This year, the Scandinavian Program hosted two guest professors from Södertörn University in the south of Stockholm: Professor David Östlund and Professor Kristy Beers Fägersten. David, who was with us for the third time, taught the course “Crystal Ball of Modernity: Sweden’s Path as a Global Comparison Case” for the Scandinavian Program, which explored “Swedology” and how Sweden is used internationally as an example of a modern welfare state. The Signe Karlstöm lecture was held in connection with Östlund's course. IUPUI Assistant Professor of Sociology Carly Schall presented her book, The Rise & Fall of the Miraculous Welfare Machine: Immigration and Social Democracy in 20th Century Sweden. Kristy Beers Fägersten is working on Swedish comics and she is currently completing a book on the use of slang, dialects, and English in Swedish comics.
Eight second-year Swedish students traveled to Sweden for the annual study-abroad trip to Helsingborg and ProCivitas high school. Two of our alumni, who are now living in Sweden, gave us tours of their work: Aaron Khan, who works as a copy writer at the B2B advertising company Pyramid in Helsingborg, and Damon Tutunjian, a linguist at Lund University.
Second-year Swedish students hosted the ProCivita Swedes in Ann Arbor toward the end of the winter semester. They had a fantastic time exploring college life, Detroit, and visiting a family of one of our current students for a night of BBQ and bonfire. Next year, Katharina Nobs (my colleague from Sweden) and I are celebrating 15 years of exchanges between Sweden and the US!
Three of our students are going to Sweden for internships and study this summer, and the Scandinavian Program is happy to provide scholarship support from the Highfield Foundation and SWEA Michigan: Sean Cantrell will spend his summer on Gotland at an archaeology field school where he will get his first practical experience excavating a Viking Age site. He also received the generous SWEA MAME scholarship. Erin Kokoszka will study Swedish at Axevalla folkhögskola. Finally, STAMPS student Madeleine Helland will study urban bicycle culture at DIS in Copenhagen. In the fall, these students will present their experiences in the Scandinavian classes and for SWEA Michigan.
Congratulations to Jason Butcher on his graduation with a double major in Computer Science and Linguistics and a Minor in Scandinavian Studies! Jason is working at a start-up in the area, and I have seen him regularly playing at Bruce Sagan's Scandinavian fiddling jam sessions held in Ann Arbor.