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
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Danta C, 2018, Animal Fables after Darwin: Literature, Speciesism, and Metaphor, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/9781108552394
2018
Danta C, 2011, Literature Suspends Death: Sacrifice and Storytelling in Kierkegaard, Kafka and Blanchot, Original, Bloomsbury, New York
2011
Book Chapters
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Danta C; Groth H, 2014, 'Introduction: Between Minds', in Danta C; Groth H (ed.), Mindful Aesthetics: Literature and the Science of Mind, edn. 1, Bloomsbury, New York, pp. 1 - 14, http://dx.doi.org/10.5040/9781472543707
2014
Danta C, 2014, 'Derrida and the Test of Secrecy', in Interpreting Abraham: Journeys to Moriah, Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 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, '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, 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, 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
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Danta C, 2007, 'The Scientific Ape: Robert Louis Stevenson and the Post-Darwinian Fable', presented at RLS 2008, Bergamo, Italy, 12 July 2007 - 13 July 2007
2007
Danta C, 2005, 'Transuming Abraham: Fear and Trembling and the Poetics of Identification', presented at 1st International Kierkegaard in Asia Conference, University of Melbourne
2005
Danta C, 2004, 'The Absolutely Dark Moment of the Plot', presented at Blanchot’s Abraham, International Colloquium: “Blanchot, the Obscure”
2004
Edited Books
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Groth H; Danta C, (ed.), 2014, Mindful Aesthetics. Literature and the Science of Mind, Bloomsbury, New York
2014
Danta C; Kossew SR; Murphet JS, (eds.), 2011, Strong Opinions: J. M. Coetzee and the Authority of Contemporary Fiction, Bloomsbury, New York, https://www.bloomsbury.com/au/strong-opinions-9781441105301/
2011
Journal articles
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Danta C, 2019, 'Panpsychism and speculative evolutionary aesthetics in Samuel Butler's 'The Book of the Machines'', TEXTUAL PRACTICE, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0950236X.2019.1652679
2019
Danta C, 2018, 'Eurydice's Curse: J. M. Coetzee and the Prospect of Death', Australian Literary Studies, vol. 33, http://dx.doi.org/10.20314/als.5a6d5f0afc
2018
Danta C, 2018, 'The Theology of Personification: Allegory and Nonhuman Agency in the Work of T. F. Powys', Modernism/modernity, vol. 25, pp. 709 - 728, http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/mod.2018.0056
2018
Danta C, 2015, 'Acrobats and ascetics: Peter Sloterdijk and the aesthetics of verticality', European Journal of English Studies, vol. 19, pp. 66 - 80, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13825577.2015.1004918
2015
Danta C, 2014, '"Might sovereignty be devouring?" Derrida and the fable', Sub-Stance, vol. 43, pp. 37 - 49, http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/sub.2014.0014
2014
Chrulew M; Danta C, 2014, 'Fabled thought: On Jacques Derrida's the beast & the sovereign', Sub-Stance, vol. 43, pp. 3 - 9, http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/sub.2014.0023
2014
Danta C, 2013, 'The New Solitude: Melancholy Anthropomorphism and the Molecular Gaze', English Studies in Canada, vol. 39, pp. 71 - 86, http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/esc.2013.0017
2013
Danta C, 2013, 'Derrida and the Test of Secrecy', Angelaki - Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, vol. 18, pp. 61 - 75, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0969725X.2013.804991
2013
Danta C, 2012, 'The future will have been animal: Dr Moreau and the aesthetics of monstrosity', Textual Practice, vol. 26, pp. 687 - 705, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0950236X.2012.696490
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, http://web.uvic.ca/victorianreview/contents.html
2010
Danta C, 2009, 'Coetzee`s Animal Afterlives', Southerly, vol. 69, http://www.brandl.com.au/Southerly/southerly%20longpaddock/1-69/danta.html
2009
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, http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/sub.0.0025
2008
Danta C, 2008, 'Kafka's Mousetrap: The Fable of the Dying Voice', SubStance, vol. 37, pp. 152 - 168, http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/sub.0.0014
2008
Danta C, 2008, 'Sarah's Laughter: Kafka's Abraham', Modernism/Modernity, vol. 15, pp. 343 - 359, http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/mod.2008.0048
2008
Danta C, 2007, 'The Poetics of Distance: Kierkegaard`s Abraham', Literature and Theology, vol. 21, pp. 160 - 177, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/frm009
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, http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/nlh.2008.0011
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, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09502360600703302
2006