University of Wisconsin–Madison

Claus Elholm Andersen
Assistant Professor, Nordic

Languages:  Danish, though I am currently working on the Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgård.

Research/Language Interests: Contemporary literature and The Modern Breakthrough in Scandinavian literature. I have published on a numerous topics and authors from Kierkegaard and irony to the crime novels of Stieg Larsson. Most recently I have edited a volume on Knausgård’s My Struggle which was published in Scandinavian this spring. I am also working on a book-length project on Knausgård.

Education: Ph.D, University of Helsinki 2015, Cand.mag, University of Copenhagen, 1999, BA, University of Copenhagen, 2006.

Undergraduate Courses: Contemporary Scandinavian Literature (Scand 427), Hans Christian Andersen (Scand 373) Reading in Danish Literature (Scand 271),  Contemporary Scandinavian Languages (Scand 401)

About Me:  I’ll be starting at UW-Madison this fall. For the past six years, I have been teaching Danish and Scandinavian Literature at the University of Helsinki, where I also received my Ph.D. in 2015. Though my main field of study is Danish literature and culture, I have also published on Norwegian and Swedish writers, and consider myself a scholar of Scandinavian Studies with a broader European perspective. In addition to writing scholarly on Scandinavian literature, I have been a literature reviewer/critic of Scandinavian literature for the Finnish-Swedish newspaper Hufvudsstadsbladet since 2013. I have taught at the University of Minnesota, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of California, Los Angeles in the past.

Selected Publications:

Edited volume:

Så tæt på livet som muligt, edited by Claus Elholm Andersen, Spring/Alvheim & Eide 2017:

Selected peer-review articles:

“Narratives of a Life. Karl Ove Knausgård’s My Struggle as a Literary Centaur, in: Critical Quarterly, vol. 60, issue 1, 2018, Wiley-Blackwell (accepted for publication).

“At forsøge det umulige. Karl Ove Knausgårds kamp for at forene form og indhold”, in: Claus      Elholm Andersen (ed.): Så tæt på livet som muligt. Perspektiver på Karl Ove Knausgårds ‘Min kamp’, Forlaget Spring/Alvheim & Eide, 2017.

“Forpligtet på virkeligheden? Upålidelighed og dissonans i fjerde bind af Karl Ove Knausgårds ‘Min kamp’”, in: Kritik: tidsskrift for litteratur, forskning, undervisning, no. 213, 2015.


In January 2018, Professor Andersen was interviewed by Fox6 News. Click below to learn about Hygge, the concept of 'pleasant togetherness.'