Aarhus Universitets segl

Historical, Social and Cultural Innovaiton

Kontaktperson: Inger H. Dalsgaard ( engihd@hum.au.dk ) | lektor | Afdeling for Engelsk Filologi

Projektdeltagere: klik her

The purpose of this project is to contribute to our understanding of the historical, social and cultural aspects of our knowledge society, in particular the innovative processes, forms and concerns involved in developing and maintaining a knowledge based society which uses information technology in its widest possible definition. In this respect our intention is to broaden the definition of knowledge societies to include observations which link knowledge to information, communication and creative societies.

The many initiatives contained within this project - “Historical, Social and Cultural Innovation” – investigate the ways and means by which new information, new images and new understanding can be and have been conveyed to larger audiences. As part of this investigation, different definitions of popular culture and high culture will be sought better to understand the way in which innovation influences form and the way culture reaches, informs and influences members of the knowledge society.

Innovations of form, message and content in presenting knowledge of subjects will be analyzed in work on e.g. the popularization or “selling” of science and engineering through cultural products and narratives, or the historical and cultural “re-branding” and rediscovery of popular holiday destinations through the development of “destination images”.

Another entrance into innovative ways, formal as well as commercial, to communicate information in a cultural, social and historical context, lies in case studies of specific recording artists who, in a dynamic, influential and commercially powerful industry, have used new recording techniques and invented novel lyrical or structural forms. We will argue that the pioneering engagement of such artists with non-western and unfamiliar cultural traditions and resources has provided new sources of information to mass audiences in the contemporary knowledge society.

Our investigations will also seek to chart an innovating movement - through time and cultures – which can be associated with the development of society, technology and economy as well as with artistic responses to these. As knowledge societies have undergone modernizing processes, so literature, drama, art, film and philosophy have reinvented themselves formally and reflected on the ramifications of the latestdevelopments. Studies will be made of the ways in which certain creative artists, periods or movements have “made it new” and examples will be given of how specific cultures readily challenge or incorporate others through new and innovative form.

Opnåede projektresultater for 2006

  • Publications/manuscripts submitted


  1. Article(MS): “Parodying Postmodernism: Muriel Spark (The Driver’s Seat) and Robbes-Grillet (Jealousy)”, in English, 2007 (AD)
  2. Article: ‘Rising Songs: The Japanese-American relationship in Van Dyke Parks’ Tokyo Rose,’ in Lina Unali and Elisabetta Marino (eds), New Asian-American Writers: Literature and Visual Arts (Rome: Sun Moon Lake Telematic Editions, 2006) (DC)
  3. Pennington, Jody. “Stuck in the Middle with You: Dilemmas of the Mass Media of Covering Terrorism in the Information Age.” P. O. V. 20 (December) (2005): 94-104. (JWP)
  4. "Seeing What's Not There Instead of What Is: Childlessness and Infertility in the Adaptation of Who's Afraid of Virginia." From Camera Lens to Critical Lens: A Collection of Best Essays on Film Adaptation. Ed. Rebecca Housel. Cambridge Scholars Press, 2006. 21-32. (JWP)
  5. Review article (MS): “Best and Kellner, The Postmodern Adventure: Science, Technology and Cultural Studies”, Pynchon Notes, (IHD)
  6. Essay (MS)"'The Soil Whose Touch Would Resurrect': Knut Hamsun, Jean Toomer and International Agrarian Modernism" (PM)


  • Conferences, seminars, workshops


  1. Conference: "Popularisation of Science and Technology in the European Periphery", 5th STEP Meeting, Museu de Menorca (Maó) Minorca, 1-3 June (PCK)
  2. Paper: "Electric Adventures and Natural Wonders -Exhibitions, Museums and Gardens in Nineteenth-Century Denmark”, STEP Conference (RSK)
  3. Paper: “Newspapers' views on science and technology in Denmark”, STEP Conference (PCK, HHH, CA)
  4. Paper: “Science and Satire. Representations of Science in Danish Popular Media 1875-1925”, STEP Conference (PCK)
  5. Participation, Annual Canadian Studies Conference of the GKS, Grainau, Feb 2006 (RCT).
  6. ASANOR/NACS Conference, Oct 2006 (RCT).
  7. “Kultur, Teknologi og Innovation - mellem videnssamfundet og det kreative samfund”, Videnssamfundet, konference, AU, 4-5 Maj 2006 (IHD)
  8. Paper :“Hot-Wired: From Printed to Digital Interaction in the Peri-Narrative Realms of Toys and Romance”, ESSE-8 Conference, London, Aug 2006 (IHD)
  9. Workshop series “Innovation” (all)


