Kjerstin Moody ’98

Alumni and Faculty

Associate Professor and Department Chair in Scandinavian Studies and Faculty in Comparative Literature; Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies; and Environmental Studies

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 and in the Swedish language, ranging from beginning through the advanced level. I enjoy teaching and developing courses that address the many facets, nuances, and complexities of contemporary Scandinavian culture and society. True to the interdisciplinary nature of the field of Scandinavian Studies, my courses consider and question the connections between aesthetics and cultural artifice and the societies and policies that create and cultivate them. I enjoy working with and encouraging students to find the myriad ways that worlds can be opened through the study of foreign languages, literatures, cultures, and the humanities. A selection of my courses are crosslisted with Gustavus’s Comparative Literature Program and/or its Program in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, and/or Environmental Studies.

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 recently 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. My research and scholarship has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Foundation, the American-Scandinavian Foundation, the Lois Roth Foundation, the Finlandia Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Education.

I graduated from Gustavus in 1998 with a double major in the Departments of Scandinavian Studies and English. Between undertaking and completing my graduate studies, I worked in a number of fields for which training in the humanities, world languages, literatures, and cultures prepared me well. This work included a variety of positions in book publishing (at literary, trade, regional, and university presses) in Minnesota and Wisconsin; as an intern at a translation agency in Brooklyn, New York; as a transcriber of an oral history project in Windhoek, Namibia; and as a writer and editor at an environmental NGO in Jokkmokk, Sweden.

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 share, to grow.


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

Courses Taught

FTS-100 (FTS:Scandinavian Folk & Fairy), SWE-101 (Swedish I), and SWE-201 (Intermediate Swedish I)

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
SWE-102 Swedish II 12 2022/SP, 2021/SP, 2020/SP, 2019/SP, 2018/SP, 2015/SP, 2014/SP, 2013/SP, 2012/SP, and 2011/SP
SWE-101 Swedish I 12 2021/FA, 2020/FA, 2019/FA, 2018/FA, 2016/FA, 2015/FA, 2014/FA, 2013/FA, 2012/FA, 2011/FA, and 2010/FA
SCA-100 Intro to Scan Life 7 2021/FA, 2020/SP, 2018/SP, 2016/FA, 2014/FA, 2012/FA, and 2010/FA
SCA-100 Scandinavian Life Lab 7 2021/FA, 2020/SP, 2018/SP, 2016/FA, 2014/FA, 2012/FA, and 2010/FA
SWE-202 Intermediate Swedish II 6 2021/SP, 2016/SP, 2014/SP, 2013/SP, 2012/SP, and 2011/SP
SWE-201 Intermediate Swedish I 6 2020/FA, 2018/FA, 2015/FA, 2013/FA, 2011/FA, and 2010/FA
SCA-344 ST:Nordic Poetry 5 2018/SP, 2016/SP, 2015/SP, 2013/SP, and 2012/SP
SCA-224 Scand Women Writers 4 2021/SP, 2019/SP, 2015/FA, and 2013/FA
FTS-100 FTS:Nordic Fairy Tales 3 2019/FA, 2018/FA, and 2011/FA
SWE-301 Conversation and Composition: Swedish Short Story 3 2016/FA, 2014/FA, and 2012/FA
SCA-399 Sr Research Colloquium 2 2022/SP and 2021/FA
SCA-364 Scandinavian Senses of Place 1 2022/SP
SWE-302 Swedish Poetry & Music 1 2021/FA
SCA-324 Nordic Poetry 1 2020/FA
SCA-211 Scand Social Diversity 1 2020/SP
GEG-152 Iceland Cultr/Landscape 1 2020/JN
SWE-344 ST:Ingmar Bergman 1 2015/SP
SCA-117 Henrik Ibsen 1 2011/SP