Swedish Program Holiday Letter

Submitted by Stacey Breitberg on

God jul allihopa! Bright holiday greetings to you from the UW Swedish Studies program! 

We’ve been busy in the Swedish Program here at the University of Washington. This year our focus has been on cultivating intercultural exchange between the U.S. and Sweden. In August, Assistant Teaching Professors Kim Kraft and Lauren Poyer led 22 UW students on a summer study abroad experience to Sweden in conjunction with the honors program. Honors Sweden: Justice in the Nordic Region brought students to meet with representatives of Swedish institutions such as Karolinska Institutet, Kriminalvården, Civil Rights Defenders, Centrum för mångvetenskaplig forskning om rasism, and Mångkulturellt centrum. Students reflected on questions around power structures, access to justice, norms, cultural identity, and intersections with gender, class, race, climate, and religion, both in medieval Scandinavia and in Sweden today. From their homebase in Stockholm–where students were also able to attend Stockholm Pride–the program made excursions to Uppsala, where they attended a gask hosted by Uplands nation and learned about student university life, and to Visby, where they participated in Medeltidsveckan and met with a representative from Socialdemokratiska arbetarparti to discuss political sentiments in Sweden in the then-upcoming 2022 election. General sentiments from the program are best summed up with this student testimonial: It was amazing to talk to people in different positions to get diverse perspectives on Sweden's politics and society.

In November, I (Amanda) headed to Sweden myself to present research related to my forthcoming book on Nordic art melodrama, first at the Cinema Studies program at Lunds universitet, and then at the Nordische Filmtage festival and conference in Lübeck, Germany. This research trip marks the continuation of a rewarding collaboration with Dr. Anna Mrozewicz, Cinema Studies faculty at Lund, who spent last year in the department as Fulbright Visiting Professor. The course that Dr. Mrozewicz taught last Spring, Nature and Ecology in Nordic Cinema and Television, is a prime example of how faculty exchanges create opportunities for our students to work with cutting-edge researchers in the field.

This year, the UW Swedish Program was delighted to host several heavy-hitting luminaries of Swedish arts and letters. In October, professors and historians Lars Trägårdh and Henrik Berggren spoke about their canonical exploration of individualism and collectivity in Sweden, Är svensken människa, recently translated into English as The Swedish Theory of Love, and published by the UW Press. In November, award winning author and playwright, Jonas Hassen Khemiri—really an internationally acclaimed superstar—visited the UW. It’s immensely gratifying for the department to be able to host these events for faculty, students, and the broader community. Please consider joining our department’s community list-serv, the Snowball -- JOIN SNOWBALL -- to keep apprised of all we have going on. We hope to see you at an upcoming event!

Your continued financial support ensures that our students have a strong program full of opportunities to explore Swedish language and culture—both here at the UW and abroad. While in many ways our program is blossoming after pandemic shutdowns, the effects of the pandemic continue to reverberate. Many of our students are still struggling; your gifts supporting students in the form of departmental scholarships are vital to student success and retention. We hope that, as you make your year-end charitable donations, you will consider contributing to the Friends of Scandinavian Languages & Literature Fund found by clicking the 'GIVE TODAY' link below. Stort tack!


May your holidays and new year be full of mys!

Med varma, vänliga vinterhälsningar,

Amanda Doxtater                                                          
Assistant Professor and Barbro Osher Endowed Chair of Swedish Studies   

Lauren Poyer

Assistant Teaching Professor and Departmental Advisor

Pia Nyström

Swedish Instructor