Picture of the book Andersen and the World. Click to go to the table of contentsHans Christian Andersen is primarily known as an author of fairy tales and is therefore, especially outside of Denmark, conventionally regarded as a writer of children's literature. This is probably the reason why his oeuvre has never been an obvious topic at universities outside of Denmark.

The Hans Christian Andersen Center (University of Southern Denmark. "Odense University" at that time), that was founded in 1988, wanted to change this situation and decided to initiate a series of international Hans Christian Andersen conferences.

And thus in august 1991 well over 70 scholars from 16 countries met in Odense to hear research papers and to discuss Hans Christian Andersen. The shared basis was to view Hans Christian Andersen's oeuvre from from the point of view of adult literature.

The conference papers are of great value and are still often inquired for at the Hans Christian Andersen Center. The book A Poet in Time (1999). Click to go to the list of contentsThe Center has published papers from the conferences at University of Southern Denmark in 1991 and 1996 in the books Andersen and the World (1993) (see the table of contents) and Hans Christian Andersen. A Poet in Time (1999) (see the table of contents). Additionally, the HCA Center has published the papers from the third international conference, that was held in June 2000 in Snowbird, Utah, USA, in cooperation with Brigham Young University, Utah, USA, and the University Press of Southern Denmark: Old Problems and New Readings (2004. More details). The papers from Andersen and the World and A Poet in Time, more than a thousand pages, have been published online.

The Hans Christian Andersen Center is planning another conference to be held at The University of Southern Denmark in august 2005.

The conferences have contributed to the creation of an international network for Hans Christian Andersen scholars and provide less known scholars the opportunity to have their research published.

Only the book with papers from the third conference, Old Problems and New Readings. Papers from the Third International Hans Christian Andersen Conference, can still be purchased (at the University Press of Southern Denmark, www.universitypress.dk).

The web publishing has made some of these substantial papers on Hans Christian Andersen accessible to new readers.