Torben Jelsbak

Torben Jelsbak

Associate Professor

My current research concerns the interrelationship and exchange between the 20th century modernist avant-gardes and contemporary media and popular culture. Drawing on theories, concepts and  methods from modern cultural studies, sociology and media theory I examine how the dialogue between high and low is established in a number of Danish litterary works and other cultural products from the period. The aim of the project is to offer a new and more varied insight into the correlation between artistic innovation and popular culture in present day society.

In collaboration with Jens Bjerring-Hansen and Monica Wenusch I am concurrently working to finish a collective book publication entitled "Die skandinavische Moderne" which unites a series of case studies dedicated to the sociology and the media contexts of the modern break-through in the Scandinavian literatures in the late 19th century. 

Furthermore, I am currently involved in a number of international research projects and collective publications on the 20th century artistic and literary avant-gardes in Europe, including the book project "Peripheral Expressionisms" and the trans-european research network "Avant-Garde Migrations".

Fields of interest

Literary history and media history, sociology of literature, discourse analysis, literary stylistics, cultural studies, popular culture.

Primary fields of research

Scandinavian Modernity, European Avant-Garde art and culture around World War I (Futurism, Expressionism, Dadaism), Nordic Cultural Radicalism from Georg Brandes to Klaus Rifbjerg.


Courses forming part of the study programme in Danish:

  • Literary history (2. term)
  • Modern literature and literary theory (3. term)
  • The selective subject "Texts, books and bits"
  • MA courses on Modern Danish literature in interaction with culture and media history


I offer supervision on Danish and Nordic literary history from antiquity up until today and I welcome interdiciplinarity – including projects and theses formulated in the border zone between literature, cultural studies, sociology and media history.

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