You can reach me at my work email: sophushelle at cc dot au dot dk. I’m an incorrigible workaholic, so I usually reply pretty quickly.
PhD in Comparative Literature from Aarhus University, 2020; MA in Assyriology from the University of Copenhagen, 2017
I am writer with a passion for taking seemingly obscure topics and making them ardently relevant to my readers. I have written on subjects as diverse as Babylonian epics, climate change, medieval philosophy, love in Disney, and the first known author, but I am always driven by the same desire: to share the facts that fascinate me, and to make them as compelling as I can. All my writing is infused by this urge – I call it “Advanced Show & Tell.”
Born 1993, to two Danish authors, Merete Pryds Helle and Morten Søndergaard (which goes some way to explaining my interest in authorship). In 1998, we moved to Tuscany, where I spent the next eight years in the great and sometimes gruelling Italian school system. We moved back to Denmark when I was 13. I began my BA in Assyriology at the University of Copenhagen in 2014. For my MA, I spent a semester at Universität Würzburg, before returning to Copenhagen, where I wrote my thesis under the guidance of Prof. Nicole Brisch.
For my PhD, I moved to the department of Comparative Literature at Aarhus University, to pursue my goal of bridging the divide between philology and literary history. In the spring of 2019, I came to Columbia University on a Fulbright fellowship. During the PhD, I also published the Danish translation of Gilgamesh with my father, Morten Søndergaard. I handed in the dissertation in February 2020 and came straight to London, to work on an English translation of the same epic. That was when Covid-19 struck, locking me into a room with nothing to do but work for three months. In June, I emerged from lockdown and returned to Denmark to successfully defend my thesis.
I am currently working on a popularizing book about Enheduana and on a book about climate activism in Denmark. My non-academic interests include voracious reading, fine dining and (since Covid-19) marble racing.
You can view my CV here.