Glenn Kranking ’98

Alumni and Faculty

Associate Professor in History and Russian, Chair in Scandinavian Studies, and Adviser in Gustavian Weekly

Glenn Kranking is a historian of the Baltic Sea Region (Scandinavia/Baltic States/Russia) and Modern Europe. He is currently Chair of the Department of Scandinavian Studies.

As a Gustavus graduate (Honors History and Scandinavian Studies), Glenn is thrilled to return home to campus and teach the next generation of Gusties. He holds a Masters Degree in Scandinavian Area Studies from the University of Washington, a Masters Degree in Contemporary History from the University of Tartu in Estonia, and a doctorate in history from The Ohio State University. He has studied and researched extensively in Sweden, Estonia, Finland, and Russia. Glenn is a member of the executive board for the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study and is currently serving as President for the Society for Historians of Scandinavia, and also serves as the organization's webmaster.

Glenn teaches courses on modern Europe, early and modern Scandinavian history, Imperial Russian and Soviet history, minorities in Europe, propaganda in the modern world, an Interim Experience course on digital history, and the Three Crowns Curriculum course on Historical Perspectives. He also teaches a First Term Seminar course on the theme of Nordic Explorers. Glenn is also the faculty adviser for The Gustavian Weekly and the Swedish House, and is occasionally called upon to give presentations on the history of Gustavus Adolphus College.

Gustavus is working to advance the digital humanities on campus, and Glenn has worked to digitally inflect his pedagogy and assignments for many of his courses. Drawing on his course on digital history, Glenn is a campus co-facilitator for an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant focused on increasing the digital humanities through January-term courses.

Glenn's most recent research focuses on the Swedish minority that lived in Estonia, and the development of their community and culture (particularly as it related to connections with their homeland) through numerous types of governments from the 1860s until the end of the Second World War when most of them fled to Sweden. He is particularly interested more broadly in the role of minority populations and minority rights in Europe. A significant portion of his research was funded by the American Swedish Institute and the American-Scandinavian Foundation. Glenn's most recent publication is a contribution for a book project with the Estonian-Swedish cultural organization in Sweden, published in Fall 2010, based on some of this research, and he is currently working on a book manuscript about this population during the Second World War. Glenn has researched and lived in Sweden, Estonia, Finland, and Russia.

Other research projects in the works include researching interactions across the North Sea, Nordic polar explorers and a larger work on travelogues written by Swedes traveling in Russia.

In his spare time Glenn enjoys singing, photography, traveling, home improvement, gardening, and watching movies. Over the past few years, Glenn has also served as a Study Leader for Smithsonian Journeys (a travel program connected to the Smithsonian Institute) on tours through Scandinavia, around the Baltic Sea Region, and the North Sea.


B.A. Gustavus Adolphus College; M.A. University of Washington; M.A. University of Tartu (Estonia); Ph.D. Ohio State University

Courses Taught


HIS-219 (Scandinavia Since 1800) and HIS-303 (Modern Propaganda)

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
CUR-110Historical Perspective II92015/SP, 2014/SP, 2012/SP, 2011/SP, and 2010/SP
HIS-218Scandinavia to 180042015/FA, 2013/FA, 2011/FA, and 2009/FA
HIS-120Europe 1648-Present42015/FA, 2014/SP, and 2013/SP
HIS-323European Minorities32015/FA, 2013/FA, and 2011/FA
FTS-100FTS:Nordic Explorers32014/FA, 2012/FA, and 2011/FA
HIS-211Imperial Russia32014/FA, 2012/FA, and 2010/FA
HIS-219Scandinavia Since 180032014/SP, 2012/SP, and 2010/SP
HIS-217Digital History32014/JN, 2011/JN, and 2010/JN
HIS-212Modern Russia22015/SP and 2013/SP
HIS-32119th Century Europe22012/FA and 2011/SP
HIS-110Modern Europe I, 1400–181522010/FA
HIS-212Modern Russia Lab12015/SP
HIS-300Research Seminar12014/FA
HIS-344Special Topic: European Nationalism12009/FA