal, has always been fascinated by travel adventure stories, but gone are the days when fictional characters were footloose and fancy free to navigate a plot's twists and turns on a whim.

Dr Jesper Gulddal 

"Traditionally, many novels based their plots on travelling and free mobility – on adventures encountered on the road," Dr Gulddal says. "But mobility of the carefree type – where you simply depart – ceased to exist in many places more than 200 years ago. Modernity is precisely an age of movement control, and my point is that this has deeply affected the genre of the novel."

Dr Gulddal has been focusing his research energies on a book project on movement control – passports, borders and immigration law – from the point of view of literary history. With the introduction of modern movement control as of the late 18th century, the free and easy style of narrative becomes more and more implausible.

An early example illustrating this is Henry Fielding's Tom Jones. This novel is still based on free mobility but at the same time, Fielding is keen to contain this mobility and the subversiveness associated with it. And he does that, Dr Gulddal notes, via formal innovations that echo the proposals for a British passport system he made as a London magistrate.

"But this is just the beginning of the story," Dr Gulddal says. "In the 19th century, the highly restrictive passport systems in continental Europe are associated with a type of novel driven by the attempts to subvert or avoid the control measures – Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities and Stendhal's The Charterhouse of Parma are good examples of this.

"And in the 20th century, the drama of the refugee or the stateless person confronted with closed borders becomes a key theme of many novels."

Often, the passport motif is used as a means of criticising movement control in the name of either individual freedom or social inclusiveness, Dr Gulddal says. "Think of a novel like T.C. Boyle's The Tortilla Curtain from 1995. What we find here is a fictional space totally dominated by different kinds of borders and movement restrictions. And the point seems to be these borders are ultimately just a means of upholding an unequal distribution of wealth, rights and opportunity. At the end of the day, they lead to misery on both sides.

"I'm also interested in the methodological implications of this research," Dr Gulddal adds. "I like to think of the passport motif as an interface that connects a specific historical mode of controlling movement and, on the other hand, a specific way of writing novels. In this sense, the passport motif doesn't just anchor a fictional text historically, but provides the starting point for a narrative interpretation of movement control as one of the defining institutions of modernity."

Dr Gulddal, who has a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Copenhagen (2005), completed his postdoctoral work at Cambridge before accepting a senior lecturer position at Newcastle in 2010.

His former research project focused on anti-Americanism and resulted in the monograph Anti-Americanism in European Literature.

"What interested me about anti-Americanism was not so much the topicality or the controversies, but rather the historical derivations and roots," Dr Gulddal says. "I wanted to explore how anti-Americanism is produced and activated in literary texts, how novels are crafted with a view to making an all-out assault on America. And I wanted to make the case as well that literature has been important in disseminating anti-American discourse to a wider audience."

Dr Gulddal explains that literary history is full of examples of authors juxtaposing European refinement and American boorishness. The story of the disillusioned European chasing the American dream and returning home unfulfilled – think of Dickens's Martin Chuzzlewit – is a perfect example of this.

Dr Jesper Gulddal highlight

Moving with the times

Dr Jesper Gulddal, has always been fascinated by travel adventure stories, but gone are the days when fictional characters were footloose and fancy free.

Read more

Career Summary

Biography

Jesper Gulddal has a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Copenhagen (2005). He completed his postdoctoral work in Clare Hall College, University of Cambridge (2005-2010), and took up his present job as senior lecturer in English at the University of Newcastle in 2010. Main research interests: anti-Americanism in European literature, borders and passports in literature, new developments in literary theory and criticism.

Research Expertise
- 19th century literature - the novel - Literary Theory and Literary Criticism after "Theory" - Anti-Americanism in British and European Literature - Movement Control and Borders in literature



Qualifications

  • PhD, University of Copenhagen - Denmark
  • Cand Mag (MA) in Comparative Literature, University of Copenhagen - Denmark
  • Diploma in Higher Education (Learning & Teaching), University of Copenhagen - Denmark

Keywords

  • 19th-century literature
  • 20th-century literature
  • Anti-Americanism in European literature
  • Comparative literature
  • Detective fiction
  • History of the novel
  • Literary theory and criticism
  • Movement control and passports in literature
  • World Literature

Languages

  • German (Fluent)
  • French (Fluent)

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
200599 Literary Studies not elsewhere classified 50
209999 Language, Communication and Culture not elsewhere classified 50

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Senior Lecturer University of Newcastle
School of Humanities and Social Science
Australia

