Project Publications

Publications of the TRAUM – Transforming Author Museums project. A special issue of Nordisk museologi (eds. Ulrike Spring and Johan Schimanski, “Biografi og verk. Forfattermuseer som kommunikasjonsprosesser”, open access) appeared in 2020. An edited academic volume, Transforming Author Museums: From Sites of Pilgrimage to Cultural Hubs(eds. Ulrike Spring, Johan Schimanski and Thea Aarbakke, New York: Berghahn) was published in 2022. These include chapters and articles by researchers outside the project group: below are only listed texts published by project participants.

  1. Aarbakke, Thea. “Forfattermuseumsfunksjonene. Musealiserte relasjoner mellom liv og litteratur. En studie av Hamsunsenteret, Bjerkebæk – Sigrid Undsets hjem og Hauge-senteret”. University of Oslo, 2019.
  1. Spring, Ulrike, Johan Schimanski, and Thea Aarbakke, eds. Transforming Author Museums: From Sites of Pilgrimage to Cultural Hubs. New York: Berghahn, 2022.

    Literary museums today must respond to new challenges; the traditional image of the author’s home museum as a sacred place of literary pilgrimage centered around a national hero has been questioned, and literary museums have begun to develop new strategies centered not only on biography, but also literary texts, imagined spaces, different readers, historical contexts, architectural concepts, and artistic interventions. As this volume shows, the changing of spaces ask how literary museums create new ways of interlinking real and literary spaces, texts, objects, readers, and tourists.
  1. Spring, Ulrike, and Johan Schimanski, eds. Nordisk Museologi 28.1: Tema: Biografi og verk. Kommunikasjonsprocesser i forfattermuseer. 2020. [OPEN ACCESS]
  1. Watson, Nicola J. The Authors Effects: On the Writer’s House Museum. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020.

    The only book about the emergence of the writer’s house museum as a distinct cultural formation and convention. – Considers the writer's house museum as a form of literary biography crucial to the construction and maintenance of authorial celebrity. – Explores how imaginative literature has produced the celebrity of physical objects and places. – Generously illustrated throughout.


  1. Spring, Ulrike, and Johan Schimanski. The Transnational Museum of Literature (working title). To be submitted in 2021.
Academic articles/chapters in edited books
  1. Aarbakke, Thea. “Unpacking the Book Collection”. In Ulrike Spring, Johan Schimanski and Thea Aarbakke (eds), Transforming Author Museums: From Sites of Pilgrimage to Cultural Hubs, New York: Berghahn, 2021. 136-153.
  2. Egeland, Marianne. “«Bjørnsons Aand lever – og sterkest paa Aulestad»: Personmuseets sted, fiksjon og historie”. Sted, fiksjon og historie: Hvordan former litteratur steder – og hvordan former steder litteratur? Eds. Marianne Wiig and Ola Alsvik. Oslo: Nasjonalbiblioteket, 2020. 113-253. [OPEN ACCESS]
  3. Egeland, Marianne. “Troublesome Heritage in the Home of Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson”. In Ulrike Spring, Johan Schimanski and Thea Aarbakke (eds), Transforming Author Museums: From Sites of Pilgrimage to Cultural Hubs, New York: Berghahn, 2021. 277-294.
  4. Fulsås, Narve. “Housing World Literature: the Norwegian Ibsen Museums”. In Ulrike Spring, Johan Schimanski and Thea Aarbakke (eds), Transforming Author Museums: From Sites of Pilgrimage to Cultural Hubs, New York: Berghahn, 2021. 295-319.
  5. Hendrix, Harald. “His Master’s House: Pilgrimages to the Homes and Haunts of Great Italian Authors”, in Matteo Brera and Susanna Grazzini (eds), ‘Tu se’ lo mio maestro e ‘l mio Autore’: Dieci studi su ‘authorship’ e intertestualità culturale, Firenze: Cesati, 2017, pp. 23-33.
  6. Hendrix, Harald. “Epigraphy and Blurring Senses of the Past in Early Modern Travelling Men of Letters: The case of Arnoldus Buchelius”. In Konrad Ottenheym and Karl Enenkel (eds), The Quest for an Appropriate Past, Leiden: Brill, 2018, pp. 383-396. [OPEN ACCESS]
  7. Hendrix, Harald. “Virgil’s Tomb in Scholarly and Popular Culture”. In Nora Goldschmidt and Barbara Graziosi (eds), Tombs of the Ancient Poets: Between Text and Material Culture, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018, pp. 280-297.

