Erik Zillén

Erik Zillén

Senior lecturer, Docent

Personal profile


Knowledge, dialogue, and understanding: these are the key concepts for me as academic teacher. Giving classes in literary studies resembles, in my experience, being on a never-ending group excursion through times, thoughts, and texts. I teach and supervise on all levels within my discipline, Comparative literature, from introduction classes to PhD-projects. In particular, I enjoy lecturing on literary history: the encounter with literary works from the past gives a relieving distance to the present and creates a feeling of solidarity with individuals from other epochs. Besides teaching at Lund University, and for a couple of years at Stockholm University, I have given lectures and seminars at several European universities, especially at Uniwersytet Jagiellonski in Cracow and Ludwig-Maximilans-Universität in Munich, as well as on international summer courses organised by the Swedish Institute.


As a literary scholar, I have done research foremost on the works of the Swedish fin-de-siècle poet Gustaf Fröding and on the history of the Aesopic fable in early modern Europe. My monographs Den lekande Fröding. En författarskapsstudie (524 pp.) and Fabelbruk i svensk tidigmodernitet. En genrehistorisk studie (672 pp.) are both written in Swedish. However, several articles, especially on fable history, I have published in English, German, and Polish. In an ongoing project I investigate the crucial role of the Roman god Mercury in early modern European news press. In my scholarly work, I activate a broad range of problems and perspectives: literature as language game, genre questions, intertextuality, myth theory, reception history, moral normativity, the intersection of man and animal, etcetera. Of daily importance to me are my international networks, springing partly from working periods as Swedish lecturer at the university in Cracow and as guest researcher at the university in Munich, partly from engagement in scholarly associations such as International Reynard Society.


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