Trust and Risk in Literature Research Group

Project

  • Bangor University
  • Tokyo Keizai University
  • University of California, Irvine
  • Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3
  • Lancaster University
  • Yamanashi Prefectural University
  • Tel Aviv University (TAU), Tel Aviv
  • Exeter University
See relations at Aarhus University
In Macbeth, Duncan, the king, calls the traitor Cawdor, who has just been executed, ‘a man upon whom I built an absolute trust’. A moment later he gives Cawdor’s titles and the trust that goes with them to Macbeth who promptly murders the king in his sleep. ‘Trust’ is a thing that Shakespeare and writers of many periods had a deep interest in exploring, a notion that changes as the newer concept of ‘risk’ is introduced in the 17th century. Literary criticism has failed to explore this aspect of literature despite vigorous new research in ‘Trust Studies’ in other fields such as business studies, systems management, governance, law, economics, and social anthropology. This is particularly surprising as issues of trust and risk have been foregrounded in texts as diverse as Shakespeare and early modern writers as well as 20th and 21st century authors like J.M. Coetzee and Michel Houellebecq.

This new network aims to explore how best to connect the ethical, philosophical and linguistic expertise of literary studies to this growing research in ‘Trust Studies’, which identifies risk as a way to modify traditional understandings of trust. One aim of this multicultural and interdisciplinary network will be to begin to trace a history of literary engagement with trust at different moments of cultural crisis—the Reformation, the English Civil Wars, the Industrial Revolution, the British Empire, WWII, American hegemony, the dominance of Capitalism and so on. Another aim will be to identify how trust was visualised in different modes of experience—between individuals such as kinsmen and lovers, or trust between a populace and the institutions of governance. A third Aim will be to explore how the relatively recent notion of risk (a word that dates, in English, from the 17th century) changes the way in which writers engage with crisis.
StatusCurrent
Period01/01/201631/12/2017
URLhttp://projects.au.dk/trust-and-risk-in-literature-network/

Activities

ID: 98710488