    This chapter focuses on the ‘rediscovery’ of Virgil’s tomb in the Renaissance, exploring its position in the cultures of scholarship, travel, and leisure. Clusters of poets’ graves sprang up around the so-called ‘tomb of Virgil’ in Piedigrotta near Naples, re-establishing it as a site of literary succession and inspiration; the tomb played a central role in the construction of Neapolitan urban identity and was a popular site for early modern travel and leisure, a role it still retains today. Generations of visitors to the tomb have felt a strong personal connection to the poet, a connection they have chosen to mark by leaving graffiti or notes at the tomb, by taking away laurel leaves, and by reciting and producing poetry at the site.
  8. Hendrix, Harald. “Framing the Bones of Dante and Petrarch: Literary Cults and Scientific Discourses”. In Marijan Dović and Jón Karl Helgason (eds), Great Immortality: Studies on European Cultural Sainthood, Leiden: Brill, 2019, pp. 28-55

    This chapter offers a comparative analysis of the way the bones and graves of Dante and Petrarch have been perceived and used, from the burial of these poets in the thirteenth century to today. Within this long history of veneration, appropriation, and violation, it focuses on two elements that promise to provide a deeper understanding of the ideologies informing these practices: the conflicting interpretations of what motivated people to get close to these bones by opening the tombs of Dante and Petrarch, and the relationship between scientific discourses emerging from the late nineteenth century on the one hand, and the memorial culture promoted by stakeholders in the heritage movement rooted in a much older habit to celebrate famous compatriots on the other.
  9. Hendrix, Harald. “Lettere italiane e spazi pubblici: Fra politiche identitarie e cultura ricreativa”. In Claudio di Felice (ed.), Nuovi aspetti linguistici e letterari dell’italianità, Bruxelles: Peter Lang, 2020. 35-51.
  10. Hendrix, Harald. “Aretino At Home”. In Marco Faini and Paola Ugolini, (eds), Companion to Pietro Aretino, Leiden: Brill. 44-70.

    This chapter investigates how the Italian author Pietro Aretino (1492-1556) forged his private life into an instrument of self-fashioning. It concentrates on the two Venetian homes the author arranged for his personal life, and examines how over the years these spaces were turned into dwellings to be used for private occasions, for inner circle gatherings, and for public appearances, both in real life and in the semi-realistic / semi-fictional self-presentation of his Letters. Based on the extant documentation on the lay-out and decoration of these apartments, as well as on the surviving reports by visitors, the chapter considers these spaces as conscious and well-targeted instances of Aretino's constant policy to project an image of his private person that was both in opposition to and in compliance with the dominant models he was keen on to compete with and surpass. In doing so the chapter particularly examines the correspondence - positive and negative - with the Bembo template as it was established in the late 1520s in nearby Padua and its countryside, that arguably inspired Aretino to construct a profoundly alternative attitude towards the designing and presentation of his private and public life as a man of letters.
  11. Lande, Dana Ryan. “South African Literature, Author Museums and Narrative Expansion: The Olive Schreiner House”. In Ulrike Spring, Johan Schimanski and Thea Aarbakke (eds), Transforming Author Museums: From Sites of Pilgrimage to Cultural Hubs, New York: Berghahn, 2021. 255-276.
  12. Schaff, Barbara. “‘Jane Austen in 41 Objects’: How Literary Museums Narrativise Authors and Objects”, in Anastasio Matteo and Rhein Jan (eds), Transitzonen zwischen Literatur und Museum, Berlin: De Gruyter, 2021, pp. 227-41.
  13. Spring, Ulrike. “Die Inszenierung von Archivmaterial in musealisierten Dichterwohnungen.” In Kastberger, Klaus, Stefan Maurer and Christian Neuhuber (eds), Schauplatz Archiv: Objekt – Narrativ – Performanz. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2019. 141-155. [OPEN ACCESS]
  14. Spring, Ulrike, and Johan Schimanski. “Ghostly Voices in the Author Museum”. In Ulrike Spring, Johan Schimanski and Thea Aarbakke (eds), Transforming Author Museums: From Sites of Pilgrimage to Cultural Hubs, New York: Berghahn, 2021. 105-135.
  15. Ulrike Spring, Johan Schimanski, and Thea Aarbakke. “Introduction: The Expanded Spaces and Changing Contexts of Author Museums”. Transforming Author Museums: From Sites of Pilgrimage to Cultural Hubs. Eds. Ulrike Spring, Johan Schimanski and Thea Aarbakke. New York: Berghahn, 2022. 1-32. [OPEN ACCESS]
  16. Ulrike Spring, Johan Schimanski, and Thea Aarbakke. “Epilogue: Author Museums and Democratization”. Transforming Author Museums: From Sites of Pilgrimage to Cultural Hubs. Eds. Ulrike Spring, Johan Schimanski and Thea Aarbakke. New York: Berghahn, 2022. 320-26.
  17. Watson, Nicola J. “At Juliet’s Tomb: Anglophone Travel-writing and Shakespeare’s Verona, 1814-1914”, in Silvia Bigliazzi and Lisanna Calvi (eds), Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, and Civic Life: The Boundaries of Civic Space, New York: Routledge, 2016, pp. 224-237.
Academic journal articles
  1. Egeland, Marianne. “Bjørnson og Aulestad: «Uadskillelige» Og «Uløselige»? Fortellinger Om En Dikter og Hans Hjem”. Sakprosa 10.1 (2018): 1-38. [OPEN ACCESS]

