Anders Ib Michelsen

Anders Ib Michelsen


I am interested in two fundamental problems of the Humanities today.

  1. Basic theoretical issues that make this area possible: ontologies, theories, epistemologies and method with a focus on creativity.
  2. Work and practices that bring the Humanities into action with partners and stakeholders outside the institution.

I Involve my research with a broad experience as project leader, curator, critic, journalist, manager, innovator, consultant and cultural activitist and have often organized my teaching with external partners, from civil activists such as the Trampoline House over the commercial broadcaster TV3 to online teaching at James Cook University, Australia.


Office for Urban Action: 2018- social entreneurship initiative for research, teaching, development and knowledge transfer, focusing on contemporary urbanisation and architecture in the Somali Peninsula, in collaboration with Dreyers Foundation, Copenhagen; Dahabshiil, Hargeisa; and Abaarso Tech University, Hargeisa ( ).

Visual Practice: 2018- research project in visual practices, in collaboration with artists, activists, practitioners and creative industries; with Cenários Contemporâneos da Imagem e da Cultura Visual (Contemporary Scenarios of the Image and the Visual Culture), Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Creative Tingbjerg - Festival of Ideas: cultural mapping with an impact focus in the neighborhood Tingbjerg, Copenhagen, with activists and public housing organizations in Copenhagen - to be announced.

Book projects in progress

Trans Visual: visual cuture in the anthropo-eccene. Leiden and Boston: Brill 2020.

Constructing Somali Architecture (2021).

Recent books

Transvisuality: The Cultural Dimension of Visuality (Volume 3): Purposive Action: Design and Branding (published 2019)

Verner Panton. Environments, Colors, Systems, Patterns (published 2018

Architecture, Drawing Topology (Published 2017)

Selection of recent keynotes

Colonial and PostColonial World Literature: Postcolonial Perspectives, University of Delhi 2018, 15-18 March 2018, New Delhi, India; invited to panel on global crowd sourcing. 

Birth Centenary of legendary architect Padmashree Laurie Baker, Department of Architecture College of Engineering, Trivandrum, India 2018. Invited speaker. 

XVth Edition of the International Seminar on Literary Studies: Literature and Arts in Bodily Presence, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2019. Invited keynote.


I am accredited for 115 publications including 21 books, in my list of publications, University of Copenhagen, among them the best selling book Designmaskinen. Design af den moderne verden [The Design Machine. Design of the Modern World], articles on the most read list of Sage Publications, Thesis Eleven Critical Theory and Historical Sociology (Paper no. 63 was June 2009 no. 1), and the recent monograph Verner Panton. Environments, Colors, Systems, Patterns. Phaidon, London 2018. I am currently finalizing a second ph.d (dr.phil), 'Trans Visual: visual culture in the anthropo-eccene’, on the relation between dynamic topologies of contemporary culture and creative forms of the visual, to be published at Brill in 2020. It develops and complements the three volume collection Transvisuality. The cultural Dimension of Visuality that I initiated and co-edited for Liverpool University Press, 2013-2019 and the volume on Socioaesthetics. Ambience - Imaginary, I co-edited for Social and Critical Theory, Brill in 2015.  


As Head of Studies and Chair of the Study Board at Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen 2007-2011 I headed the creation of a departmental framework for all study programs (BA and MA) out of the four formerly independent departments making up the sections of the current department: art history, theater science, comparative literature and musicology. I presided over the establishment of a joint study board, a strategic education plan, a reformed study administration, MA thesis contract system, accreditation strategies, quality assurance formats, alumni initiatives, a pedagogical development plan, internationalization approaches, including, “Joint Master - Erasmus Mundus in Performing Arts Studies”, the first Erasmus Mundus program in Danish Humanities and the cross institutional MA program 4Cities (, in collaboration with universities in Brussels, Vienna, and Madrid.

Short CV

Anders Michelsen; Associate Professor, PhD, Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen, 2007 - ; Coordinator of the first master program in Visual Culture Studies in Scandinavia 2002-2009; Consultant for the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation 2002 - ; Head of Studies, Chairman of Study Board, Department of Arts and Cultural Studies 2007-2011; Chairman of PeaceWare Somaliland, 2009 - 2012; affiliated Copenhagen School of Global Health 2010-2012; member of steering committee, Centre for Advanced Migration Research (AMIS), University of Copenhagen 2012 - ; adjunct professor, Arts and Creative Media, James Cook, Australia 2014 - 2016; Foreign coordinator, Cenários Contemporâneos da Imagem e da Cultura Visual (Contemporary Scenarios of the Image and the Visual Culture) 2018 -, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Visiting Professor, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2019.


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