Associate Professor Chris Danta

Associate Professor

BA (ANU), BA (hons) (Melbourne), PhD. (Monash)

Centre for Modernism Studies in Australia, School of the Arts & Media


+61 2 9385 2282
+61 2 9385 6812
211, Level 2 Robert Webster
Kensington Campus
Fields: British and Irish Literature, Comparative Literature Studies
Tags: Languages and Literature

I did a BA at ANU, received honours in English at the University of Melbourne, before completing a PhD. in Comparative Literature at Monash University. From 2009-2011, I was an ARC Postdoctoral Fellow. I am currently associate professor in English at UNSW.

I have sole authored two books, co-edited two books and co-edited three special issues of journals. I have published articles in international peer-reviewed journals such as New Literary History, SubStance, Angelaki, Textual Practice, Literature and Theology and Modernism/modernity.

My research operates at the intersection of literary theory, philosophy, science and theology. My first book, Literature Suspends Death: Sacrifice and Storytelling in Kierkegaard, Kafka and Blanchot (Bloomsbury, 2011), theorises the idea of literature in Kierkegaard, Kafka and Blanchot based on the treatment by these writers of the sacrifice of Isaac in Genesis 22. My second book, Animal Fables after Darwin: Literature, Speciesism, and Metaphor (Cambridge University Press, 2018), emerges from an ARC-funded Discovery project and demonstrates how the rise of the biological sciences in the second half of the nineteenth century provides literary writers such as Stevenson, H. G. Wells, T. F. Powys, David Garnett, Franz Kafka and J. M. Coetzee with new material for the fable, new ways to exploit the grotesque comparison of human and ape. After Darwin, it claims, certain writers turn to the beast fable to express a new kind of biological existentialism that problematises traditional philosophical and theological conceptions of the human by thinking the human predominantly in relation to its biological milieu.


Teaching and Supervision

I have taught the following courses at UNSW: Introduction to Literary Genre; 19th Century Prose; The English Canon; Modernism and Modernity; Jane Austen in Context; Crime Fiction, Theatre and Film and Literary Animals, Monsters and Machines.

Engagement and Professional contributions

I am currently president of the Australasian Association for Literature:

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