    A national collection was launched in the 1920s to raise money for purchasing Nobel laureate Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson’s home and turn it into a national property. Twelve miles north of Lillehammer, Aulestad opened for the public in 1935 as one of Norway’s oldest and most complete house museums. Given the almost standardized mystification of authors’ homes as unique literary places with privileged access to the artist and his work, what strategy and discourse are employed in the construction of Bjørnson (1832–1910) and Aulestad as “inseparable” and “inalienable”? The material analyzed in this article covers more than one hundred years, consisting of texts by people with special ties to Aulestad – friends, family members and museum representatives who write about Bjørnson’s life at, relations to and feelings for Aulestad. Since Bjørnson’s wife Karoline was the one who actually created the home we visit and lived there much longer than Bjørnson himself, the role she is granted in their stories will be of particular interest. A biographical and comparative perspective is adopted in the study both of patterns and changes in the Aulestad discourse over time as well as issues that are left out of the stories under discussion – such as Aulestad’s Nazi legacy. Curiously, while the women’s movement grew in society at large the appreciation of Karoline’s significance decreased in museum presentations.
    Beliggende 18 km nord for Lillehammer åpnet Aulestad som nasjonalmuseum i 1935, innkjøpt etter en landsomfattende innsamlingsaksjon på 1920-tallet. Bjørnstjerne Bjørnsons hjem er et av landets eldste og mest komplette husmuseer. Gitt den nærmest standardiserte mytifiseringen av dikterhjem som unike, litterære steder med privilegert tilgang til forfatteren, hvilken strategi benyttes i konstrueringen av relasjonen mellom Bjørnson og Aulestad som «uadskillelig» og «uløselig» til tross for at ingen av hans mest kjente verk ble skrevet der? Materialet som undersøkes, dekker mer enn hundre år. Det er ført i pennen av personer med nær tilknytning til Bjørnson og med særlig ansvar for å etablere en særegen Aulestad-diskurs, som bygger opp om den nasjonallitterær myten om mannen og stedet: venner, familiemedlemmer og museumsforvaltere. Biografer og litteraturhistorikere trekkes inn i analysen for å perspektivere skildringene. Fordi det var Karoline Bjørnson som faktisk skapte det hjemmet vi kan besøke, og som bodde der desidert lengst, utgjør kjønnsdimensjon i materialet, en integrert del av prosjektet. Å avdekke tema som i likhet med Aulestads nazistiske «arv» ikke inkluderes, er like relevant som å påpeke mønstre og endringer i diskursen over tid. Parallelt med at kvinners samfunnsmessige posisjon ble styrket, minket Karolines betydning i museumspresentasjonene.
  2. Egeland, Marianne (2018). “Aulestads besværlige arv: ‘Godviljens høvdingsete’ og ‘nazireir’. Historisk Tidsskrift: 297-315. [OPEN ACCESS]

