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).
New Directions in Scandinavian Studies
Professor Leiren served as co-General Editor of the New Directions book series with the University of Washington Press between 2006 and 2015. Eleven books were published in the series during his tenure. The UW Press New Directions series offers interdisciplinary approaches to the study of the Nordic region of Scandinavia and the Baltic States and their cultural connections in North America. By redefining the boundaries of Scandinavian studies to include the Baltic States and Scandinavian America, New Directions in Scandinavian Studies presents books that focus on the study of the culture, history, literature, and politics of the Nordic region. During his time as co-general editor, eleven books appeared in the series.
Professor Leiren has contributed to, and appeared in, television productions for the History Channel, PBS, the A&E Network as well as NRK and TV2 in Norway.
- Terje Leiren and Jan Sjåvik, Historical Dictionary of Norway. Second Edition. Lanham, MD: Roman & Littlefield Publishers, 2019.
- Terje I. Leiren, "In the Shadow of the Great Powers: Norway and the Napoleonic Wars" / "I skyggen av stormaktene: Norge og napoleonskrigene," in 1814 - 2014 - Rødt, Hvitt, Blått: Norsk Grunnlov, Amerikansk inspirasjon. Gudleiv Forr, editor (Oslo: ArtPro forlag a/s, 2014): 52-62.
- Terje I. Leiren. Selected Plays of Marcus Thrane. Norwegian-American Historical Association and University of Washington Press: 2008.
- Terje I. Leiren. ""Kong Karl eller 'President Konow.' Norway's Form of Government and the Pamphlet Debate in 1905." Scandinavians in Old and New Lands: Essays in Honor of H. Arnold Barton. Chicago: Swedish-American Historical Association, 2004. 71-82.
- Terje I. Leiren. "Pilgrimage and Propaganda: An American Newspapermen's Tour of Norway, 1927." Norwegian-American Studies, vol.35. Norwegian-American Historical Association: 2000. 197-216.
- Ann-Charlotte Gavel Adams, Terje I. Leiren. Stage and Screen: Studies in Scandinavian Drama and Film. DreamPlayPress Northwest: 2000.
- Terje I. Leiren. "Dannelse fremfor alt. Marcus Thrane: A Playwright with a Purpose." Norwegian-American Essays, 1999. Oslo and Hamar: Norwegian Emigrant Museum and Norwegian-American Historical Association, 1999. 181-192.
- Terje I. Leiren. "Catalysts to Disunion: Sigurd Ibsen and Ringeren, 1898-1899." Scandinavian Studies (1999): 297-310.
- Terje I. Leiren. "The Land They Left Behind: Norway at the Time of Emigration." Family Sagas: Stories of Scandinavian Immigrants. Seattle: Scandinavian Language Institute, 1997. 201-210.
- Terje I. Leiren. "Becoming Norwegian: Sigurd Ibsen in America, 1886-1888." Scandinavian Studies (1996): 188-202.
- Terje I. Leiren. "Entertainment as Propaganda: Marcus Thrane and the Chicago Fire." Scandinavian Journal of History (1990): 239-244.
- Terje I. Leiren. "Marcus Thrane and Dagslyset." Norse Heritage - 1989 Year Book. Stavanger: Det norske utvandrersenteret, 1989. 39-51.
- Terje I. Leiren. Marcus Thrane: A Norwegian Radical in America. Norwegian-American Historical Association: 1987.
- Terje I. Leiren. "The Role of Kingship in the Monarchist-Republican Debate in Norway, 1905." The Historian: A Journal of History (1986): 268-278.
- Terje I. Leiren. "Sigurd Ibsen and the Origins of National Monarchy in Norway." Scandinavian Studies (1979): 392-412.
- Terje I. Leiren. "Norwegian Independence and British Opinion: January to August, 1814." Scandinavian Studies (1975): 364-382.
Research Advised: Graduate Dissertations
- Larson, Katherine. "Norwegian Double-Weave and the Warp-Weighted Loom: A North Gudbrandsdal Tradition" PhD Dissertation. University of Washington, 2011.
- Safstrom, Mark. "The Religious Origins of Democratic Pluralsim: Paul Peter Waldenstrom and the Politics of the Swedish Awakening, 1868-1917." PhD Dissertation. University of Washington, 2011.
Research Advised: Graduate Masters Theses
- Scandinavian 30 Renews Relationship With Nordic Museum - October 25, 2018
- By Air, Sea, and Land - October 26, 2017
- Trgyve Ugland on Migration and Europe - October 30, 2015
- Faculty Spotlight - June 23, 2015
- Faculty Spotlight - September 13, 2014
- Three New Books from New Directions in Scandinavian Studies in 2008 - October 15, 2007