Glenn Kranking ’98

Alumni and Faculty

Associate Professor in History, Scandinavian Studies, 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 be Gustavus 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.

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. An example of this can be seen in his course on Propaganda in the Modern World, which worked on the website We Want You. 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. One of Glenn's recent publications 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. He is currently working on a book manuscript about this population during the Second World War.

Other research projects in the works include researching interactions across northern Europe, 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-105 (World History) and HIS-211 (Imperial Russia)

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
CUR-110Historical Perspective II92015/SP, 2014/SP, 2012/SP, 2011/SP, and 2010/SP
HIS-218Scandinavia to 180052017/FA, 2015/FA, 2013/FA, 2011/FA, and 2009/FA
HIS-120Europe 1648-Present52017/SP, 2015/FA, 2014/SP, and 2013/SP
HIS-323European Minorities42017/FA, 2015/FA, 2013/FA, and 2011/FA
HIS-217Digital History42017/JN, 2014/JN, 2011/JN, and 2010/JN
HIS-219Scandinavia Since 180042016/FA, 2014/SP, 2012/SP, and 2010/SP
HIS-212Rise & Fall of USSR32017/SP, 2015/SP, and 2013/SP
FTS-100FTS:Nordic Explorers32014/FA, 2012/FA, and 2011/FA
HIS-211Imperial Russia32014/FA, 2012/FA, and 2010/FA
HIS-212Rise/Fall USSR Lab22017/SP and 2015/SP
HIS-32119th Century Europe22012/FA and 2011/SP
HIS-110Modern Europe I, 1400–181522010/FA
HIS-303Modern Propaganda12016/FA
HIS-300Research Seminar12014/FA
HIS-344Special Topic: European Nationalism12009/FA