  • Formidling, teaching, guest lectures, media


  1. MA Course proposal: “Technology Run Amok: Sci-Fi Dystopia” (IHD, RT)
  2. MA Course proposal: “Noh Business Like Show Business: Exoticism and the Music of Van Dyke Parks” (DC)
  3. MA Course proposal: “Dylan”(JWP and AD)
  4. MA Course proposal: "Back to the Land: Escaping the City 1890-1940" (PM)
  5. MA Course ‘Scotch and the Rock: history and culture in Scotland and Newfoundland’, Spring 2006 (RCT)
  6. MA course: ‘The True North? Canadian National Myths’, Autumn 2006 (RCT)
  7. BA Course: ‘Celtic Fringes: The Culture and History of Wales, Scotland, Ireland and their Diasporas (incl. Atlantic Canada)’, Spring 2006 (RCT)
  8. MA Course proposal: ‘Long Night’s Journey Into Day: The Apocalyptic Vision in Melville,  Dickinson, Faulkner, and O’Neill (MR)
  9. BA Course proposal: ‘American Subtropical’ (JWP)

Forventede projektresultater/produkter:


  • Publications/manuscripts submitted


  1. Book ( MS ), “Myths of Technology in the US (IHD)
  2. Article ( MS ) “Beyond the Stars and Stripes: Caribbean-American Connections in the Work of Van Dyke Parks” to be submitted to Comparative American Studies (2006) (DC)
  3. Article ( MS ) “Dylan” (JWP and AD)
  4. Essay ( MS ) “Messages from the Black Box: “Remote Knowing” in Pynchon and Science”, Pynchon Notes (IHD)


  • Conferences, seminars, workshops


  1. Paper proposed: ‘Components of Heritage: Comparing the Symbolic Landscapes of Atlantic Canada and the Southwest Coast of Florida’ (JWP, RCT)
  2. Participation, Annual Canadian Studies Conference of the GKS, Grainau, Feb 2007 (RCT)
  3. Workshop series “Innovation” (all)


  • Formidling, teaching, guest lectures, media


  1. BA Course proposal: ‘'Celtic Fringes': Scottish, Irish and Welsh diaspora cultures’ (RCT)
  2. Guest lecture “Selling German Science in the US” University of Heidelberg (IHD)


  • Publications/manuscripts submitted


  1. PHD thesis ”Tragedy and the Tragic in American Drama as Oppositional Modus to the European Definitions” (MR)
  2. Article ( MS ): ‘Components of Heritage: Comparing the Symbolic Landscapes of Atlantic Canada and the Southwest Coast of Florida’ (JWP, RCT)


  • Conferences, seminars, workshops


  1. Co-organization: European Society for the Study of English conference (ESSE 9) Department of English, University of Aarhus (RCT, JWP et al.)
  2. Paper proposed for ESSE 9 (JWP; RCT).
  3. 2. Workshop proposed for ESSE 9: “Tourism and Innovation” (JWP; RCT)
  4. ‘Songs for Children: Smile and Romanticism,’ paper to be proposed for ESSE 9 conference (DC)
  5. Paper proposed for ESSE 9 conference (JWP and AD)
  6. Workshop proposed for ESSE 9 conference (JWP and AD)
  7. Co-organization: Nordic Association for Canadian Studies, 9 th Triennial Conference, Tromsø, August 2008 (RCT).
  8. Workshop series “Innovation” (all)


  •     Formidling, teaching, guest lectures, media


  1. MA Course proposal: “Nuclear Arms Development in Film and Literature” (IHD)
  2. MA Course proposal: Art Into Pop: Van Dyke Parks' Literary Lyricism (DC)


Dale Carter ( engdc@hum.au.dk ) | lektor | Afdeling for Engelsk Filologi

Aidan Day ( engad@hum.au.dk ) | professor | Afdeling for Engelsk Filologi

Peter C. Kjærgaard ( idepck@hum.au.dk ) | lektor | Institut for Filosofi og Idéhistorie

Peter Mortensen ( engpm@hum.au.dk ) | lektor | Afdeling for Engelsk Filologi

Jody Pennington ( engjwp@hum.au.dk ) | lektor | Afdeling for Engelsk Filologi

Mia Rendix ( engmr@hum.au.dk ) | Ph.d. studerende | Afdeling for Engelsk Filologi

Rikke Schmidt Kjærgaard ( rikke.schmidt.kjaergaard@si.au.dk ) | Forskningsassistent | Afdeling for videnskabshistorie

Hans Henrik Hjermitslev ( hanshenrik@hjermitslev.dk ) | Ekstern lektor | Institut for Filosofi og Idéhistorie

Casper Andersen ( ideca@hum.au.dk ) | Ph.d. studerende | Institut for Filosofi og Idéhistorie

Robert C. Thomsen ( engrt@hum.au.dk ) | adjunkt | Afdeling for Engelsk Filologi

American Studies Center, Aarhus | Afdeling for Engelsk

Center for STS-Studier | IMV