Niels Erik Wille

Professional Interests

I have a Masters Degree in Danish Language and Literature (major subject) and Philosophy (minor subject), supplemented with studies of library and information science, computers and copyright. (I have no Ph.D. since that degree did not exist in Denmark 30 years ago, but being Senior Lecturer means that I have done research of equivalent value - and quite a lot more.)

I work with verbal communication, primarily written or printed communication, of specialist information, "faglig formidling", aimed at various types of lay audiences. This might also be called professional communication, and includes science communication and scholarly communication, but also communication about health, legal matters, public administration, technical matters etc.

The driving force is very much a concern for democracy and the role of rational discussion and an informed general public - based among other things on the ideas of Jürgen Habermas and the "Bourgeois Public Sphere".

My main research focus is on such aspects of non-fiction texts as: Legibility, readability, clarity, relevance, forms of presentation and genres, the lexi-visual structure (typographical layout and relationships between text and illustrations), interrelationships of purpose, content and form, etc.Of the media used for "faglig formidling" I like printed media (books, journals and magazines, brochures and leaflets), exhibitions, and computer based (digital) media (computer simulations, multimedia presentations, hypertext, web presentations).

I am currently engaged in the relationship between printed media and digital media, and I follow closely the tendencies towards large scale "migration" from printed to digital media. But I am also interested in the use of new information technology to renew the production and distribution of books and other printed works.

Recently I have started to include work on Performance Theory, the theoretical background to Performance Design and Performance Studies. Though this field draws heavily on Theories of Drama, Music, Dance, Recitation and other performing arts, it also relates to field that I have been interested in for many years: Linguistics, Semiotics, Rhetorics, Theory of Text, Literary Studies, Pictorial Communication, Philosophical Aesthetics etc.

I have spent 10 years as a senior civil servant working with academic and special libraries and public libraries. My work was concerned with the use of digital technology in libraries, with the national information policy and with copyright issues in libraries. These interests are still active, especially copyright, though now I tend to focus more on copyright and professional communicators.

For Communication Studies at Roskilde University I taught a course (in Danish - last offered Spring 2012) on Ret & Rigtigt on formal requirements in reports, thesis work, dissertations, etc. including issues of copyright and academic ethics.

For Performance Design I used to teach a recurrent course (in Danish) on Copyright, Related Rights and other legal aspects of live performances and cultural events.

I have for some years contributed to the Basic Studies Programme in the Humanities by teaching an introductory course (in Danish) on Signs and Texts. The course covers elements of semiotics, linguistics, communication theory and theory of texts. In 2007 I published a book on these subjects, derived from the work on the course.

Last revised 17.11.2013.