Out of Scandinavia

Writer-in-residence program

Gustavus Adolphus College recognizes its Scandinavian legacy in different ways.  It is one of the few colleges in this country that offers Swedish language instruction and a major in Scandinavian Studies with courses covering different academic disciplines.  The College has exchange agreements with Scandinavian educational institutions for faculty as well as students.  And we sponsor out-reach activities, one of which is our OUT OF SCANDINAVIA WEEK.

The OUT OF SCANDINAVIA artist-in-residence program was initiated in 1989 to serve both the college community and the non-Gustavus community. The program’s specific goals are to enhance the College’s academic program, to develop stronger cultural ties with the Nordic countries, and to make American audiences better aware of Scandinavian contributions to the general field of the arts.

Under the program’s auspices, a prominent Scandinavian writer or artist is invited to Gustavus Adolphus College for a week of discussions with students, faculty and non-college audiences and for a keynote public lecture.

Gustavus also seeks to develop ties to these artists that go well beyond the one-week residency. Of utmost importance to this program is the college library’s commitment to commemorating the participating artists by  purchasing all their literary works--when we invite writers—and all their films—when we invite film artists—in an attempt to make the Folke Bernadotte Library one of the major repositories for the works of select Nordic writers and artists.

    An OUT OF SCANDINAVIA committee attempts to select prominent artists from the various Nordic countries who represent distinct styles and genres. The artists selected since 1989 are all recognized both in their own countries and internationally. Here are their names and some of their distinctions:

1989: Nils-Aslak Valkeapää, a Sami writer, musician, visual artist and social critic. As a Sami, he represented a culture without borders, and was therefore a truly Nordic artist.  Recipient of the Nordic Prize in 1990. In 1994, Valkeapää performed to an estimated audience of two billion people at the opening ceremony of the Lillehammer Olympics in Norway. He was in the movie, Pathfinder, which he composed some of the joiks for. He passed away November 26, 2001.

1990: Herbjørg Wassmo, recipient of the Nordic Prize for Literature in 1987, is a Norwegian writer from Vesterålen, an island group north of the Arctic Circle. Her genre is the psychological novel.

1991: Ulla-Lena Lundberg, a Finnish writer from Åland, representing the minority group of Swede-Finns in Finland. Also a Nordic Prize winner.  At Gustavus, she lectured not only about literature, but, as a trained anthropologist and ornithologist, also about Siberia and birds. That is true eclecticism.

1992: Per Olov Enquist, a Swedish writer who lives both in Sweden and Denmark.  A novelist, dramatist, essayist, and columnist in major newspapers in Sweden and Denmark.  Recipient of the Nordic Prize. His novels include: The Royal Physician's Visit, Captain Nemo's Library, March of the Musicians, and The Magnetist's Fifth Winter, which has been made into a film. He was the co-writer for the screenplay of Pelle the Conqueror.

1993: The year of the big flood in Minnesota and the year of the big drought for the OUT OF SCANDINAVIA program: No visitor.

1994: Lars Löfgren, playwright, poet and former  Head of the Royal Dramatic Theater in Stockholm. Recently appointed Head of the Nordic Museum.

1995: Max von Sydow, Swedish and international movie and stage actor. His movies number over a hundred, and he is still acting. Two of his best known are The Seventh Seal and The Exorcist. Visit the video library page to see which of his movies GAC owns.

1996: Theodor Kallifatides, Swedish novelist, dramatist, poet and critic.  Came to Sweden from Greece in 1964.  Recipient of prestigious Swedish awards: the Great Novel Prize, the Prize of the Swedish Academy, the Honorary Prize of the City of Stockholm, and the King of Sweden’s Medal. Has also served as an adviser to the Swedish Minister of Culture.

1997: Einar Kárason,Icelandic novelist, poet, screenwriter and storyteller. Chair of the Icelandic Writers’ Union 1988-1992. Probably the most popular Icelandic writer of his generation. His novels The Wisdom of Fools (1992) and Where Devil’s Isle Rises, The Isle of Gold and The Promised Land, a trilogy, have all been bestsellers and translated into several languages.

1998-2000: A hiatus caused partly by "den stora tromben" of 1998

2000 (fall): Linn Ullmann, Norwegian novelist, journalist, and literary critic. She is the daughter of actress/director Liv Ullmann and director Ingmar Bergman. She herself was in several films as a child, including The Emigrants. Before You Sleep, was her award-winning debut novel. Her second translated novel, Stella Descending, was released in 2003. She currently writes for the Norwegian newspaper, Dagbladet.

2001: Ylva Eggehorn, Swedish poet and novelist. Winner of the prestigious Evert Taube award for her work with poetry and music, the Swedish Academy's award for the "humanitarian qualities" of her writing, the Gustaf Fröding award, the Karin Boye award, the Karl Vennberg award, and the Johan Olof Wallin award.

2002: Stewe Claeson, Swedish novelist, translator, critic and educator. Claeson's novel about the Romantic poet Esais Tegnér, Rönndruvan glöder, was in contention for the prestigious Nordic Prize in 2002.

2005: Jonas Hassen Khemiri, Swedish novelist whose first novel Ett Öga Rött, (An Eye Red) dealing with among many things, an immigrant Swede's search for his identity in contemporary Stockholm, quickly became a best-seller in the Nordic countries and translated into several languages.

2006: Arnaldur Indridsson

2008: Lars Löfgren