Congratulations to Connie Amundson for being selected the Nadia Christensen Scholar for 2021-2022!
Connie is completing her Ph.D. dissertation study, "Exploring the 'Immensity of the Conscious Experience of Age': Representations of Age in Ibsen's Peer Gynt and Fosse's Suzannah and through a Phenomenological Study of Volunteer Actors with the Peer Gynt Festival." Throughout her graduate studies, her research interests have been centered on Nordic discourse around the intersection of theater and health. Her dissertation takes a deep dive into how the authors represent old age in their texts, then builds on her analysis to study age in three productions of the plays: first, the Peer Gynt Festival's 2016 touristic production; second, Gatas Gynt, a film based on the fifth act of Peer Gynt as interpreted by street people of Oslo; and third, the 2004 NRK production of Suzannah. Finally, interviews with volunteers will bring the project full circle to her interest in the use of the creative arts as a tool for health promotion. Connie seeks to dissect elements in all three stages that adhere to the conventional peak-and-decline narrative of aging as well as alternatives, such as creativity-across-the-life-course, which may present themselves.
The Nadia Christensen Endowment for Excellence in Nordic Studies was created by a gift from the Hognander Foundation of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The endowment honors Dr. Nadia Christensen for her substantial contributions promoting a greater understanding of and appreciation for Nordic cultures. Christensen earned her Ph.D. from the UW Scandinavian Studies Department in 1972, and went on to become one of the foremost translators of Scandinavian literature. By establishing this award, the Hognander Foundation wishes to recognize and encourage students who, like Christensen, demonstrate excellence in Nordic studies and to “recognize and reward outstanding academic performance and or scholarship by an advanced graduate student,” who will be designated as a “Nadia Christensen Scholar.”