Mette is a hosted postdoctoral research fellow with her project “The role of literature and the humanities in the development of a consciousness culture and ethics” (funded by the Carlsberg Foundation: https://www.carlsbergfondet.dk/en/Bevillingshaver/Formidling/Bevillingsoversigt/CF20_0302_Mette-Leonard-Hoeeg). The purpose of the project is to establish consciousness research as an interdisciplinary field by integrating in it theories and methodology from the humanities, in particular literature and philosophy. More specifically, the project considers the potential and value of literature for developing concepts of self and subjectivity and existential and ethical models that are compatible with the new materialist explanations of human consciousness - some of which radically contradict common notions and perceptions of the self and human existence - in particular the neuroscientific insights into the absence of a centred and continuous self and free will. While consciousness has only recently become accessible to empirical methods in the natural sciences, it has been an object of great interest and thorough investigation in the literary-philosophical field for centuries. Mette’s interest lies with the works in this field – from the Modernist period through postmodernism and into contemporary literature – that are preoccupied with human enhancement (be it moral or in terms of wellbeing), ego-dissolution and selflessness, altered states of consciousness, the absence of free will, determinism, and alternative forms of subjectivity.
Mette holds a PhD in English from King's College London, an MA in Modern Culture and Literature from the University of Copenhagen, is a Fulbright Alumna and literary critic. Her doctoral thesis is on uncertainty and undecidability of meaning and interpretation in twentieth-century literature and literary theory (forthcoming; Routledge; 2022). She is the editor of the anthology 'Literary Theories of Uncertainty' (Bloomsbury; 2021).