    Aulestad, the home of Nobel laureate Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson (1832–1910), was purchased and turned into a national property financed by a nation-wide campaign in Aftenposten and other daily newspapers. The campaign was headed by politicians, artists and businessmen, and supported by organizations from all walks of life, arguing that the Norwegian people owed it to Bjørnson and to themselves to secure his unique home for future generations. Situated in Gausdal, Aulestad opened to the public in 1935 as one of Norway’s oldest and most authentic house museums. Until the Second World War, Aulestad was associated with its larger than life owner, an author who used his position to fight for all good causes home and abroad, and went by epithets such as «chieftain», «uncrowned king» and «the nation’s greatest man». What is virtually unknown now is that Aulestad was turned into a propaganda centre for the Nazis during the German occupation 1940–45. Erling Bjørnson, Bjørnstjerne’s youngest son, inherited the farm Aulestad, and lived next to the museum. He was an ardent adherent of Germany and der Führer, letting his ideology be known at public meetings, in broadcasts and newspapers, and claiming that his father would have agreed with him. In January 1946 he was sentenced as a traitor to ten years in prison. Other close family members were likewise sentenced for treason, all of them having Aulestad as their residential address. The aim of this article is to discuss Aulestad’s troublesome heritage and how it has been handled by the museum managers. On the basis of (1) an analysis of the newspaper campaign to acquire Aulestad and argu- ments provided to engage the public, and (2) the treason cases against the Bjørnsons and the rhetoric they employed to defend themselves, I investigate Aulestad’s image over time.
    Bjørnstjerne Bjørnsons hjem Aulestad i Gausdal åpnet som nasjonalmuseum i 1935, finansiert med innsamlede midler etter en landsomfattende kampanje på 1920-tallet. Innsamlingsaksjonen ble støttet av kjente personer innenfor politikk, kultur og næringsliv og et bredt spekter av organisasjoner. Aftenposten fungerte som det ledende kampanjeorganet for å mobilisere nasjonen: Det norske folket skyldte både Bjørnson og seg selv å bevare for fremtidige generasjoner dette enestående «aands- og kulturcentrum i Norge», hjemmet til nobelprisvinneren, landets ukronede konge og største mann. Frem til andre verdenskrig var Aulestad synonymt med et «godviljens høvdingsete», men under okkupasjonen omgjorde dikterens yngste sønn gården Aulestad nærmest til en propagandasentral for NS. Erling Bjørnson agiterte for Tyskland og nasjonalsosialismen på møter, i radioforedrag og avisartikler som ble trykt over hele landet. Han brukte Aulestad og sitt berømte navn i propagandavirksomheten og hevdet at faren ville ha tiltrådt hans syn. Erling Bjørnson ble dømt til ti års fengsel for landsforræderi og til å betale en stor erstatningssum. Også andre nære familiemedlemmer med Aulestad som adresse ble dømt for landssvik. Dette motbildet av Aulestad er lite kjent i ettertid. Den påfallende motsetningen mellom et «godviljens høvdingsete» og et «nazireir», og hvordan museets forvaltere har håndtert den besværlige arven, utgjør kjernen i artikkelen. Artikkelen faller i tre deler: I den første delen analyseres kampanjen for å erverve Aulestad og argumentene som ble benyttet den gang. I den andre delen undersøkes Bjørnson-familiens mapper i landssvikarkivet og argumentene de fremmet for sitt syn, og i den tredje delen studerer jeg fortellingen om Aulestad – et av landets eldste og mest autentiske husmuseer, som museets representanter har fremmet i og for offentligheten.
  3. Egeland, Marianne. “Hamsun i sør og Hamsun i nord: Kunsten å argumentere for et diktersenter”. Nordisk Museologi 28.1 (2020): 42-56. [OPEN ACCESS]

    In 2005, two ambitious local initiatives were launched that independently of each other argued for establishing a national centre in their particular community to commemorate Nobel laureate Knut Hamsun (1859–1952): one in Grimstad on the southern coast of Norway, and the other at Hamarøy in northern Norway. Both places boasted a special ownership to the world famous author, but only the northern initiative materialized and a new museum opened in time for Hamsun’s 150 year anniversary. Why did Grimstad’s project fail and Hamarøy’s succeed? How did The Knut Hamsun Centre in Hamarøy follow up their stated goals and ambitions when planning the exhibitions? And how did Grimstad motivate plans for a downscaled centre several years later? A major issue in the article as well as in the discussion of the projects, is how the initiators argue for celebrating an author who supported Hitler and the Nazis during the war. Rhetorical and textual analysis of four documents offer insight into deliberations of how to exhibit a problematic legacy.
  4. Hendrix, Harald. “The First Guides to Writers and Artists’ Houses (1780–1840)”. Nordisk Museologi 28.1: 8-22. (also in a French version: “Les guides aux maisons d’écrivains et d’artistes: les débuts (1780-1840)”, Cultures & Musées 2019). [OPEN ACCESS]

