Jessica Allen Hanssen

Professor Faculty of Education and Arts
+47 75 51 77 78

About me

I am an associate professor of English in the Department of English​ at Nord University. I am the faculty coordinator for the Bachelor of English degree. My primary areas of interest are American literature, especially 19th and early 20th century fiction, short-story theory, narratology, YA fiction, and middle grades English education.

I have served as faculty coordinator for the Bachelor of English degree program (BAENG) since 2012. My main responsibilities as faculty coordinator include academic quality assurance, national and international profiling, and intra-faculty communication. I am pleased to report that Nord University's Bachelor of English has been rated highest in student satisfaction in Norway among similar bachelor degree programmes for the consecutive years of 2017, 2018, and 2019. (NOKUT Study Barometer). 


Dr. Philos in American Literature, University of Oslo, 2010

PPU (Practical Pedagogical Education, Grades 5-10), Nord University, 2010

Master of Arts in English, Valdosta State University, USA, 2003

Bachelor of Arts in English, Valdosta State University, USA, 2000



At present, I am part of a team responsible for teaching British and American literature for both the Bachelor of English and the Master of Middle Grades Education degrees. Addtionally, I teach part of an MA course for teacher education students called "Critical Reflections on Literature and Language Teaching in English Teaching Practices." I also teach courses in American Fiction after 1945 and (beginning fall 2021) Crime Fiction for second- and third-year BA students, as well as coordinate BA thesis supervision for Bachelor of English students. 

In previous years, I have taught classes on young adult fiction, fantasy narratives, research and writing, Business English, American Fiction after 1945, and Hawthorne vs. Melville. 

My teaching responsibilities also include BA, MA, PhD, and practicum supervision, as well as in-service training for English teachers on a rotating basis. 

In 2014, I was awarded Nord's (then University of Nordland) faculty prize for creating an Outstanding Learning Environment for the subject of English for students and staff (læringsmiljøprisen). 



I have recently published articles on diverse themes, including unnatural narratology in Frankenstein, English teaching methodology, YA sustainability narratives, Hawthorne's A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys, and Irving's The Sketch-Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. 

My primary literary research applies ideas on structure, narrative persona, and closure, as derived from contemporary short-story theory, to 19th century American writers such as Washington Irving and Nathaniel Hawthorne. This vein of inquiry leads to new understandings of their craft and significance. 

Additionally, my education research focuses on the intersection of critical theory and middle grades English education and the early introduction of critical reading, and especially reader-response and narratology-based teaching strategies, into the Norwegian national curriculum. I have recently published two articles highlighting this theme, with a third in press and scheduled for publication in fall 2020. 

I have planned new research on structural ambiguity in Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence, David Foster Wallace’s Oblivion and the limits of technology, the presidential legacy of Fanshawe by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and non-linear narrative time in Melville's Pierre.  

I also coordinated the 2018 Frankenreads project at Nord University. I am a founding member of Nord's Humanities, Education and Culture research group.​