Claus Elholm Andersen

Credentials: Nordic

Position title: Assistant Professor

Pronouns: he/him


Office Number: 1302 Van Hise Hall

Language(s): Danish, though I am currently working on the Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgård.

Research/Language Interests: In my research, I am mainly interested in the novel and in questions of fiction and fictionality: What it is, how it works, and what it implies. I am finishing up my current book project on Karl Ove Knausgård and autofiction, titled The Very Edge of Fiction: Karl Ove Knausgård and the Autofictional Novel, in which I argue that Knausgård consciously engages with, and undermines, a long critical history of equating novels with fiction. In recent years, I have also written a hand full of articles on contemporary Danish literature where I investigate the intersection of fiction and narratology.

My up-coming major research project ­– Radical Forms/Forms of Radicalism ­– is an examination of how Hans Christian Andersen through the formalistic features of his fairytales offers an early criticism of capitalism and how he early saw that capitalism in 19th, in addition to commodifying human existence, puts limits on what he means to be human.

Undergraduate Courses: The Tales of Hans Christian Andersen (Scand 373), Contemporary Scandinavian Literature (Scand 427), Contemporary Scandinavia: Politics and History (Scand 577), Readings in Danish Literature (Scand 271), Contemporary Scandinavian Languages (Scand 401), Graduate Seminar in Professional Development (GNS 700), and Knausgård and Postfiction (Scand 901)

About Me: I am the Paul and Renate Madsen Assistant Professor of Scandinavian Studies. I joined GNS+ in 2017. In addition to my scholarly work, I have given numerous talks around Wisconsin on hygge and happiness through the Badger Talks program.

I am committed to the project of making Scandinavian Studies/literary studies diverse, inclusive, and equitable fields.

• University of Helsinki, Ph.D. (2015)
• University of Copenhagen, Cand.mag. (1999)
• University of Copenhagen, BA (2006)

List of Publications


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