    Writers’ and artists’ residences developed into museums only at the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth centuries, when houses inhabited by Walpole, Rousseau and Petrarch as well as Canova’s birthplace were turned into tourist destinations. This shift is apparent in the guidebooks to these mansions published in the decades between 1780 and 1840. In examining such booklets, this article highlights the long-term transformations of the phenomenon of the writers’ and artists’ house, and particularly the changing interaction of curators and visitors these texts allow to identify. In order to investigate this evolution in museological communication, this essay discusses the guidebooks to Horace Walpole’s Twickenham villa (1784), Petrarch’s country house in Arquà close to Padua (1797 and 1830), the villa and gardens designed by Melchiorre Cesarotti in Selvazzano also close to Padua (1810), Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s “Les Charmettes” near Chambéry (1811) and Canova’s studio/residence/museum in Possagno (1837).
  5. Hoel, Oddmund Løkensgaard. “Nynorskforfattarar reiser heim. Fire Garborg-forteljingar – fire museum”. Nordisk Museologi 28.1 (2020): 57-74. [OPEN ACCESS]

    In 1924 the author Arne Garborg’s summer house Knudaheio in Time, Rogaland, was turned into an authentic house museum, at that time the fifth author museum in Norway and the third dedicated to an author writing in Nynorsk. Three more Garborg museums opened in 1951, 1996 and 2012, also including his wife, the author and cultural worker Hulda Garborg. This study compares the Garborg narratives developed and displayed in the four museums. Quite traditional narratives in the two oldest museums differ from the narratives in the two younger where stronger efforts are made to show the relevance of Arne and Hulda Garborg’s life and work today. The Garborg museums are used as a case to investigate what characterizes Nynorsk, and in more general, minority language author museums founded by cultural movements as tools in promoting a linguistic programme.
  6. Lande, Dana Ryan. “Reading Sol Plaatje in Kimberley: A South African Author Museum”. South African Journal of Cultural History 32.2 (2018): 47-60.

    The historic home of Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje at 32 Angel Street, Kimberley currently houses an author museum – one of only two dedicated to English language authors in South Africa. This article reads the author museum’s presentation of Plaatje to explore the connections made between a historical author’s former home and contemporary interpretations of the author’s works. Author museums are unique in their position as textual conduits; they both promote textual matter written by an author of significance, as well as create their own texts concerning said author. As this article demonstrates, Plaatje’s literary legacy is largely absent from the exhibition in his former home. In discussing the narrative choices made by this particular South African author museum, this article aims to establish a better understanding of the potential for narrative development and contemporary discussion at literary heritage sites in South Africa.
    Die lees van Sol Plaatje in Kimberley: ‘n Suid-Afrikaanse Skrywersmuseum” Die historiese tuiste van Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje te Angelstraat 32, Kimberley, huisves tans ʼn skrywersmuseum ─ een van net twee wat aan Engelse skrywers in Suid Afrika gewy word. Hierdie artikel is ‘n ontleding van die skrywersmuseum se aanbieding van Plaatje om verbande te ontdek tussen hierdie historiese skrywer se vorige tuiste en kontemporêre vertolkings van sy skryfwerk. Skrywersmuseums is uniek in hul funksie as teksoordraers; hulle bevorder tekste geskryf deur ‘n belangrike skrywer, en skep ook hul eie tekste oor die gekose skrywer. Hierdie artikel bewys dat Plaatje se literêre nalatenskap grootliks afwesig is in die uitstalling in sy vorige tuiste. Deur die vertellingskeuses wat gemaak is, deur hierdie spesifieke Suid-Afrikaanse skrywersmuseum te bespreek, beoog die artikel om ‘n beter begrip te skep van die potensiaal vir storie-ontwikkeling en kontemporêre gesprekke by literêre erfenisterreine in Suid-Afrika.
  7. Lande, Dana Ryan. “Narrative Intersections in an Author Museum: The Olive Schreiner House”. Narrative Culture 7.1 (2020): 60-78.

