Anna Söderquist, Curator & Associate Professor at St. Olaf College

  • Anna Söderquist specializes in Kierkegaard, Continental Philosophy, and the History of Philosophy. Her interests meet at the intersection of philosophy, religion, literature, and art. She is author of Kierkegaard on Dialogical Education: Vulnerable Freedom, has published articles in Res Philosophica and The Philosophical Forum, and contributed chapters to numerous edited volumes on Kierkegaard.
  • Söderquist is also the Curator of the Hong Kierkegaard Library. For more information, view our About the Curator page. Her office is located in Steensland Hall, and she can be reached by phone at 507-786-3797 or emailed at
  • Professor Söderquist office hours are Mondays from 10:15-11:15 and by appointment.

Brian Söderquist, Endowed Kierkegaard Chair in Christian Philosophy

  • Brian’s areas of specialization are Philosophy of Religion, Existentialism, and the thought of Søren Kierkegaard. Brian has a Ph.D. from the University of Copenhagen, a master’s degree from Yale University, and a bachelor’s degree from Utah State University. He is the author of The Isolated Self: Truth and Untruth in Kierkegaard’s On the Concept of Irony as well as numerous articles and book chapters. He was part of the team that translated Kierkegaard’s Journals and Notebooks (11 volumes) and has served as co-editor of Kierkegaard Studies: Yearbook and Kierkegaardiana.

Eileen Shimota, Assistant Director

  • Eileen Shimota has worked at St. Olaf College in various positions for 24 years. With her undergraduate degree in communications and a master’s in experiential education, she finds basically every aspect of the St. Olaf campus a great place to work. But her strong interest in sociology, psychology, and theology, and has led her to want to work in the Kierkegaard Library.
  • Often described as “a hidden gem on St. Olaf’s campus” she appreciates the opportunity to work in a culture of intellect and meet accomplished scholars from all over the world. Her office is located in Steensland Hall, and she can be reached by phone at 507-786-3846 or emailed at

Jill Fisher, Special Collections Coordinator

  • Jill Fisher has worked at St. Olaf since 2012 and has been with Kierkegaard Library since 2021.  Jill received her BA degree from Concordia College, Moorhead with a double major of International Relations and Scandinavian Studies. At Concordia, she learned about Kierkegaard and the famed Hong Kierkegaard Library from her professor Rune Engebretsen who was a long time supporter of the Friends of the Kierkegaard Library and of the Kierkegaard House Foundation.  She is thrilled to now be a member of staff. Jill was introduced to Denmark and the Danish culture and language as a Rotary exchange student and is today a self proclaimed Dano-phile. She continues to enjoy learning Danish in her spare time.

Lise Faillettaz, Library Collections Associate

  • Lise Faillettaz has worked for the Hong Kierkegaard Library since 2003. In addition to providing assistance to students and scholars, she has responsibilities in the areas of collection development, acquisitions, access to periodical articles, and the organization of the historical archives of the Hong Kierkegaard Library. A graduate of Luther College with a B.A. in English and French literature, she earned an M.A. in Psychology from the University of St. Thomas. Her library background at St. Olaf includes many years helping develop the Government Documents position in Rolvaag Library.

Don Janke, Library Assistant (Volunteer)

  • Don Janke is a supporter of the Kierkegaard Library who has spent the past 20+ years working as both a staff and volunteer member.

Bailey Kinsky, Conservation Consultant

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  • Bailey Kinsky is conservator and owner of Valkyrie Conservation. She earned her M.A. degree with a Certificate of Advanced Study in Art Conservation at SUNY Buffalo State College, and she works to preserve as much of the historical integrity of a book while still allowing it to function as a readable material.

Troy Wellington Smith, Special Consultant for the Rare Book Collection (volunteer)Image result for Troy Wellington Smith

  • Troy Wellington Smith is a fourth-year PhD student in the Department of Scandinavia at the University of California, Berkeley. He holds a Master’s of Library Science degree from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and a Master’s in English literature from the University ofMississippi, where he defended a thesis entitled “Kierkegaard and Byron: Disability, Irony, and the Undead.” In addition to having participated several times in the Hong Kierkegaard Library Summer Fellows program, he is also an Assistant Editor of the Library’s Søren Kierkegaard Newsletter. At Berkeley, he plans to write a dissertation on Kierkegaard and Book History.

Kiara Fitzpatrick25 is from Kirkland, WA and pursuing degrees in Sociology/Anthropology, French, and Philosophy.   This is Kiara’s first year working at the Hong-Kierkegaard library and she is thrilled to be working in an environment so devoted to the study of existentialism, of which her interest was first peaked by Simone de Beauvoir, a feminist existentialist philosopher (whose work can be found in the collection!). When not consumed by her course load, Kiara can be found reading in a yellow adirondack chair on the quad, or scouring Northfield for the best coffee.

Abdou Ghanim ’23 – is from Cairo, Egypt and is a Computer Science major.

“I help the library with research-related tasks like writing articles, finding book titles, helping scholars locate things, or whatever Eileen Shimota throws my way.

I joined the Hong Kierkegaard Library in my sophomore year after completing “PHIL233: Existentialism” and a summer seminar on Kierkegaard with Professor Gordon Marino. Currently a junior, I major in Computer Science (though a humanities-wannabe)and I find joy with nature, family, good conversations and a fresh cup of tea or coffee(yes they can peacefully coexist). I hope to see you in our new building in the Steensland Library and maybe chat a little bit about the good life…”

Ivy Lanz ’24 – is from South Kingstown, Rhode Island and is currently undecided about a major. Study Away Fall 2022

“I am deeply interested in History and Library Science. With this school year opening back up, I hope to join an intramural sport and new clubs. This is my first year working at the Hong Kierkegaard Library and I am excited to get to know the library, it’s staff, and the work surrounding the job. I, and another student, will be working on grant related tasks for the Rare Book Collection.”

Else Madsen ’25 – is from Duluth, Minnesota and is interested in a Political Science and/or a Sociology/Anthropology major. Else first encountered the Hong-Kierkegaard library as she toured the St. Olaf campus, and once accepted on campus, Else knew that she wanted to explore the library and the community within the library more. When she’s not in class, Else is often exploring a new hiking trail, reading in a hammock, or doing work with political organizations.

Liz Mills ‘25 from Kennebunkport, Maine is studying Philosophy and Ancient Studies.  New to the HKL this fall, Liz’s journey in philosophy started in high school when she began reading the works of Sartre and Camus. As Liz began reading her way through the existentialists, she found that it was Kierkegaard who captured her interest. Outside the world of philosophy, Liz enjoys jaunting around the Natural Lands and attempting to learn Ancient Greek.

Abigail Peterson ’24 – Study Away Fall 2022 – is from Forest Lake, Minnesota, and is double majoring in History and Social Studies Education. In addition to her typical librarian duties, she assisted conservator Bailey Kinsky with restoring rare books.

“I love working at the Hong Kierkegaard Library because of its unique function as a special collections library and center for research and publication, the interesting collections, and the outstanding opportunities tailored to my interests and talents.”