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Mads Rosendahl Thomsen


Mads Rosendahl Thomsen




I teach and research world literature, posthumanism and digital humanities

In September 2019, I published a book with Routledge on world literature, Literature and the Worldco-authored with Stefan Helgesson (Stockholm). I have edited The Bloomsbury Handbook of Posthumanism with Jacob Wamberg (Aarhus) - see a short introduction to the book here. It will appear in paperback in April 2022.

2021-25, I'm the co-PI of the research project "Fabula-NET" with Kristoffer Laigaard Nielbo, CHCAA, finansed by the VELUX Foundation.

I'm an editor of Orbis Litterarum and I welcome suggestions for publications in liteary studies for review.


Recent and forthcoming

I wrote on Covid-19 and literature for a special issue of Journal of World Literature. The issue will open with an interview with Orhan Pamuk, whose new novel is about a pandemic. In my essay ”Opposite Directions: How the Pandemic Fuels Nationalism and Universalism,” I consider how literature may react to the recent pandemic in the light of how literature has reacted to other traumatic events.


For the Cambridge History of World Literature – in two volumes edited by Debjany Ganguly – I have written the penultimate article of the volumes on posthumanism and world literature: how the non-human works as a trope in literature and how the transhuman presents a universal challenge that numerous authors have responded to.


”The Values of Imperfection” is based on a talk given to the British Comparative Literature Association at a conference on randomness. I use the work of Georges Perec as my main example to show how Perec embraces randomness and develops a poetics and a view of life that values the imperfect. The article will appear in Comparative Critical Studies.


“Serious experiments” or “Esperimenti Seri” was published in Italian in a volume on Franco Moretti’s work. I take my starting point in a little noticed statement from his article “Conjectures on World Literature” that he dreams of that all literary history could become a ”long chain of related experiments” and examines how this relates to his later work and to the works of literature that are at the center of his writing.


“The Ethics of Aesthetics” is a very short text written for Network of European Humanities.21 - https://neh21.net/experts-report/mads-rosendahl-thomsen/ - where I make the case for the importance of aesthetics, not just in art, but across a culture that otherwise sees itself driven by technology.


litdh.au.dk is a resource site for computional approaches to literary studies. From reflections to suggestions for sites and codes to use, it can be used in multiple ways. And will be updated.


In 2022, an article on posthumanism and realism will appear in volume two of ICLA’s history of realism in European literature, and an introduction to memory and migration in Palgrave’s forthcoming handbook of memory and literature studies.



Short CV

M.A. 1998, Ph.D. 2002 in Comparative Literature, Aarhus University

Thesis awarded with The University of Aarhus Research Foundation's Ph.D. Prize in 2003

Visiting Scholar, Stanford University, 2001, 2004, 2006 and 2015 (combined 8 months)

2003-06: Post.doc. financed by the Carlsberg Foundation

2007-09: Assistant Professor

2009-15: Associate Professor

2015-19: Professor with Special Responsibilities

2019-: Professor


Current research projects

Human Futures - 2016-22

Fabula-NET - 2021-25


Selected publications

Authored books

Literature and the World, co-authored with Stefan Helgesson (London: Routledge, 2019).

The New Human in Literature: Posthuman Visions of Changes in Body, Mind, and Society after 1900 (London: Bloomsbury, 2013 (pb. 2015)). Reviews in Orbis Litterarum and Comparative Literature.

Mapping World Literature: International Canonization and Transnational Literatures (London & New York: Continuum, 2008 (pb. 2010)). Reviews in Choice ("Highly recommended"), Modern Languages Review, English Studies, Journal of European Studies, The Comparatist, Comparative Literature Studies, Paragraph, Orbis Litterarum, Symploke, Transcostpost, Forum for Modern Language Studies

Kanoniske konstellationer. Om litteraturhistorie, kanonstudier og 1920'ernes litteratur (Odense: University Press of Southern Denmark, 2003) (revised dissertation)

Edited books

The Bloomsbury Handbook of Posthumanism with Jacob Wamberg (London: Bloomsbury, 2020)

Literature: An Introduction to Theory and Analysis (London: Bloomsbury, 2017)

Danish Literature as World Literature with Dan Ringgaard (London: Bloomsbury, 2017)

World Literature: A Reader with Theo D'haen and César Dominguez (London: Routledge, 2012)

The Posthuman Condition: Ethics, Aesthetics and Politics of Biotechnological Challenges with Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen and Jacob Wamberg (Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2012)

Reinventions of the Novel: Histories and Aesthetics of a Protean Genre with Karen-Margrethe Simonsen and Marianne Ping Huang (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2004)  

  • In preparation

    World Literature and Migration Literature

    Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

  • In preparation


    Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingBook chapterCommunication

  • In preparation


    Research output: Book/anthology/dissertation/reportBookResearchpeer-review

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Latest activities and conferences

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