Library News

SUMMER SCHOLAR NEWS: … Scholars’ Seminars Videos below

The Hong Kierkegaard Library celebrating Susanne and Lasse’s wedding.


Happy belated Wedding!

Kierkegaard Scholar Susanne and her husband Lasse were recently married. As a part of the Kierkegaard family, we naturally could not let this exciting event go by without a little celebration. After one of our seminars, we brought out some gifts and cake to commemorate their vows of love! Our gift to them were a pair of Hong Kierkegaard Library shirts and, of course, Works of Love by S.K.




Janaki Challa earned her BA from Trinity College (’11), and an MA in Religious Studies from New York University (’14). She is interested in artistic and literary uses of Kierkegaard in popular culture, and is currently working on a book of creative essays dealing with anxiety, coming of age, and Kierkegaard. Her work has appeared in NPR, Rolling Stone, VICE, Departures, among other outlets, and she has worked at TIME Inc., The Daily Beast, Daily Mail (Elite Daily), Newsweek/IBT, and IBM. She is the recipient of a 2019-2020 Fulbright award to Romania, where she will continue working on her book.

Dante Clementi, ‘18, graduated with a BA/MA from Johns Hopkins University in Philosophy. His first summer at the Hong Kierkegaard Library ignited his interest in Kierkegaard’s scholarship. He is back at the library for a second summer in a row to prepare for his graduate work this upcoming Fall at Boston College as he will be studying under the distinguished Kierkegaard Scholar Prof. Venessa Rumble. 

Jakub Marek, Philosophy Professor at Charles University in Prague, is organizing the Prague Philosophy Summer School hosted by the Philosophy Department. This five-day series of lectures and master classes focuses on the topic of subjectivity in the works of Hegel, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche. This summer he is visiting the Hong Kierkegaard Library with two of his doctoral students, Jan Potocek and Tatiana Badurova.

Barney Riggs received his BA with honors in Philosophy at the University of West England and then his MA at the University of Copenhagen. Currently he is working on obtaining his PhD at the University of Sheffield on Kierkegaard’s concept of busyness. He is currently a member of the Centre for Engaged Philosophy at USheffield and an editor of Kierkegaard in Process, the Kierkegaard Student Journal. In the Fall of this year, he will be speaking on the topic of Kierkegaard and capitalism in York, UK at a conference on philosophy and economics.

Linden Smith, ‘18, graduated from St. Olaf with a degree in Music and Religion. In his spare time he took as many philosophy courses as possible and developed a keen interest in Kierkegaard’s theological subject matter. After taking a gap year from academia, his is jumping head first into graduate studies at the University of Chicago Divinity School. His main interest 




LEARN ABOUT A CAREER IN WRITING – Tuesday – may 7th, 2019

As a writer interested in culture, extreme experience, and performance, Steve Marsh will reflect on his background as a Senior Writer of the Mlps.St.Paul Magazine and offer students practical advice on how to get started in a career in writing.

He has been published in the Wall Street Journal, GQ, Pitchfork, New York Magazine, and Grantland for his articles on athletes, artists, and leaders in thought and business on their own turf, whether that’s Detroit, Stuttgart, or Beriut.

The writing session will be held next Tuesday in the Kierkegaard Library.


St. Olaf alum Carl S. Hughes from the class of 2003 will lecture on the topic of “What Makes Kierkegaard ‘Biblical?’” in Viking Theater on the 17th of May.

As an established Kierkegaard scholar, Professor Hughes will offer attendees a unique perspective on the nature of the great Danish philosopher. He has published several works on Kierkegaard, including Kierkegaard and the Staging of Desire, and he currently teaches at Texas Lutheran University.

All are welcome to attend.



A senior research fellow of the Hong Kierkegaard Library, Jamie Lorentzen will lead the Julia Watkins Lecture this Fall on the topic Crashing into One’s Self: Decisive Encounters with the Wisdom of Kierkegaard & the Value of First Person Responses. Attend for an enlightening evening of Kierkegaardian conversations! The Lecture will start at 7 pm in St. Olaf’s Viking Theater.


The Casual Kierkegaard Conversations return! Students with an interest in Kierkegaard are encouraged to attend this spooktacular close reading of Kierkegaard’s At a Graveside this Thursday from 11:30 – 12:30 pm in the Library lounge. No prior knowledge required. Snacks will be provided!

PHILOSOPHY OVER PIZZA – October 25th, 2018:

The Hong Kierkegaard Library is hosting a Thursday night pizza event for all St. Olaf students interested in philosophy. Over several boxes of pizza, students will have the opportunity to discuss world matters and philisophical affairs.