    The Olive Schreiner House in Cradock, South Africa, is an author museum that explores the contributions of an important writer, activist, and early feminist by facilitating new narratives. In the meeting of Schreiner's texts and contemporary narratives of South African cultural history, this author museum writes a new discourse between literature and society, historic past and democratic present. These intersections result in a narrative project using a historic literary figure to emphasize the young South African democracy in which the museum is situated.
  8. Nath, Atanu, and Parmita Saha. “A Theoretical Positioning of Self and Social Identities as Antecedents in Cultural-Experiential Tourism”. Academica Turistica 10.2 (2017): 115-28. [OPEN ACCESS]

    Museums are often regarded as a cultural destination, however they stand distinct from other purveyors of culture in that they consciously attempt at a less pronounced social and cognitive dissonance among the audience it covets. In their strife for continuity as an overarching goal, museums by necessity have moved away from being torchbearers of heritage and interpretive centers thereof, to being experiential centers and thus facing challenges associated with a duality of roles. Conscious democratization and integration efforts to draw in the masses require commensurate marketing strategies, while at the same time museums strive to offer an experience that is in effect personal. It is our contention that museums offer a unique and valuable opportunity for theoretical and empirical work in tourism consumer behavior research. To such end, this research reviews the constructs identity seeking (selfidentity), identity projection (social identity) as determinants of motivation in cultural experiential tourism. Motivation is considered along the dimensions of reflective and recreational motivation. A theoretical framework of relationship between identity and motivation to explain pre and post visitation attitude formation and behavioral intention in cultural experiential tourism is proposed, along with methodological notes on pursuant empirical research to validate the framework.
  9. Spring, Ulrike, and Marianne A. Olsen. “En vanskelig forfatter? Å få Cora Sandel hjem til Tromsø”. Norsk museumstidsskrift 6 (2020): 86-100.

    Artikkelen tar for seg musealisering av forfatteren Cora Sandel (pseudonym for Sara Fabricius, 1880–1974) i Tromsø. Sandel bodde i Tromsø da hun var ungdom, og en rekke av hennes verk har sin handling herfra. Målet med artikkelen er å bidra i diskusjonen rundt hvordan en forfatter blir del av et steds identitet, og altså kommer «hjem» i utvidet forstand. Utgangspunktet er den mediale diskursen fra 1974 til 2006, dvs. fra hun døde til hun fikk en gate oppkalt etter seg. Gjennomgangen av avisene viser at en større synliggjøring av Sandel i hele perioden har blitt diskutert, men bare delvis nådde frem. Analysen får frem fire hovedfortellinger som kan forklare hvorfor forsøk på å få Sandel «hjem» ofte tok lang tid: 1) selv om hun ble ansett som viktig for byens identitet, var hun ikke viktig nok for å bli varig minnet, og andre fortellinger dominerte over hennes; 2) unge Sara, forfatteren Cora og hennes litterære figurer ble knyttet til kritiske syn på byen; dette ble forsterket av Saras sørnorske, borgerlige bakgrunn; 3) respekt for hennes privatsfære, etter Sandels egne ønsker; 4) kjønnsdimensjonen i en by der det ikke finnes noen statuer av navngitte kvinner og få veier har kvinnenavn. Til slutt kan man stille spørsmål om prosessen har blitt påvirket av at hun døde i en tid da bevissthet rundt nordnorsk identitet ble styrket.
  10. Spring, Ulrike, and Johan Schimanski. “Biografi og verk: Kommunikasjonsprosesser i forfattermuseer: En innledning”. Nordisk Museologi 28.1 (2020): 4-7. [OPEN ACCESS]
  11. Spring, Ulrike, and Johan Schimanski. “Hva kommuniseres i forfattermuseer?”. Nordisk Museologi 28.1 (2020): 23-41. [OPEN ACCESS]

    Writers’ museums often privilege the biographical person of the author rather than their literary works. Here we present a model which can be used not only as a method of analysis, but also as as an inspiration that can help create productive tensions in the exhibition of biography and works in author museums. Our departure point is that the writer’s museum is a double act of communication, or more precisely a museal act of communication about a literary act of communication. Using Roman Jakobson’s model of the communicative act, we show how museums make visible or hide different parts of the communications network, as well as what complicates this network. We use examples from the Strindberg Museum in Stockholm throughout to make an abstract argument more concrete, referring to other museums and exhibitions to provide breadth where solutions and traditions are concerned.
  12. Aarbakke, Thea. “Musealiserte relasjoner mellom liv og litteratur på Olav H. Hauge-senteret”. Nordisk Museologi 28.1 (2020): 75-90. [OPEN ACCESS]