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/01/2009 - 1/01/2010 Conjoint Research Fellow University of Copenhagen
Denmark
1/01/2006 - 1/01/2009 Carlsberg Research Fellow University of Cambridge
United Kingdom
1/01/2006 - 1/01/2010 Postdoctoral Associate University of Cambridge
United Kingdom
1/01/2005 - 1/01/2006 Clare Hall Visiting Fellow University of Cambridge
United Kingdom
1/01/2004 - 1/01/2005 Lecturer University of Copenhagen
Denmark
1/01/2001 - 1/01/2004 Senior Lecturer University of Copenhagen
Denmark
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Book (7 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2011 Gulddal J, Anti-Americanism in European Literature, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, NY, 252 (2011) [A1]
2008 Sorensen JG, Literary Passport Regimes. Movement Control and Identification in European Literature 1725-1875, Museum Tusculanum/The University of Copenhagen Press, Copenhagen, Denmark, 411 (2008) [A1]
2004 Gulddal J, Mortensen M, Pas. Identitet, kultur og grænser ("Passports. Identity, Culture and Borders"), Information, Copenhagen, 176 (2004)
2003 Gulddal J, Friedrich Schlegel og hermeneutikken. Fragmenter af en teori om forståelsen [Friedrich Schlegel's Hermeneutics. Fragments of a Theory of Understanding], Museum Tusculanum - University of Copenhagen Press, Copenhagen, 116p (2003)
2000 Schlegel F, Athenäum fragmenter og andre skrifter [Athenaeum Fragments and Other Writings], Gyldendal, Copenhagen, 275 (2000)
2000 Schlegel F, Athenäum fragmenter og andre skrifter [Athenaeum Fragments and Other Writings], Gyldendal, Copenhagen, 275 (2000)
1999 Gulddal J, Møller M, Ricoeur P, et al, Hermeneutik. En antologi on forståelsen [Hermeneutics. An Anthology on Understanding"], Gyldendal, Copenhagen, 293p (1999)
Show 4 more books

Chapter (9 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 Sorensen JG, 'Tolkning', Litteratur. Introduktion till teori och analys, Studentlitteratur, Lund 25-35 (2015)
2013 Gulddal J, 'Slanderous Stories. Anti-Americanism in Contemporary European Literature', Expanding the Frontiers of Comparative Literature. Toward an Age of Tolerance., Chung-Ang University Press, Seoul 145-155 (2013) [B1]
2012 Sorensen JG, 'Fortolkning', Litteratur. Introduktion til teori og analyse, Aarhus Universitetsforlag, Aarhus 23-33 (2012) [B1]
2005 Gulddal J, 'Mistænkelige fremmede. Mobilitet og identitet hos Henry Fielding', Europas andre, Tiderne Skifter, Copenhagen 89-100 (2005)
2004 Sorensen JG, '¿Pasificering. Pasfunktioner hos Goethe og Dickens" ("Passification. Passport Functions in Goethe and Dickens").', Pas, Information, Copenhagen 31-42 (2004)
2004 Sorensen JG, Mortensen M, '"Indledning" ("Introduction")', Pas, Information, Copenhagen 7-18 (2004)
2003 Sorensen JG, '¿Ondskab og utopi. Om Johann Gottfried Schnabels Insel Felsenburg¿ (¿Evil and Utopia. Johann Gottfried Schnabel¿s Insel Felsenburg¿)', Det onde i litteraturen, Akademisk Forlag, Copenhagen 66-77 (2003)
2000 Sorensen JG, '"Indledning" ("Introduction")', Athenäum fragmenter og andre skrifter, Gyldendal, Copenhagen 7-27 (2000)
1999 Sorensen JG, Møller M, '"Fra filologi til filosofi. Introduktion til den moderne hermeneutik" ("From Philology to Philosophy. An Introduction to Modern Hermeneutics")', Hermeneutik, Gyldendal, Copenhagen 9-45 (1999)
Show 6 more chapters

Journal article (21 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 Sorensen J, Rolls A, 'Mobile Criticism: Pierre Bayard's Irreverent Hermeneutics', Australian Journal of French Studies, 52 37-52 (2015)
Co-authors Alistair Rolls
2015 Gulddal J, 'The Novel and the Passport: Towards a Literary History of Movement Control', Comparative Literature, 67 131-144 (2015)
DOI 10.1215/00104124-2890937
2014 Sorensen JG, 'Review of Heide Reinhäckel, Traumatische Texturen. Der 11. September in der deutschen Gegenwartsliteratur 354-356 (2014) [C3]
2014 Gulddal J, 'Paper trails: The Austrian passport system in stendhal's la chartreuse de Parme', Arcadia, 49 58-73 (2014) [C1]