WHAT IS YOUR “WHY”? – September 20th, 2018: 

Discover your “why?” with Jennings!

“Why am I here?” is one of the biggest questions we can ask. On September 20th at 7 pm in CAD 305, Antonio Jennings will speak on the importance of service and how to serve within your passion to get to your “why? This Ole Alumn  lives to inspire others to exceed their own expectations.

Antonio Jennings is the founder of the Each1Reach1 foundation and works as a motivational speaker, minister, community activist, and author. For more information, visit Antonio Jennings’ official webpage.

WELCOME RECEPTION – September 18th, 2018:

Tuesday, September 18th held an afternoon reception of engaging conversation and delightful company with the 2018-2019 International Visiting Scholars in the Norway Room in Buntrock Commons!

For more information on the Visiting Scholar’s program and participants, view the official International Visiting Scholars webpage on the Hong Kierkegaard Library website.

WELCOME BACK OLES! – September 6th, 2018:

With the start of a new academic year upon us, let us all reflect on the St Olaf Mission Statement:

St. Olaf College challenges students to excel in the liberal arts, examine faith and values, and explore meaningful vocation in an inclusive, globally engaged community nourished by Lutheran tradition.

We wish you well with all of your academic endeavors!
            – HKL

Held June 13 – 17, 2018 at St. Olaf College, sponsored by the Hong Kierkegaard Library

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The sun disappears beneath the horizon line, enshrouding the St. Olaf Hill in darkness, marking an end and a beginning. For some, in the quaint town of Northfield, it is merely the end of a seemingly-ordinary Friday; for others, however, it is the end of a summer full of research, friendship, and growth. Since the beginning of June of this year, scholars from across the globe have traveled numerous miles to join a vibrant, intellectual, and caring community of Kierkegaard Scholars. Whether they are here simply for the 8th International Kierkegaard Conference or for the entirety of the summer, our scholars have found a home away from home, a community otherwise obscured in the wake of all other academia.

The summer started off with the International Kierkegaard Conference where both renowned and aspiring scholars shared papers on the topic, “The Wisdom of Kierkegaard: What Existential Lessons have you Learned from Him?” After the five-day conference came to an end, the 150 scholars dropped to a smaller number, a little over 50, 13 of which were Young Scholars. While the remaining Kierkegaardians conducted their research over the remainder of the summer, the Young Kierkegaard Scholars program was a two-week series of seminars that allowed for undergraduate students from across the nation to research with Professor Marino and either prepare for graduate school or buff-up their CV.

“Whether they are here simply for the 8th International Kierkegaard Conference or for the entirety of the summer, our scholars have found a home away from home. . .”

In the midst of this commotion, every Tuesday and Thursday the Hong Kierkegaard Library hosted summer seminars in which the Summer Scholars were able to present and answer questions about their questions. Whether it was a part of their dissertation or an independent study, this provided a comfortable space for them to talk about their meaningful work. For example, one stupendous seminar lecture was given by the venerable Dr. Richard Purkarthofer who spoke about the Hong Kierkegaard Library Rare Book Room and the various book bindings of our pre-1856 collections.

Overall, this was rather an eventful summer for the Library. There were many blissful highlights that we were able to share with our Kierkegaardian family: the opening dinner for the conference where College President David Anderson made the commencement speech, and the publication of Professor Marino’s new book, The Existentialist’s Survival Guide. As this fruitful summer comes to an end, we have been glad to create many memories with old and new friends alike.

– Mattias Kostov, HKL student worker


A video archive of past lectures given by scholars affiliated by the Hong Kierkegaard Library can be viewed below.

  •  Jamie Lorentzen is a Hong Kierkegaard Library Senior Research Fellow.
  • Paul Houe
  • David Lappano
  • Professor Patrick Stokes
    • Part 1 of his Utech seminars on Consciousness, Reflection, and Subjectivity
    • Part 2 of his Utech seminars on Consciousness, Reflection, and Subjectivity
  • Professor Anthony Rudd
  • Professor Vincent McCarthy is a Ph.D. (Stanford) professor of philosophy at St. Joseph’s University, having served there also as Provost and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He is widely published in the fields of enlightenment philosophy, existentialism, and philosophy of religion.
  • Professor Sergia Hay is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington where she teaches courses in the history of philosophy and ethics, including existentialist courses featuring Soren Kierkegaard. Professor Hay studied philosophy at Wellesley College, Cambridge University, and Columbia University. She is a past Summer Fellow at the Hong Kierkegaard Library and her research focuses on Kierkegaard’s Christian ethics and the intersections between Socrates, Kierkegaard, and Johann Hamann. She is the daughter of two St. Olaf graduates