Elin Danielsen Huckerby, Magdalene

Degree: PhD
Course: CC
Supervisor: Dr Ross Wilson
Dissertation Title: Whatever the critics criticise. Richard Rorty's philosophy of literature

Biographical Information

After earning an MSc in Computer Technology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), I worked for several years as an engineer, programmer and project manager, before coming to literary studies. I did my BA and MA in Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Bergen (UiB, Norway), and I am currently doing a PhD in Criticism and Culture. 

You can reach me at ed484@cam.ac.uk, or follow me on Twitter as @elindanielsen

Research Interests

My dissertation examines the role of literature in the work of the American pragmatist philosopher Richard Rorty. Literature plays an increasingly significant part in it - both as a source of poignant examples, but also as an idea that forms an integral part of his argumentation. In my dissertation, I aim to give a comprehensive account of his uses of literature, and of the role it plays in his overall philosophical project.

  • Literary theory and philosophy
  • The relationship between literature/fiction and philosophy/truth
  • The philosophical basis of the humanities
  • Literary studies as a discipline and the value of literature
  • Pragmatism and particularly philosophical pragmatism in relation to literary history and theory
  • Wittgenstein
  • Heidegger
  • Nietzsche
  • Hegel
  • William and Henry James
  • Emerson, Thoreau, and American romanticism/transcendentalism
  • The novel as a genre, the novel of ideas
  • 20th century and contemporary fiction
  • Scandinavian literature
  • Critical University Studies
  • The idea of "the university" and the role of the university in society and politics
  • Utopia, utopia in literature, utopia in politics
  • Use, uses, usefulness; purposes, purposiveness; and moral and political agency.
  • Digital technology and its societal and political implications
  • Science-fiction and its other worlds


Areas of Supervision

  • Practical criticism
  • Literary theory
  • Literature and philosophy
  • American romanticism; Herman Melville
  • 20th century and contemporary fiction
  • Scandinavian literature, criticism and literary history