A striking yet overlooked feature of Stendhal's La Chartreuse de Parme (1839) is the prominence that this novel accords to passports and movement control practices. This feature i... [more]

A striking yet overlooked feature of Stendhal's La Chartreuse de Parme (1839) is the prominence that this novel accords to passports and movement control practices. This feature is a product of the novel's historical surroundings. During the post-Napoleonic Restoration, the passport had become a favoured instrument of power for absolutist governments across Europe, and the Austrian Empire in particular had set up a notoriously restrictive passport system, extending also to the Austrian possessions and client states in Northern Italy - the scene of Stendhal's narrative. Tracing the numerous references to the Austrian movement control regime, this article argues that the passport motif should be seen, not simply as a "reality effect" or a metaphor for identity conflicts, but as an interface linking a specific political practice and a specific literary form. Thus, the novel provides ample historically accurate information about the contemporary passport system, yet at the same time uses this information as a structuring device that crucially informs the articulation of its space, plot, and major themes. By virtue of this structural centrality, the passport motif opens up a new political dimension in a novel that has often been seen simply as an escapist fantasy.

DOI 10.1515/arcadia-2014-0004
2014 Gulddal J, 'Henry fieldings proposals for an internal British passport system', ANQ - Quarterly Journal of Short Articles Notes and Reviews, 27 153-157 (2014) [C1]
DOI 10.1080/0895769X.2014.997628
2014 Gulddal J, 'Paper Trails. The Austrian Passport System in Stendhal¿s La Chartreuse de Parme', Arcadia, 49 58-73 (2014) [C1]
2013 Sorensen JG, 'Narratives of Resentment: Notes towards a Literary History of European Anti-Americanism', New Literary History: a journal of theory and interpretation, 44 493-513 (2013) [C1]
2013 Gulddal J, 'PASSPORT PLOTS: B. TRAVEN'S DAS TOTENSCHIFF AND THE CHRONOTOPE OF MOVEMENT CONTROL', German Life and Letters, 66 292-307 (2013) [C1]
DOI 10.1111/glal.12017
2013 Sorensen JG, Sneddon HL, 'War stories: Narrative sense-making in German Eastern front soldier memoirs', Sic! A Journal of Literature, Culture and Literary Translation, 2 1-8 (2013) [C1]
2012 Sorensen JG, 'Contrasting visions: Perceptions of America in Henrik Ibsen's Pillars of Society', Nineteenth-Century Contexts, 34 289-304 (2012) [C1]
2009 Gulddal J, 'The Most Hateful Land. Romanticism and the Birth of Modern Anti-Americanism', Journal of European Studies (Chalfont Saint Giles), 39 419-454 (2009) [C1]
DOI 10.1177/0047244109344796
Citations Scopus - 2Web of Science - 1
2009 Sorensen JG, 'The Most Hateful Land. Romanticism and the Birth of Modern Anti-Americanism', Journal of European Studies (Chalfont Saint Giles), 39 419-454 (2009) [C1]
DOI 10.1177/0047244109344796
Citations Scopus - 2Web of Science - 1
2007 Gulddal J, 'En supermagt ser rødt. Antiamerikanisme i europæisk samtidslitteratur', Kritik, 2-21 (2007)
2007 Sorensen JG, 'A Superpower goes crazy. Anti-Americanism in Contemporary European Literature', Kritik, 184 2-21 (2007) [C1]
2007 Sorensen JG, 'En supermagt ser rødt. Antiamerikanisme i europæisk samtidslitteratur (A Superpower goes crazy. Anti-Americanism in Contemporary European Literature)', Kritik, 2-21 (2007)
2007 Sorensen JG, 'The One Great Hyperpower in the Sky. Anti-Americanism in Contemporary European Literature', Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 20 677-692 (2007) [C1]
DOI 10.1080/09557570701680720
2006 Sorensen JG, 'Land of Destruction. Aspects of Literary Anti--Americanism in the Interwar Years', Passage, 55 17-36 (2006) [C1]
2004 Sorensen JG, 'På flugt. Den romantiske individualitet i Stendhals La Chartreuse de Parme (On the Run. Romantic Individuality in Stendhal¿s La Chartreuse de Parme)', Litteraturkritik & Romantikstudier, 3-14 (2004)
2004 Gulddal J, 'Beskyttelse, bevægelseskontrol, identifikation. Træk af pasvæsenets historie', Politik, 7 13-22 (2004)
2003 Gulddal J, 'Das 'bessere' und das 'gerade so gute' Verstehen. Friedrich Schlegels hermeneutischer Dobbelblick"', Text & Kontext, 25 33-64 (2003)
2000 Sorensen JG, 'Plottet mod plottet. Nicholson Baker og den ikke-lineære roman (The Plot Against the Plot. Nicholson Baker and the Non-Linear Novel)', K&K, 71-95 (2000)
Show 18 more journal articles

