Ursula Lindqvist


Ursula Lindqvist is a literature, film, and postcolonial studies scholar specializing in the Nordic and Arctic regions. She has also taught Swedish language at the college level for more than 15 years, and she is among the core faculty in the college's new Minor in Comparative Literature starting in Fall 2015.

Ursula took a winding path to Gustavus and St. Peter. A dual U.S.-Finnish citizen, she grew up in Los Angeles speaking Swedish at home and spent many childhood summers in Finland’s idyllic, Swedish-speaking coastal towns with her mother’s family. Ursula's maternal grandfather was, and several aunts and uncles still are, Lutheran pastors in Finland (her maternal grandmother completed the same seminary training, but women theologians were denied ordination in Finland until 1987). Ursula's father is a Finnish American originally from Virginia, Minnesota. Ursula became interested in issues of faith and social justice early on, and her bachelor’s and first master’s degree were from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She worked as a newspaper reporter in the Arabian Gulf, India, and the United States for five years before returning to graduate school for literature studies, believing she could have a more positive impact as an educator than as a journalist. In graduate school, she got hooked on teaching language, literature, and cultural studies as well as writing about them, and she knew she'd finally found her calling.

Scandinavian was one of Ursula's three areas of literary and cultural study for her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Comparative Literature (the others were American and French). She conducted part of her dissertation research while a Fulbright Fellow at Uppsala University in Sweden in 2000-01, and in her final year of graduate school she taught as a visiting lecturer in Swedish and Scandinavian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Since earning her Ph.D. in 2005, Ursula has held faculty appointments at the University of Colorado at Boulder, UCLA, and Harvard University, where she served as Director of Undergraduate Studies for Scandinavian from 2010-2013.

Ursula has designed and taught courses on Nordic cinema, Nordic theater and drama, women in Nordic society, Nordic colonialism and postcolonial studies, ethnic outsiders in Swedish literature and film, Swedish crime fiction, Swedish children’s literature and culture, and Swedish language at all levels. Her research mirrors her teaching: She is currently co-editing, with Mette Hjort, the Blackwell Companion to Nordic Cinema; and co-editing, with Jenny Björklund, an anthology of critical essays titled New Dimensions of Diversity in Nordic Society and Culture. She has also completed a monograph, Roy Andersson’s Songs from the Second Floor: Meditating on the Art of Existence, for U Washington Press’ Nordic Film Classics series. Ursula has published journal articles on the Finland-Swedish poet Edith Södergran, the cultural archive of the IKEA store, and on Andersson’s filmmaking. Her article on the Swedish and Danish translations of Ferdinand Oyono’s postcolonial novel Une vie de boy (1956) appeared in the January 2013 issue of PMLA, and her article on the representation of West Indian women in Danish popular fiction appeared in African and Black Diaspora 7.1 (January 2014), a special issue devoted to the Nordic region.

In 2014-15, Ursula is introducing two new courses to the Gustavus curriculum: SCA 330 Nordic Theatre and Drama (Fall 2014), which meets LARS and WRITD core requirements; and SCA 360 Nordic Colonialisms and Postcolonial Studies (Spring 2015), which meets GLOBL and HIPHI core requirements. She is thrilled to be at Gustavus and enjoys learning from students and colleagues across the college about what makes Gustavus a special place. 


BS, MS in Journalism, Northwestern University; M.A., Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Graduate Certificate in Women's & Gender Studies, University of Oregon

Courses Taught


SCA-360 (Nordic Colonialisms), SWE-102 (Swedish II), and SWE-202 (Intermediate Swedish II)

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
SWE-101Swedish I22014/FA and 2013/FA
SCA-330Nordic Theatre & Drama12014/FA
SWE-201Intermediate Swedish I12014/FA
SCA-350Crime Fiction12014/SP
SWE-344ST:Outsid/Swe Lit&Cult12014/SP
SWE-102Swedish II12014/SP
SCA-234Scandinavian Film12013/FA
SWE-301Conversation and Composition: Swedish Short Story12013/FA
SCA-234Scandinavian Film Lab12013/FA