Summer Fellows Program


The HKL was closed to off-campus visitors this summer but offered engaging and inspiring virtual talks and discussions in relation to Kierkegaard. Below is the list of speakers, topic and titles:

Recording – June 9 – Marcia Robinson, Dr. Marcia C. Robinson teaches the history of Christian thought and culture in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University in Upstate New York. For over 20 years, she has both published and given numerous presentations on Kierkegaard’s theological aesthetics and anthropology, and served in the leadership of the American Kierkegaard community. Her research and teaching also include women, religion, and anti-slavery reform in 19thc. America and religion and art in America.  Title: “Out over 70,000 Fathoms with the Lilies and the Birds: Easter as Philosophia in Kierkegaard’s 1849 Discourses on the Lilies and the Birds.” This talk focuses on what might be called the “Easter message” of Kierkegaard’s third set of discourses on the lilies and the birds. In doing so, it not only presents spirituality as wisdom, as a way of living appropriate for struggling human beings. But it also suggests in this message a window into Kierkegaard’s understanding of the nature of religion.

Recording  June 16 – Frances Maughen-Brown, Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy, College of the Holy Cross.  Title: “The Call in the Response: Kierkegaard’s Patterns.” This talk will take up the two different ways–in The Seducer’s Diary, and elsewhere–that Kierkegaard uses the term “pattern.” Paradoxically, it turns out, the repetition of images is not only what true “pattern,” or archi-image, must be distinguished from; it is at the same time what best helps us understand it.

Recording   June 23 – Antony Aumann, Associate Professor of Philosophy, No. Michigan University.  Title: “Kierkegaard on Risk, Loss, and Finding Happiness.” Kierkegaard counsels us to take risks. But what happens if they do not pan out? This paper examines Kierkegaard’s take on how to find happiness after losing everything.

Recording   June 30 – Jason Mahn, Professor of Religion, Conrad Bergendoff Chair in the Humanities, Director of the Presidential Center for Faith and Learning, Augustana College, IL  Title: “Kierkegaard and Camus on Neighbor Love through Pandemics.” Camus’s The Plague was widely read and discussed over the year of 2020–and for good reasons. Drawing on the reflections in his forthcoming book, Neighbor Love through Fearful Days, Jason Mahn will add Kierkegaard’s theology of love of neighbor to Camus’s musings about making meaning in the face of absurd suffering. With both existentialists as our teachers, we might learn to find/make meaning and purpose in times of pain and meaninglessness.

UTECH SEMINAR: July 7th   Recording   & 8th  Recording   – Sharon Krishek, Lecturer in Philosophy, The Faculty of Humanities at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Title:  Kierkegaardian Selfhood and Romantic Love”  Using Kierkegaard’s analysis of selfhood in The Sickness unto Death, Dr. Krishek develops a conception of what she calls ‘individual essence’ and demonstrate the crucial role that one’s selfhood plays when it comes to romantic love.

Recording  July 14 – Rick Furtak, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Colorado College. Title: “Love of the Individual”  This talk will offer an interpretation of why Kierkegaard, in Works of Love, presents the divine power of love as being oriented toward the (realization and) appreciation of each person’s distinctive particularity, in such a manner as to provide us with insight into individual existence.

Recording  July 21 Ulrika Carlsson received her PhD from Yale in 2013. She has taught at LIU Brooklyn and Moscow’s Higher School of Economics. Title: “You are what you love”.  At its most formal level, love, in Kierkegaard’s thought, is a figure for teleology. Hence its prevalence in his writings: the essence of a person, their existential stance, and their approach to knowledge, is constituted by what and how they love. Going beyond the simple erotic/Christian binary, what models of love do we find in Kierkegaard’s works, and what are their corresponding views of life and knowledge?

