Norwegian version of this page

Book history

Book History is an interdisciplinary field of research. We explore the role of the book as a material object, medium of literature and historically changing cultural artefact from theoretical, empirical and historical perspectives.

Old books i a book shelf. Photo.

Photo: A.B. Rønning

About the group

Literature, in this context, goes beyond the poem, play or novel and comes to be seen as an expression of human culture more generally. 

Book History connects literary study with the sociology of text, textual criticism, cultural history and reception history.

Members of the group largely work with seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Dano-Norwegian, English and French literature. As comparatists, however, we principally take an interest in literature in all languages which we are able to read.

Afternoon tea

The group organizes afternoon tea, normally three times per semester, Thursdays at 15.15-17, at room 718 Niels Treschows house.

Atumn 2022

8 September: Reading group: Article draft by Thorbjørn Nordbø. 

6 October:  Anna Serafima Svendsen Kvam, ph d -student at ILN, will talk about Torborg Nedreaas' early work, from stories in weekly magazines to highly esteemed short stories, based on her master thesis.

25 October (NB Tuesday!) Lunch seminar, 489, P.A. Munch's house (12-15): Angus Vine, University of Stirling will talk about Marmaduke Rawdon (1610-1669) and his collection of manuscripts. Vine's latest book is Miscellaneous order (2019) Lunch will be served, please sign up by mail to Anne Birgitte (

The program is as follows:

12.00/12.15 – 12.45: Lunch

12.45 – 13.30: Angus Vine: «Marmaduke Rawdon (1610-1669), Merchant Antiquary and Family Historian» - abstract

13.30 – 14.00 Discussion

Short break

14.15: Thorbjørn Nordbø: On Antimachiavel

14.30: Giuliano D’Amico: On collections of Ibsen books

14.45. – 15.00: Discussion


24 November: Seminar/reading group - open

15 Desember: Jon Haarberg on the Christmas tree as an object of Norwegian book history. 

For more details, and list of previous lunch seminars, see the Norwegian web page.


PhD fellows and post docs are warmly welcome to the group. 

Doctoral projects

The research group’s host department, ILOS, announces PhD fellowships once a year. We welcome promising doctoral projects related to the research foci of the group.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action postdoctoral fellowships

The research group is also interested in hosting Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action postdoc fellows from across the world, and has the capacity to work together with a limited number of qualified researchers on applications every year.

If you are interested, you must send us a concise project idea and an academic career plan (including your key qualifications, where you see yourself in ten years, and an explanation of how a stay at our department would help you develop your qualifications) by February 1st if you wish to be considered for working with us on an application the same year.

Tags: Book History, Literature, Criticism, Bibliography, Cultural history, Literary Scholarship, Textual Criticism, Reception History, Sociology of Literature
Published June 1, 2016 10:19 AM - Last modified Nov. 24, 2022 11:48 AM