60 Seconds With... Professor Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen

2 February 2024

Professor Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen reflects on his extensive research journey so far, as he prepares for his Inaugural Lecture 'Scandimania! Nordic Noir in the UK since 2008'.


Professor Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen's Inaugural Lecture

**This lecture has been postponed due to unforeseen circumstances. A new date will be advertised as soon as possible.**


Tell us a little about your research… 

My research over the past couple of decades has pursued two strands: firstly, studies of the Danish nineteenth-century writer of fairy tales, travelogues, poems, and plays Hans Christian Andersen and his use of the contemporary periodical press as material and vehicle for his authorship; secondly, studies of the genre, publishing and media history of Scandinavian crime fiction, its transnational and intermedial appropriations. In general, I guess one could say that I am interested in how popular literary genres travel and are part of wider social - and media transformations from illustrated periodicals to streaming television serials.

Why is your research important?

It has probably never been more important than now to try and understand the complex nexus between rapidly changing multimedial forms of communication and our access to and understanding of other nations, languages, and cultures. This pursuit is, I believe, at the heart of my work as a researcher and teacher.

What inspires you in your work?

It inspires me deeply to be part of a brilliant and diverse community of researchers, teachers, and students here at UCL. Our interdisciplinary, curious and collegial ethos motivates and continues to educate me.

What has been your most memorable career moment so far?

Nothing will ever beat taking part in a panel at my first ever international Henry James conference, as a nervous PhD student, sitting next to two of the most impressive James scholars I knew - and being treated with respect and real interest.

What passions/hobbies do you have outside of work?

I love music, playing football, supporting The Gunners, and touring England with my son's handball team. Most of all, though, I love spending holidays with my family in Denmark and Sicily.

What book is currently on your bedside table?

I am reading Peter Biskind's Pandora’s Box: The Greed, Lust, and Lies That Broke Television, as I am, of course, watching a lot of television series for work and pleasure.