Kjerstin Moody ’98

Alumni and Faculty

I am returning to campus after a year of sabbatical, one enriching and full of growth in numerous ways. A year I am very, very grateful for.

The step away from campus reminded me of how we never stop growing, or learning, nor should we, as we move through our lives. Everything from my year away is carried on and in me very presently as I return to campus.

A wise colleague whom I had the good fortune to work with in the past helped me to understand, my first year at Gustavus, that one could look at the work one does as a constellation of namable things: I read, I grade, I facilitate, I grow, I learn from and with my students, I guide, I write, I translate, I supervise, I speak, I state, I say, I administrate, I present, I workshop, I wonder, I think, I feel, I am informed just as I inform, I imagine, I create, I question, I ask, I understand, I try to understand. There are many facets to work just as there are many facets to our lives and our selves. Parsing them out and feeling them out and working out the balance of how they might all fit together is an ongoing endeavor; we are always ever (re)formulating. Returning to Gustavus and the liberal arts setting, where process and reflection are valued and where thinking about and with(in) (such) constellations can be encouraged, feels right.

With my primary home in the Department of Scandinavian Studies I teach classes from the introductory to advanced level in English on the contemporary Nordic world – its literatures, its peoples, its politics, its societies – including a seminar on the Arctic, a seminar on contemporary Nordic poetry, a course on Scandinavian Women Writers, a course on the region’s histories from the Viking Age to the present which takes a History of Ideas approach, Scandinavian drama and film, and a First Term Seminar (for incoming first-year students) on the foundations and present of the Scandinavian social welfare state. A selection of my courses are crosslisted with Gustavus’s Comparative Literature Program and/or its Program in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies. Courses being developed to teach in the coming year or two include an English-language seminar on Ingmar Bergman, an intermediate level course on the concept of place in Scandinavian literature, a study-away course to be offered January Term of 2020 on landscape and community in Iceland, and a seminar on translation. I also teach courses on and in the Swedish language, ranging from beginning to intermediate to advanced.

I received my Ph.D. in Scandinavian Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2010 with my Ph.D. minor, focused on translation and poetics, in the Comparative Literature Department at UW. Recent publications include an essay on poetic practices of transcending place in Nordic Literature: A Comparative History (Volume 1: Spatial Nodes; John Benjamins, 2017), an essay on Swedish filmmaker Lukas Moodysson’s long poem Vad gör jag här as well as an excerpt of my translation of the poem in the academic journal Scandinavica (Volume 53, Number 1, 2014), and a review of Agneta Rahikainen’s monograph Kampen om Edith: Biografi och myt om Edith Södergran in Edda (Volume 103, Number 2, 2016). My current research continues to center on contemporary Scandinavian, primarily Swedish and Finnish, poetry.

I am grateful for opportunities I have had while at Gustavus to be active in larger scholarly and academic communities including the NEH Summer Seminar “The Centrality of Translation to the Humanities: New Interdisciplinary Scholarship” held at the University of Illinois’s Center for Translation Studies in 2013, a just-completed five-year term on the MLA’s CLCS (Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies) Nordic Committee, and, most recently, in fall 2017, the opportunity to be a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, in their Department of Scandinavian.

As a professor in the Humanities, I encourage students to honor to their interests and their agency, to seek out classes and work that appeal to and might somehow propel them, to make connections within and across disciplines and cultures, to reflect on our collective world and how they situate themselves in it, to engage and encourage, to consider constellations, boundaries, phenomena, to do, to make, to grow.    


Ph.D., M.A., Scandinavian Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison; B.A., Scandinavian Studies and English, Gustavus Adolphus College

Courses Taught

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
SWE-101Swedish I82016/FA, 2015/FA, 2014/FA, 2013/FA, 2012/FA, 2011/FA, and 2010/FA
SWE-102Swedish II72018/SP, 2015/SP, 2014/SP, 2013/SP, 2012/SP, and 2011/SP
SCA-344ST:Nordic Poetry52018/SP, 2016/SP, 2015/SP, 2013/SP, and 2012/SP
SCA-100Scandinavian Life Lab52018/SP, 2016/FA, 2014/FA, 2012/FA, and 2010/FA
SCA-100Intro to Scan Life52018/SP, 2016/FA, 2014/FA, 2012/FA, and 2010/FA
SWE-202Intermediate Swedish II52016/SP, 2014/SP, 2013/SP, 2012/SP, and 2011/SP
SWE-201Intermediate Swedish I42015/FA, 2013/FA, 2011/FA, and 2010/FA
SWE-301Conversation and Composition: Swedish Short Story32016/FA, 2014/FA, and 2012/FA
SCA-224Scand Women Writers22015/FA and 2013/FA
SWE-344ST:Ingmar Bergman12015/SP
FTS-100First Term Seminar12011/FA
SCA-117Henrik Ibsen12011/SP