    This article investigates how one of the museums’ foremost communication tools, their exhibitions, negotiates the appearance of the Norwegian poet Olav H. Hauge’s life and literature, and the relations between them, by way of the exhibition’s material components and exhibition technologies. In the exhibition, authorship and author biography intersect and meet as a unique attribute of the exhibition space. How the author’s life and literature are communicated in the exhibitions and how the exhibition technologies affect the stories being told is the main focus of this analysis. Inspired by actor-network theory, the exhibition is analysed by situating museum props and exhibition technologies at the centre of the study.


  1. Bjørhusdal, Eli. [Article on Hulda Garborg and the musealisation of female minority-language authors]. To be submitted in 2020.
  2. Nath, Atanu, and Parmita Saha. “Do Motivation, Perceived Authenticity and Engagement Influence Visit Intentions to Cultural Heritage Attractions?” To be submitted in 2020.
  1. Spring, Ulrike, Johan Schimanski, Heike Gfreireis and Helmut Neundlinger. “Literature, Exhibitions and Communication: A Conversation”. Nordisk Museologi 28.1 (2020): 91-102. [OPEN ACCESS]

    Informed by her competence in literature and the theory and practice of exhibitions, Heike Gfrereis is Head of the Museum Department at the Archive of German Literature in Marbach, and curator of many literary exhibitions. Helmut Neundlinger, curator of the W. H. Auden Memorial Museum in Kirchstetten, is a writer, researcher and critic working at the Center for Museum Collections Management at the Danube University Krems and the literary collection of Lower Austria. The following “exchange of knowledge” between them and two researchers in the TRAUM – Transforming Author Museums project took place in Oslo in 2019. We discuss the desire to exhibit literature and not only biography, how one can free oneself from objects and how objects can create freedom, how to unlearn received notions of literature, the importance of interaction and play, what can make authors difficult to exhibit, and the economic realities of exhibiting literature.

    Published in French translation: “Littérature, expositions et communication: Une conversation”. Culture et Musées 2021: 251-72. [OPEN ACCESS]

Academic reviews
  1. Aarbakke, Thea. “Emma & Edvard – Kjærlighet i Ensomhetens Tid. Munchmuseet i Oslo. 28. Januar 2017-17. April 2017”. Nordisk Museologi 1 (2017): 152-56. [OPEN ACCESS]
  2. Aarbakke, Thea. “Ottar Grepstad (red.) 2018. Forfattarens skriftstader. Litterære museum i norsk minnepolitikk”. Tidsskrift for kulturforskning 17.2 (2018): 89-92. [OPEN ACCESS]

    I mars kom museenes Litteratur­nettverk sitt treårige prosjekt «Mu­seum som minnepolitiske insti­tusjonar» i bokform. Prosjektet har fått støtte av Kulturrådet og ble ledet av daværende direktør ved Nynorsk kultursentrum, Ottar Grepstad. Deres mandat har vært å undersøke museer som minnepolitiske aktører og hva dette har hatt å si for museenes samfunnsrolle, i tillegg til å styrke den museologiske forskningen på litteraturfeltet i Norge. Boka jeg holder i hendene er en antologi med bidrag fra seks litterære museer utført av et dusin medarbeidere. Det endelige resul­tatet holder fast ved sitt hovedmål. Innsiktsfulle og nye analytiske tilnærminger til Henrik Ibsens barndomshjem i Skien og hvordan museene som forvalter dikterhjemmet og barndomshjemmet til Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson forholder seg til egen forskerrolle presenteres av museenes selv og av andre museumsansatte tilknyttet Littera­tur­nettverket. En vesentlig del av prosjektet har gått ut på å trekke frem skriftkulturens rolle i minnepolitikken, og museene som ak­tører i dette arbeidet. Museene er fraværende i skriftkulturens selvforståelse, står det innledningsvis, og det er her denne boka melder seg på, med et ønske om å løfte litterære museer frem fra margen og bildetekster i litteraturhistoriske oversiktsverk og å behandle dem som en del av norsk litteraturhistorie.