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 earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in the early 1990s and worked as a newspaper reporter in the Arabian Gulf, India, and the United States for five years before deciding to pursue graduate studies in Comparative Literature. Her graduate studies at the University of Oregon convinced her that teaching and doing research in language, literature, and cultural studies was what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.

Scandinavian was one of Ursula's three areas of literary and cultural study for her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees (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. After earning her Ph.D. in 2005, Ursula held non-tenure-track 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, before joining Gustavus as an assistant professor in Fall 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, Scandinavian crime fiction, Swedish children’s literature and culture, and Swedish language at all levels. Her research mirrors her teaching: Her monograph, titled Roy Andersson’s Songs from the Second Floor: Contemplating the Art of Existence is forthcoming in the University of Washington Press’ Nordic Film Classics series in March 2016 (listen to her NPR interview on Andersson's filmmaking here.) She is co-editor, with Mette Hjort, of A Companion to Nordic Cinema, forthcoming with Wiley-Blackwell in 2016. Another co-edited volume, with Jenny Björklund, titled New Dimensions of Diversity in Nordic Culture and Society, is due out with Cambridge Scholars Publishing at the end of 2015. She strives to make her published scholarship accessible and useful to undergraduates and an educated public as well as peers.

In Fall 2015, she is teaching new First-Term Seminar on Childhood in Nordic Folk and Fairy Tales, and in Spring 2016, she is teaching SCA 250 Scandinavian Crime Fiction (LARS, WRITD) as well as a new SWE 344 Special Topics course (in Swedish) on Poetry and Music. She is delighted 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


FTS-100 (FTS:Nordic Fairy Tales), SWE-101 (Swedish I), and SWE-301 (Conversation and Composition: Swedish Short Story)

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
SWE-102Swedish II22015/SP and 2014/SP
SWE-101Swedish I22014/FA and 2013/FA
SCA-360Nordic Colonialisms12015/SP
SWE-202Intermediate Swedish II12015/SP
SCA-330Nordic Theatre & Drama12014/FA
SWE-201Intermediate Swedish I12014/FA
SCA-350Crime Fiction12014/SP
SWE-344ST:Outsid/Swe Lit&Cult12014/SP
SCA-234Scandinavian Film12013/FA
SWE-301Conversation and Composition: Swedish Short Story12013/FA
SCA-234Scandinavian Film Lab12013/FA