Chris Danta

Associate Professor

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, AngelakiTextual 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.

Subject areas

Publications

Books
add
2018, Animal Fables after Darwin Literature, Speciesism, and Metaphor, Cambridge University Press,
2018
Danta C, 2011, Literature Suspends Death: Sacrifice and Storytelling in Kierkegaard, Kafka and Blanchot, Original, Continuum, London and New York
2011
Book Chapters
add
Danta C, 2014, 'Derrida: Derrida and the test of secrecy', in Interpreting Abraham: Journeys to Moriah, pp. 187 - 209
2014
Danta C, 2013, 'Animal Bachelors and Animal Brides: Fabulous Metamorphosis in Kafka and Garnett', in Moran B; Salzani C (ed.), Philosophy and Kafka, edn. Original, Lexington Books, Lanham, pp. 123 - 140
2013
Danta C, 2012, '"The cold illucid world": The Poetics of Gray in Cormac McCarthy's The Road', in Murphet J; Steven M (ed.), Styles of Extinction: Cormac McCarthy's The Road, edn. Original, Continuum, New York, pp. 9 - 26
2012
Danta C, 2011, 'Introduction J.M. Coetzee: The Janus Face of Authority', in Danta C; Kossew S; Murphet J (ed.), Strong Opinions: J.M. Coetzee and the Authority of Contemporary Fiction, edn. Original, Continuum, London and New York, pp. xi - xx
2011
Danta C, 2011, 'Revolution at a Distance: Jane Austen and Personalised History', in Russo S; Napton D; Cousins AD (ed.), The French Revolution and the British Novel in the Romantic Period, edn. Original, Peter Lang, New York and Oxford, pp. 137 - 152
2011
Danta C, 2011, 'The Melancholy Ape: Coetzee's Fables of Animal Finitude', in Danta C; Kossew S; Murphet J (ed.), Strong Opinions: J.M. Coetzee and the Authority of Contemporary Fiction, edn. Original, Continuum, London and New York, pp. 125 - 140
2011
Danta C, 2008, 'The Animal Substitutes', in Lloyd F (ed.), The Finlay Lloyd Book About Animals, edn. Original, Finlay Lloyd Publishers, Braidwood, NSW, pp. 87 - 97
2008
Danta C, 2005, '`The Absolutely Dark Moment of the Plot`: Blanchot`s Abraham', in HIll L; Nelson B; Vardoulakis D (ed.), After Blanchot: Literature, Criticism, Philosophy, edn. First, Univesity of Delaware Press, Newark, pp. 205 - 221
2005
Conference Presentations
add
Danta C, 2008, 'The Scientific Ape: Robert Louis Stevenson and the Post-Darwinian Fable', presented at RLS 2008, Bergamo, Italy, 12 July 2007 - 13 July 2007
2008
Danta C, 2005, 'Transuming Abraham: Fear and Trembling and the Poetics of Identification', presented at 1st International Kierkegaard in Asia Conference, University of Melbourne, 01 December 2005
2005
Danta C, 2004, 'The Absolutely Dark Moment of the Plot', presented at Blanchot’s Abraham, International Colloquium: “Blanchot, the Obscure”, 01 January 2004
2004
Journal articles
add
2018, 'The Theology of Personification: Allegory and Nonhuman Agency in the Work of T. F. Powys', Modernism/modernity, vol. 25, pp. 709 - 728,
2018
Danta C, 2018, 'Eurydice's curse: J. M. Coetzee and the prospect of death', Australian Literary Studies, vol. 33,
2018
Danta C, 2015, 'Acrobats and ascetics: Peter Sloterdijk and the aesthetics of verticality', European Journal of English Studies, vol. 19, pp. 66 - 80,
2015
Chrulew M; Danta C, 2014, 'Fabled thought: On Jacques Derrida's the beast & the sovereign', Sub-Stance, vol. 43, pp. 3 - 9,
2014
Danta C, 2014, '"Might sovereignty be devouring?" Derrida and the fable', Sub-Stance, vol. 43, pp. 37 - 49,
2014
Danta C, 2013, 'The new solitude: Melancholy anthropomorphism and the molecular gaze', English Studies in Canada, vol. 39, pp. 71 - 86,
2013
Danta C, 2013, 'Derrida and the test of secrecy', Angelaki - Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, vol. 18, pp. 61 - 75,
2013
Danta C, 2012, 'The future will have been animal: Dr Moreau and the aesthetics of monstrosity', Textual Practice, vol. 26, pp. 687 - 705,
2012
Danta C, 2010, 'The Metaphysical Cut: Darwin and Stevenson on Vivisection', Victorian Review: an interdisciplinary journal of victorian studies, vol. 36, pp. 51 - 65,
2010
Danta C, 2009, 'Kafka and Cultural Zionism: Dates in Palestine', MODERNISM-MODERNITY, vol. 16, pp. 629 - 631,
2009
Danta C, 2009, 'Coetzee`s Animal Afterlives', Southerly, vol. 69,
2009
Danta C, 2009, 'Kafka and Photography', MODERNISM-MODERNITY, vol. 16, pp. 629 - 631,
2009
Danta C, 2008, 'Sarah's laughter: Kafka's Abraham', Modernism - Modernity, vol. 15, pp. 343 - 359,
2008
Danta C; Vardoulakis D, 2008, 'The Political Animal', Sub-Stance, vol. 37, pp. 3 - 6
2008
Danta C; Vardoulakis D, 2008, 'The Political Animal Foreword', SubStance, vol. 37, pp. 3 - 6,
2008
Danta C, 2008, 'Kafka`s Mousetrap: The Fable of the Dying Voice', SubStance, vol. 37, pp. 152 - 168,
2008
Danta C, 2007, 'The Poetics of Distance: Kierkegaard`s Abraham', Literature and Theology, vol. 21, pp. 160 - 177,
2007
Danta C, 2007, '`Like a dog ..... like a lamb`: Becoming Sacrificial Animal in Kafka and Coetzee', New Literary History, vol. 38.4, pp. 721 - 739,
2007
Danta C, 2006, 'Two versions of death: The transformation of the literary corpse in Kafka and Stevenson', Textual Practice, vol. 20, pp. 281 - 300,
2006
Danta C, 2005, 'Disclosing Spaces: On Painting' by Andrew Benjamin', AUSTRALIAN HUMANITIES REVIEW,
2005
Danta C, 2005, 'The Dark Gaze: Maurice Blanchot and the Sacred', COLLOQUY-TEXT THEORY CRITIQUE, pp. 328 - 330,
2005