Ursula Lindqvist


It is the power of the humanities to connect people--both to our innermost selves and to others who may be very different from us--that compelled me to become a lifelong student of languages, literatures, and cultures. Here at Gustavus, I'm a literature, film, and postcolonial studies scholar specializing in the Nordic and Arctic regions, and I've also taught Swedish language at the college level for two decades. I'm among the core faculty in the college's relatively new Minor in Comparative Literature (my own Ph.D. field). In 2018, I was elected to serve my colleagues on the Faculty Senate.

Becoming a college professor was not a clear choice for me. As a child I wanted to become a detective, and eventually I became a journalist, earning bachelor's and master's degrees from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in the early 1990s. I worked as a newspaper reporter in the Arabian Gulf, India, and Central Florida for five years before deciding to change course and pursue graduate study in Comparative Literature, specializing in nationalist cultures, gender, and the poetics of resistance. 

A dual U.S.-Finnish citizen, I grew up in Los Angeles speaking Swedish at home and spent many childhood summers in Finland’s Swedish-speaking coastal towns with my mother’s family. This led in part to my choice of Scandinavian as one of my three areas of literature and cultural study for my M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Comparative Literature (the others were American and French). I conducted part of my dissertation research while a Fulbright Fellow at Uppsala University in Sweden in 2000-01, and in my final year of graduate school I taught as a visiting lecturer in Swedish and Scandinavian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After earning my Ph.D. from the University of Oregon in 2005, I held non-tenure-track faculty appointments at the University of Colorado at Boulder, UCLA, and Harvard University (where I was Director of Undergraduate Studies for Scandinavian from 2010-2013) before joining the Gustavus faculty in Fall 2013.

Here at Gustavus, I've designed and taught courses on Nordic cinema, Nordic theater and drama, diversity and social change in the Nordic region, Nordic colonialisms and postcolonial studies, Nordic folk and fairy tales, Scandinavian crime fiction, Swedish poetry and music, and Swedish language at all levels. I've also been busy with research and writing, and in 2016, all three of my books appeared in print: Roy Andersson’s Songs from the Second Floor: Contemplating the Art of Existence, a Modern Languages Initiative book published in the University of Washington Press' Nordic Film Classics series; A Companion to Nordic Cinema, co-edited with Mette Hjort and published by Wiley-Blackwell; and New Dimensions of Diversity in Nordic Culture and Societyco-edited with Jenny Björklund and published by Cambridge Scholars. (One of our Scandinavian Studies majors, Elizabeth Lutz '15, served as my indispensible copy editing assistant for both edited books.) I've been interviewed about Nordic filmmakers by NPR's Weekend Edition and the New York Times, and in 2015 I was invited as a keynote speaker on Swedish film by the Milwaukee International Film Festival. I currently serve on the Executive Council of the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study (SASS), the largest professional organization in the field, and I'm the immediate past president of the Association of Swedish Teachers and Researchers in America (ASTRA).

One of the best things about being part of the Department of Scandinavian Studies is our unique OUT OF SCANDINAVIA Artist in Residence endowed program, which brings an esteemed visitor from the Nordic region to Gustavus for an entire week to interact with our students and perform for a general audience. I've had the privilege of coordinating several of these visits, and the 2016 program--featuring indigenous Sámi musician and activist Sofia Jannok--inspired me to start looking for ways to connect our study of indigenous issues in the classroom to the real people and issues still present here today in the Minnesota River Valley and throughout the Upper Midwest. In 2017, I began an informal indigenous interest group (consisting of faculty, staff and students at GAC) to examine together how to raise awareness and visibility of indigenous peoples, histories and methodologies across the college. Any member of the Gustavus community who wishes to join either the interest group or a more general announcement email list should contact me directly at ulindqvi@gustavus.edu (no expertise required--all are welcome).

STUDENTS: To make an appointment with me, click here.


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

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
SWE-101 Swedish I 5 2018/FA, 2016/FA, 2015/FA, 2014/FA, and 2013/FA
SWE-102 Swedish II 4 2019/SP, 2016/SP, 2015/SP, and 2014/SP
SWE-301 Conversation and Composition: Swedish Short Story 3 2018/FA, 2015/FA, and 2013/FA
SCA-360 Nordic Colonialisms 2 2019/SP and 2015/SP
FTS-100 FTS:Nordic Fairy Tales 2 2018/FA and 2015/FA
SWE-202 Intermediate Swedish II 2 2017/SP and 2015/SP
SWE-201 Intermediate Swedish I 2 2016/FA and 2014/FA
SWE-344 ST:Poetry and Music 2 2016/SP and 2014/SP
SCA-334 Nordic Cinema Lab 1 2017/SP
SCA-334 Nordic Cinema 1 2017/SP
SCA-211 Scand Social Diversity 1 2016/FA
SCA-250 Crime Fiction 1 2016/SP
SCA-330 Nordic Theatre & Drama 1 2014/FA
SCA-350 Crime Fiction 1 2014/SP
SCA-234 Scandinavian Film Lab 1 2013/FA
SCA-234 Scandinavian Film 1 2013/FA