Professor Leiren teaches courses in Scandinavian history and culture for the Department. His teaching also includes the popular “History of the Vikings,” and courses in the Norwegian Studies program. Leiren joined the UW faculty in 1977 as professor of Scandinavian studies and history. He served as Chair of the Department of Scandinavian Studies from 1995 – 2010 and as Acting Department Chair in 2014-2015. Professor Leiren was the first holder of the Department’s Sverre Arestad Endowed Chair in Norwegian Studies from 2007 to 2017. He also held an appointment in the Department of History as Adjunct Professor of History In 1996, Professor Leiren was knighted by His Majesty King Harald V of Norway and awarded the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit.
Terje Leiren’s research focuses on Norwegian studies and the cultural history of Scandinavian and Scandinavian America. He is interested in questions of national identity, ethnicity, and cultural expression and has published extensively on the history of the Norwegian-Swedish Union (1814-1905), the establishment of the modern Norwegian monarchy in 1905, Sigurd Ibsen, and Marcus Thrane, a Norwegian radical labor leader and playwright who immigrated to the United States in 1864. Professor Leiren is the co-author (with Jan Sjåvik) of an updated and revised second edition of the Historical Dictionary of Norway published by Rowman and Littlefield Publishers in 2019. He is also the author of two books on Marcus Thrane: Marcus Thrane: A Norwegian Radical in America (1987), and Selected Plays of Marcus Thrane (2007).