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John Öwre

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I am a senior lecturer in English Literature, with a particular research interest in British and other European literature of the Romantic period. I am particularly interested in the religious, philosophical and scientific dimensions of Romantic thought, the transition between Romanticism and modernism, as well as the various afterlives - direct or indirect - of Romantic thought in the postmodern era.

My doctoral thesis, which I defended in 2023, reexamined the treatment of sense perception in the works of William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a topic which sits at the heart of the definition of British Romanticism. In my thesis, I argue that the two poets' works can be seen as staging a dialogue between two mutually incompatible habits of sense perception, with Coleridge experiencing perception as metaphysically divisive and Wordsworth experiencing it as metaphysically unifying. I conclude that this dialogue represents a radical and philosophically significant attempt to combine transcendent values with a tangible and intuitive connection to real objects, a pursuit of transcendent objectivity that in a number of ways problematizes the conventional reading of Romanticism as an 'inward turn.'

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