M.G. Piety

Correction!

In Conference news, News from Copenhagen on October 8, 2013 at 5:50 pm

This is embarrassing. I had written in the last post that Pia Søltoft was the director of the Søren Kierkegaard Research Center at the University of Copenhagen. Sylvia Walsh Perkins corrected me, however, in a recent email exchange. Niels Jørgen Cappelørn is the director of the center, she said. He had told her so himself. That makes sense given the penchant the Danish press had for referring to Cappelørn as the director of the center, even after everyone in the U.S. (and one can presume the rest of the world outside Denmark) had been notified that Pia Søltoft was the director of the center. What gave me pause, however, was the fact that Pia had told me herself that she was the director of the center. Or more correctly, she had answered my question as to whether she was the director of the center with an affirmative “yes.” I’d asked her that precisely because there’s been lingering ambiguity about who is the center director (see my inaugural post to this blog). Pia explained that she was, in fact, the director for now, but that she would not be the director for much longer because now that the center had been incorporated into the theology faculty of the University of Copenhagen, the head of the theology faculty would be the director of the center.

I thought I’d do a web search to see what the website for the center said and was surprised to discover that there were actually two websites for the center, the old one, when the center was not affiliated with the university and one that reflects its new affiliation. Neither lists Pia Søltoft as the director though, so I’m not sure what her role is re the center and why she did not explain the situation. Maybe even she does not understand it. Also, I was surprised to learn that the Theology Faculty bio for Pia to which I had included a link in the earlier post no longer works. It worked when I wrote the piece last week, but it doesn’t work now, so I included an older link above.

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  1. I can’t comment directly on the directorship issue (as my understanding is that it has changed quite recently) but I think I can explain the website at least. SKC has always been, in a sense, two distinct but overlapping bodies: a research center linked to the University of Copenhagen, and a philological and editorial center for the production of the new edition (SKS) under the aegis of the Søren Kierkegaard Research Center Foundation. When SKC was absorbed into the Theology Faculty (February 2010 – I remember as we had the ceremony just as I was finishing up my postdoc there, followed by a surprise party/festschrift launch for NJC’s 65th birthday), a new page was set up for SKC within the KU website, while the ‘old’ page became the webpage of the Research Foundation as it continued to work on the remaining volumes of SKS. (You’ll notice they’ve added a ‘Fonden’ to the page header). There’s currently a notice on the Foundation webpage that “Fonden Søren Kierkegaard Forskningscenteret har med udgivelsen af de to sidste bind, 28 og K28, af Søren Kierkegaards Skrifter løst sin sidste opgave og er under nedlæggelse.” So presumably that page won’t operate for much longer either.

    • Thanks for this info. I didn’t think there was much “overlap” though between what you refer to as the “research center” at the University of Copenhagen and the Søren Kierkegaard Research Center that was started by a grant from Forsknings Fonden. What you call the “research center” was always known as “the Kierkegaard Library” and it was part of the theology faculty of the University of Copenhagen. The SKRC was originally on the top floor of the theology faculty, but people who were working at the library were rarely allowed in the center or invited to center events. Then the center split off completely and moved to a new building a few blocks away. Then, I believe, it moved again.

      When did the last volumes of SKS appear? I thought that was a while ago, so it is puzzling that the website is still active. It’s also confusing. No explanation was ever given either for the fact that people outside Denmark were told Pia Søltoft was the center director whereas inside Denmark Cappelørn continued to be referred to as the director. It’s all very strange.

      • Well during my time there, they overlapped insofar as they shared the same building (second floor of Vartov), facilities, director (Niels Jørgen, until Feb. 2010), Secretary (Bjarne) and public identity. You wouldn’t necessarily know about the dual reporting lines to KU and SKRCF even if you worked there – in fact I didn’t know about it for ages.

        Not sure exactly when the last SKS volumes appeared – though obviously some time before the whole thing was presented to Dronning Margarethe on 5th May.

      • They shared the same floor? That’s a configuration I had not heard about. I also don’t get how Cappelørn could have been the director of the Kierkegaard library because the director was always a member of the Theology Faculty of the University of Copenhagen and Cappelørn was never, so far as I know, employed by the university. Do you think they kept the old SKRC website up until such time as they were able to present SKS to Queen Margarethe. That’s possible, I suppose, but it seems kind of odd and it is certainly very confusing.

  2. Yes we were all on the same floor (in offices coming of the same corridor in fact), shared the same lunchroom, copier, stationary, all appeared on the same website etc. It was great fun and a lovely environment to work in, though it would get a bit noisy one morning a year when the Grundtvigians would celebrate Grundtvig’s birthday outside in the courtyard 🙂

    Not sure why they’re keeping the old site up: maybe it’s a requirement while the Foundation still exists as a legal entity, or maybe it’s just that no-one has taken it down yet.

    • Wow, that sounds really nice. It was not at all like that when I was there. It sounds as if both the library and the center are now smaller than they were when I was there. The center used to take up the whole top floor of the Theology Faculty building. Small and friendly is certainly better than large and indifferent though.

  3. Thanks, Marilyn, for your efforts; a few mistakes are inevitable, but your error-count is most admirable. Bob

    _____

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