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Bjarne Thorup Thomsen's main research interests concern regional, national and transnational dimensions of Scandinavian novel and travel writing. His work investigates the construction of place and the manifestations of mobility and modernity in Scandinavian nineteenth- and twentieth-century prose literature, including the mapping and problematisation of nation space and its communities as well as the role of transnational thought. His work is also focused on the relationship between national representation and international spread of culture, on questions of textual and cultural hybridity, and on culture’s capacity to translate itself to new genres, new media and new audiences.
Bjarne has an additional, but not disconnected research interest in Scandinavian silent cinema and its dialogic relationship with prestige literature as well as in early Scandinavian film criticism. In this field I have thus far contributed a couple of papers and one book chapter
He is also interested in and have published on Danish literary history and literary history writing more broadly, and he has written on working-class autobiographies.
Selma Lagerlöf website (forthcoming)
This is the website for a network of scholars and translators, and for the wider public, interested in the work and reception of Swedish author Selma Lagerlöf. The website, which will be hosted by the University of Edinburgh, is currently under construction and will go live in the summer of 2014, in connection with the publication by Nordic Academic Press of a volume of new scholarship on Selma Lagerlöf, Re-Mapping Lagerlöf. Performance, Intermediality and European Transmission (ISBN 978-91-87351-21-1).
Bjarne's main area of research activity lies within Scandinavian nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature. In 2007 he published a monograph which explores national mapping and imagination in Swedish novelist and Nobel laureate 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.
Bjarne's research on Lagerlöf and Andersen may be seen as contributions to the re-assessment of two Scandinavian cultural figures of ‘world literature’ status, highlighting (proto-)modernist aspects of their oeuvre as well as reductive patterns in their reception history. 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.
Currently, Bjarne is co-editing and contributing to a volume of new international scholarship investigating the transmissions of Lagerlöf’s work into other media and a range of European cultures, Re-Mapping Lagerlöf: Performance, Intermediality and European Transmissions. The book will be published by Nordic Academic Press (Lund, Sweden) in 2014. This publication is likely also to feed into an international research network, ‘Lagerlöf in Europe’, which is under planning. Alongside this project, he is researching new aspects of Lagerlöf’s more marginal production and the relationship of this production to the culture of periodicals.
Bjarne has also recently completed a commissioned chapter on Nobel Prize-winning proletarian author Eyvind Johnson for a volume on Northern Swedish writers, to be published with wide circulation in connection with the city of Umeå’s status as European Capital of Culture in 2014.
His next project will be a study of the representation of the Nordic North and South in travel writing by canonical Scandinavian authors.
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This article was published on Oct 30, 2012