Thomsen, T. B. (Oplægsholder)

Aktivitet: Foredrag og mundtlige bidragKonferenceoplæg


Deltagelse i SASS' (Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Studies) årlige konference. Dett år afholdt i New Orleans. Abstract af mit paper: “We Have Nothing to be Arrogant about: Andersen the Posthumanist” “’How foolish it would be for the violin and bow to boast of their achievements! And yet we human beings often do so. Poets, artists, scientists, generals - we are all proud of ourselves, and yet we're only instruments in the hands of our Lord! To Him alone be the glory! We have nothing to be arrogant about.’” Andersen’s tingseventyr often present objects that quarrel about seemingly trivial issues that turn out to accommodate deep existentialist questions. In “Pen and Inkstand” the office supplies discuss questions about autonomy, causality, conditionality, subjectivity and objectivity. What counts as an acting subject and who is acted upon like an object? In a contemporary posthumanist perspective, this could be seen as a discussion of anthropocentrism that ends with a decentralization of the human. The fairy tale ends by emphasizing a divine perspective under which people and things exist in equality. This is a discussion of the notion of human exceptionality that can be detected throughout the tingseventyr. By endowing things with human traits and at the same time utilising their particular material composition narratively, Andersen can be said to show how humans are not qualitatively different from things, but, on the contrary, determined by their material composition and their material surroundings. Drawing on contemporary posthumanist theory and Object Oriented Philosophy, this talk will present readings of a selection of these tingseventyr. The argument is that Andersen performs a critique of anthropocentric Romantic dogma through an artistic sensibility to the materiality of things as well as explicit deliberations on questions of agency, self-determination, autonomy and conditionality. This critique comes across in a way that seems not only modern but posthuman in its ambition to accentuate human embeddednes in and equality with the world.
Periode28. apr. 20161. maj 2016
BegivenhedstitelSASS: Circulations
PlaceringNew Orleans, USA


  • H.C. Andersen
  • posthumanisme
  • new materialism