Renegotiating Aesthetic Disinterest for the Literature Classroom


  • Mildrid Bjerke OsloMet



This paper discusses a dialectic between a so-called disinterested appreciation of literature and what I refer to as the ‘neoliberal ethos’. I am interested, primarily, in the influence of this dialectic on literary pedagogy. I will argue that the way in which the neoliberal ethos has permeated educational settings creates a need for a reconceptualised notion of aesthetic disinterest, without which we will struggle to coherently argue for alternative conceptions of the value of education, especially arts and humanities education. I hope to show that reviving the concept of disinterest will facilitate a renegotiation of the literature classroom as a space for genuine aesthetic experience and non-instrumental discussion.

Author Biography

Mildrid Bjerke, OsloMet

Associate professor of English. Department of Primary and Secondary Teacher Education, Oslo Metropolitan University.




How to Cite

Bjerke, M. (2021). Renegotiating Aesthetic Disinterest for the Literature Classroom . Nordic Journal of Art & Research, 10(2).



Articles, peer reviewed