About the Author

Laura Oulanne

E-Mail: laura-amalia.oulanne@helsinki.fi

Website: https://tuhat.halvi.helsinki.fi/portal/en/person/lauraama

Laura Oulanne is a doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki and the University of Giessen. She is working on material things in Djuna Barnes’s and Jean Rhys’s short fiction, focusing on how things work beyond symbolism and narrative functions as affective agents, and how they affect the processes of literary sense-making. Her research interests include modernist literature, new materialisms, theories of affect and emotion, and embodied cognitive literary studies.

Contributions by Author: Laura Oulanne

Affective Bodies

Nonhuman and Human Agencies in Djuna Barnes's Fiction

Reading fiction makes us face all kinds of situations, characters and phenomena that we might consider strange and uncanny, yet enchanting and immersive. This way, it also puts us face to face with the nonhuman in its various forms. Some fictional encounters with the nonhuman may become accentuated and even disturbing, especially ones in which the nonhuman presents itself as profoundly entangled with what we consider as human, which entails elements such as agency based on individual subjectivity, psychologically motivated actions, and capacity for interpretation and understanding. Such entanglements are in no way specific to thematically experiential, generic niches such as science fiction and fantasy, but can also be encountered in, say, modernist prose, as this essay will show.