Nordic Literary History Now

Is national literary history writing and teaching in the Nordic countries in crisis? If so, should this crisis be met by an endeavour to defend national literary history, or could it be perceived of as a release of literary history with a beneficent effect on research and teaching?

The starting point of the network Nordic Literary History Now is that current research in literary history and historiography in the Nordic countries suggests the last-mentioned. As Sascha Bru has pointed out, literary history appears as one of main sites of theoretical and methodological development in literary studies at present – a development that takes the general form of a movement from literary history to literary histories in the overlapping fields of amongst others world literature, new comparative literature, translation studies, and digital humanities.

Primary and secondary objectives

It is the purpose of the network’s workshops to explore this development from an offensive and constructive point of view, and the network’s primary objective is to examine the future possibilities of literary history writing in the Nordic countries from an offensive and constructive point of view.

The secondary objectives of the network are:

  • to strengthen the inter-Nordic reflection on the present conditions for writing literary history and to discuss these conditions in relation to international tendencies
  • to strengthen the relationship between research in and teaching of literary history in the Nordic countries
  • to develop collective research initiatives


The network will host three research workshops. The first, “New approaches to Nordic literary history writing”, takes place in Aalborg 23-24 March 2017. The second workshop, “New frameworks for literary history writing”, will take place in Gothenburg in October 2017. The third workshop, “New and renewed notions literary history writing” will take place in Oslo in March 2018.

In each of the workshops, international and Nordic scholars will give keynote lectures, addressing the topic of the respective workshop from general perspectives that relate Nordic literary history writing to international trends. Furthermore, network participants will be asked to present papers leading up to discussions of particular aspects of the topic of the respective workshop.

At each workshop, the following questions will be addressed:

  • What are the specific Nordic aspects of the topic discussed?
  • How does the topic discussed situate Nordic literary history writing in international trends?
  • How can the topic discussed affect the teaching of literary history in the Nordic countries in a constructive manner?
  • How does the topic discussed relate to the other two topics of the network’s workshops?
  • Which aspects of the topics are the most important with a view to the future, and which are most important for future research projects?

Contact the Nordic Literary History Now network

Network Coodinator Jens Lohfert Jørgensen


Phone: +45 9940 2857

More about the Nordic Literary History Now network