Review (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 Sorensen JG, 'Review of: Pierre Bayard, Il existe d'autres mondes (2015)
DOI 10.1093/fs/knv001
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 7
Total funding $13,500

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20151 grants / $2,000

American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) Convention, Washington USA, 26-29 March 2015$2,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts
Project Team Doctor Jesper Gulddal Sorensen
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2015
GNo G1500096
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20132 grants / $2,000

XXth Congress of the International Comparative Literature Association, Sorbonne, Paris, 18- 24 July 2013$1,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts
Project Team Doctor Jesper Gulddal Sorensen
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2013
Funding Finish 2013
GNo G1300346
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

Liberty and Limits 1789-1920, Sydney Australia, 5-6 December 2013$500

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts
Project Team Doctor Jesper Gulddal Sorensen
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2013
Funding Finish 2013
GNo G1301336
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20121 grants / $1,500

Migration, memory and Place, University of Copenhagen, 5 - 7 December 2012$1,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts
Project Team Doctor Jesper Gulddal Sorensen
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2012
Funding Finish 2012
GNo G1200794
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20112 grants / $6,500

Movement Control in Twentieth Century Fiction$5,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Doctor Jesper Gulddal Sorensen
Scheme New Staff Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2011
Funding Finish 2011
GNo G1001045
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

The Politics of Anti-Americanism Princeton Univeristy, May 13 2011$1,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts
Project Team Doctor Jesper Gulddal Sorensen
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2011
Funding Finish 2011
GNo G1100295
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20101 grants / $1,500

XIXth Congress of the Int'l Comp. Lit. Association, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, South Korea, 15 - 21 August 2010$1,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts
Project Team Doctor Jesper Gulddal Sorensen
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2010
Funding Finish 2010
GNo G1000750
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed4
Current6

Total current UON EFTSL

Masters0.25
PhD2.25

Current Supervision

Commenced Research Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2015 The Fin(n)ish Line: Cultural Identity Formation in Second Generation Australians
Literature, Faculty of Education and Arts
Co-Supervisor
2015 From Generation to Generation: Searching Through the Archives of History and Memory
Literature, Faculty of Education and Arts
Co-Supervisor
2015 Jane Austen and the Garden, Landscape and Nature
Literature, Faculty of Education and Arts
Principal Supervisor
2014 Deception - Do Fiction Novels with a Historical Content Lead to Reader Deception of the Facts? Is it Essential to Tell Lies or Represent a Perspective and Interpretation of Historical Events to Create Character, Plot and Narrative?
Literature, Faculty of Education and Arts
Co-Supervisor
2013 Modernism and the Russian Fantastic: A Comparative Analysis
Literature, Faculty of Education and Arts
Principal Supervisor
2011 Illness in Memoir
Literature, Faculty of Education and Arts
Co-Supervisor

Past Supervision

Year Research Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2015 The Weight of a Human Heart
Literature, Faculty of Education and Arts
Principal Supervisor
2015 Taking My Breath
Literature, Faculty of Education and Arts
Co-Supervisor
2014 Georges Simenon and the Terrain Vague: Indirect Representations of War
Language and Literature, Faculty of Education and Arts
Co-Supervisor
2013 What Came Between - Short Story Cycle and Critical Exegesis
Literature, Faculty of Education and Arts
Co-Supervisor
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News

Research Directions 2013/2014

Research Directions 2013/2014

May 16, 2014

The new edition of Research Directions from the Faculty of Education and Arts is now available.

Dr Jesper Gulddal Sorensen

Position

Senior Lecturer
English
School of Humanities and Social Science
Faculty of Education and Arts

Focus area

English

Contact Details

Email jesper.gulddal@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 4921 5166

Office

Room MC 135
Building McMullin Building
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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