My main academic interests are the language, history and intellectual history of China. I have mainly been working on two separate periods in Chinese history. The first of these two is the early period of Chinese philosophy and thought during the pre-Qin period and the Han dynasty. The second of these periods is the time following the Opium War in 1840 and the subsequent encounters between Chinese and western culture, language and thought. Within these two periods I have worked with the history of concepts, textual history, the history of Chinese philosophy and ideas, cultural encounters, modernity, individualism and environmental history.
I teach within the study programme Asian and Middle East Studies, programme option Chinese with China Studies at bachelor's level and the programme option Chinese Culture and Society at master's level.
Higher education and employment history
My background is from China studies and sinology. I have studied in Oslo and in China. I also did my PhD in Oslo which was completed in 1996. I was employed in a permanent position in China studies at the University of Oslo in 2004.
- I served as academic head of the study programme for Asian and African Studies at the University of Oslo from 2003 until 2007
- During the period 2006-2010 I headed the Norwegian National Academic Board (Nasjonalt fagråd) for Asian and African studies
- From 2007 to 2014 I was member of the PhD programme committee for History of Culture and Religion, Archaeology and Asian and African Studies
- Since 2007 to 2014 I served as deputy head of department and head of research at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages
- Head of department from January 2021
In addition to cooperation with other colleagues at the department I cooperate with scholars at the History department at Fudan University, China, with the Institute of Advanced Studies at Nanjing University, China, with colleagues at Kansai University, Japan and with colleagues at Zhejiang University, Hangzhou.