Recording   July 28 – Spanish Lecture by Matias Tapia Wende – FONDECYT-Chile Postdoctorate at Universidad de Los Andes – Spanish – Título: “‘Hazlo en el nombre de Dios’: El asunto de conciencia en Kierkegaard“. Kierkegaard enfatiza repetidamente el carácter apolítico del cristianismo. Sin embargo, esto no significa que, para Kierkegaard, el cristiano sea indiferente a todo cambio en la esfera pública. Esta presentación aborda esta tensión a partir de la concepción kierkegaardiana del asunto de conciencia.
English – Title: “‘In God’s Name Do So’: Kierkegaard on Matters of Conscience.” Kierkegaard repeatedly stresses Christianity’s apolitical character. However, that does not mean that, for Kierkegaard, the Christian remains indifferent to any change in the public sphere. This presentation addresses this tension with the help of Kierkegaard’s notion of matters of conscience.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hong Kierkegaard Library was closed for the summer of 2020. To continue in the tradition of a scholarly community, “The Poul Lübcke Memorial Lecture Series” was offered in honor of our friend and scholar. The recordings of the talks can be found on the Library News and Events page.


The Utech Seminar was held on July 9th and July 10th. Recordings can be found on the Library News and Events page of this website. Title: “Kierkegaard: Writing a Life”
Speaker: Clare Carlisle is the author of four books on Kierkegaard: Kierkegaard’s Philosophy of Becoming (2005), Kierkegaard: A Guide for the Perplexed (2006), Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling (2010), and the new biography Philosopher of the Heart: The Restless Life of Søren Kierkegaard (2019). She is also the author of On Habit (2014) and Spinoza’s Religion (forthcoming in 2021); the editor of Spinoza’s Ethics, translated by George Eliot (2020); and the translator of Félix Ravaisson’s De l’habitude (2008). She has written dozens of articles on philosophy for the Guardian, and is a regular contributor to the TLS. Clare Carlisle grew up in Manchester, studied philosophy and theology at TrinityCollege, Cambridge,and is now a professor at King’s College London.


Previously and Planning for Summer 2021: The Kierkegaard Library offers unpaid research fellowships to serious scholars for two to eight weeks in duration during the months of June and July. This Summer Fellows program entitles scholars to use the resources of the Kierkegaard Library while attending required activities: guest lectures, peer presentations, and participation in scholar seminars twice a week. Beyond extensive access to the Kierkegaard Library,  scholars have the opportunity to use the other libraries and facilities of St. Olaf College.”

Participants of the program include students at the graduate level and seasoned scholars.  Housing is provided on campus, all other expenses are the responsibility of the scholar. Advanced undergraduates are encouraged to apply to the Young Scholars Program.


Please send the following to Eileen Shimota by email or to the address below before March 30:

  1. Updated Curriculum Vitae or other description of your qualifications
  2. A description of your proposed research project and your reasons for wanting to use the collection
  3. Two (2) academic recommendations, preferably directly to
  4. Your preferred dates in residence

              Eileen Shimota, Assistant Curator
              Hong Kierkegaard Library
              St. Olaf College
              1520 St. Olaf Avenue
              Northfield, MN 55057

2019 Summer Fellow scholars
  • Andres Albertsen, Argentina
  • Tatiana Badurova, Czech Republic
  • Amber Bowen, USA
  • Patrick Brown, United Kingdom
  • Janaki Challa, USA
  • Dante Clementi, USA
  • Seth Daves, USA
  • Claudine Davidshoefer, USA
  • Patrick Derdall, USA
  • Thomas Gilbert, USA
  • David Heckerl, Canada
  • Eric Illiff, USA
  • Susanne Jakobsen Ilskov, Denmark
  • Jesus Luzardo, USA
  • Jakub Marek, Czech Republic
  • Orjiako Aloysius Oluchukwu, Nigeria
  • Janaki Potocek, Czech Republic
  • Alexander Quanbeck, USA
  • Barney Riggs, United Kingdom
  • Valerie Roberge, Canada
  • Linden Smith, USA
  • Clay Snell, USA
  • Megan Welle, Poland
  • Troy Wellington, USA