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Department of European Languages & Cultures

Selma Lagerlöf Network

Bjarne Thorup Thomsen

Bjarne Thorup ThomsenBjarne Thorup Thomsen is Reader in Scandinavian Studies at the University of Edinburgh. His main research interests concern regional, national and transnational dimensions of Scandinavian novel and travel writing, including questions of textual and cultural hybridity. Currently, his work is focused on Scandinavian modernism of the ‘margins’, on ‘affective’ urban spaces in the early work of Nobel Prize-winning proletarian author Eyvind Johnson, and on Scandinavian authors as ‘world reporters’. He has an additional research interest in Scandinavian silent cinema and its dialogic relationship with prestige literature as well as in early Scandinavian film criticism. He is also interested in and has published on Danish literary history and literary history writing more broadly, and he has written on working-class autobiographies.

In 2007 he published a monograph, Lagerlöfs literære landvinding, which explores national mapping and imagination in Selma Lagerlöf. In a related research context, but with a stronger focus on transnational thought, he has investigated Hans Christian Andersen’s novelistic experimentation and his innovations in travel writing in a number of articles and papers and in an edited book of New Approaches (2007) to his work. His work on Lagerlöf and Andersen constitute contributions to the re-assessment of two Scandinavian cultural figures of ‘world literature’ status. The interrogation of notions of centre and periphery, which plays a part in the above work, forms the main focus of a comparative anthology of studies in Scandinavian and Scottish literature, Centring on the Peripheries, which he published in 2007.

Bjarne Thorup Thomsen is co-editor of and contributor to a volume of new international scholarship investigating Lagerlöf’s work and its ‘travels’ into other media and a range of European cultures, Re-Mapping Lagerlöf: Performance, Intermediality and European Transmissions (Lund: Nordic Academic Press, 2014). Alongside this project, he has recently researched new aspects of Lagerlöf’s more marginal production and the relationship of this production to the culture of periodicals. He has also recently completed a commissioned chapter on Eyvind Johnson as a travel writer for a volume on Northern Swedish writers, published in connection with the city of Umeå’s status as European Capital of Culture in 2014.


For further information and for details of publications, see Bjarne’s profile page at Scandinavian Studies