Background and activities

I am an assistant professor in Scandinavian and comparative literature at the Department of Language and Literature. I have a Ph.D. and an M.A. in comparative literature and a B.A. in languages and literature, including French and Classical Greek, from NTNU.


Courses taught during the 2017 fall term:

  • EXFAC0017
  • ALIT1101 and ALIT1102
  • ALIT3100
  • NORD1108
  • NORD6010


Academic interests

  • Poetry – especially classical, renaissance and modernist
  • Feminism
  • Queer theory
  • Literature and sexuality


Ph.D. project

My dissertation is a study of the work of the Norwegian writer Åsmund Sveen (1910–1963). Sveen's work is marked by an interception of several diverging aesthetic and societal discourses, such as psychoanalysis, vitalism, spiritualism, folk songs and relatively overt depictions of homoeroticism. The aim of my project is to explore in what ways we might account for the thematic width of Sveen’s corpus, particularly focusing on its adherence to a gay literary subtradition. In my readings I will assume that Sveen's texts partake in a larger discursive economy on (homo)sexuality and thereby explore how the crisis in homosexual definition (cf. Eve K. Sedgwick) becomes readable within the discourse of imaginative, and especially poetic, literature.

I defended my dissertation Den opne løyndomen. Homografiske lesingar i Åsmund Sveens forfattarskap [The Open Secret. Homographic Readings in Åsmund Sveen's Authorship] April 21, 2017.

Scientific, academic and artistic work

Displaying a selection of activities. See all publications in the database

Journal publications

Part of book/report

  • Myren-Svelstad, Per Esben. (2016) Homosexuality as Decadence in Norwegian Modernism: The Tenebrous Sides of Vitality in Åsmund Sveen’s Andletet. States of Decadence: On the Aesthetics of Beauty, Decline and Transgression across Time and Space, Vol. 1.


  • Myren-Svelstad, Per Esben. (2017) Den opne løyndomen. Homografiske lesingar i Åsmund Sveens forfattarskap. 2017. ISBN 978-82-326-2238-2.
  • Svelstad, Per Esben; Andersen, Britt. (2011) Frigjerande fragment: Ei lesing av Sapfo og Louise Labé. 2011.


  • Myren-Svelstad, Per Esben. (2016) Homosexuality as Fuel for Imaginative Literature – The Case of Åsmund Sveen. Gender and Feminist Theory Research Group Meeting ; 2016-02-12.
  • Myren-Svelstad, Per Esben. (2016) Tantalizing Idylls: Nature and Unattainable Pleasures in Scandinavian Gay and Lesbian Literature. Annual Meeting, Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study . Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study; New Orleans. 2016-04-29.
  • Svelstad, Per Esben. (2015) How to Read Homosexuality in Literature. Scandinavian Studies Symposium Series . Department of Scandinavian Studies; University of Wisconsin-Madison. 2015-11-13.
  • Svelstad, Per Esben. (2015) ‘Tantalos-kvaler!’ Ein homolitterær sitatpraksis i verk av Stefan Zweig og Borghild Krane. Nordiska kvinno- och genushistorikermötet 2015 . Stockholms Universitet, SKOGH, Södertörns Högskola; 2015-08-19.
  • Svelstad, Per Esben. (2015) The Question of Coding in Queer Literature and the Writings of Norwegian Modernist Åsmund Sveen. Polyseminar Public Talk . Department of Comparative Literature and Folklore Studies; University of Wisconsin-Madison. 2015-09-22.
  • Svelstad, Per Esben; Heede, Dag. (2015) Queer(ing) Scandinavian Literature. Open førelesing . CLAGS/Center for LGBTQ Studies; Graduate Center, City University of New York. 2015-10-13.
  • Warner, Marina; Sadri, Houman; Tolonen, Anna-Liisa; Poilvez, Marion; Hakoköngäs, Eemeli; Svelstad, Per Esben. (2015) Masterclass with Marina Warner: Living in Words: The question of myth. Masterclass med Holbergprisvinner Marina Warner . Holbergprisen; Bergen. 2015-06-08.
  • Andersen, Britt; Svelstad, Per Esben. (2014) Alf Prøysen og den litterære subkulturen.
  • Boasson, Frode Lerum; Furuseth, Sissel; Malvik, Anders Skare; Omdal, Gerd Karin; Svelstad, Per Esben. (2014) Bokstavelig talt: Litterær diskusjon om Yahya Hassans "Yahya Hassan". Bokstavelig talt . Studentersamfundet; Trondheim. 2014-03-12.
  • Kjørholt, Ingvild Hagen; Lyngstad, Anne Berit; Svelstad, Per Esben. (2014) Bokstavelig talt: Litterær diskusjon om Ingrid Storholmens "Her lå Tirpitz". Bokstavelig talt . Studentersamfundet; Trondheim. 2014-11-12.
  • Kristiansen, Johanne; Antonsen, Katrine; Omdal, Gerd Karin; Goring, Paul Michael; Svelstad, Per Esben. (2014) Hvordan kommuniserer vi med tekst?. Researchers' Night 2014 . NTNU/Forskningsdagene; Trondheim. 2014-09-26.
  • Svelstad, Per Esben. (2014) In the Shadow of Vitalism's Sun. Interpreting the Decay of Life in Åsmund Sveen's Andletet (1932). States of Decadence/La décadence dans tous ses états ; Høgskolen i Østfold, Halden. 2014-06-11 - 2014-06-14.
  • Svelstad, Per Esben. (2013) Vald som leiemotiv i Åsmund Sveens forfattarskap. NorLit: Litteratur og terror . NTNU, Institutt for språk og litteratur; Trondheim. 2013-08-22 - 2013-08-24.
  • Svelstad, Per Esben. (2012) Sapfo, Labé og kjærleikens paradoks. Fagkveld . FINAL -- Fagutvalet ved Institutt for nord. og allm. lit.; Trondheim. 2012-02-14.