Before pursuing graduate studies in Comparative Literature, I first trained as a journalist at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in the early 1990s and worked for newspapers and wire services in India, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States for about five years. A bilingual Finland Swede and American, I earned my Ph.D. in 2005 at the University of Oregon, home to the oldest comparative literature program on the West Coast and the official journal of the American Comparative Literature Association. I also earned a Graduate Certificate in Women's and Gender Studies. While writing my dissertation on world's fairs and political poetry of the 1930s, I spent a year as a Fulbright IIE Fellow in the Department of Comparative Literature at Uppsala University in Sweden. I held faculty appointments at the University of Illinois, the University of Colorado, and UCLA before coming to Harvard in 2009.
My research and teaching areas fall within the framework of Nordic literature and culture since the Enlightenment. My particular genres include film, modern drama and theatre, modern poetry, and popular culture, and I have been particularly active in the emerging interdisciplinary field of Nordic (post)colonial studies, most recently by contributing an article to the PMLA's "Theories and Methodologies" section on the Swedish and Danish translations of Cameroonian author Ferdinand Oyono's Francophone novel Une vie de boy (forthcoming in January 2013). I have also published articles in Modernism/Modernity, Space and Culture: International Journal of Social Spaces, and a special issue of Scandinavian-Canadian Studies devoted to Nordic cinema. My monograph on Roy Andersson’s avantgardist film Songs from the Second Floor is under contract with University of Washington Press' Nordic Film Classics series, and I am also co-editing the Blackwell Companion to Nordic Cinema (with Mette Hjort). I have begun a second monograph on new nationalisms and the colonial imagination in Scandinavia and the Caribbean. My forthcoming article in African and Black Diaspora's special issue on the Nordic region is part of this latter project.
I serve as Director of Undergraduate Studies for Scandinavian at Harvard and oversee the Scandinavian Languages Program, which offers instruction in all the major Nordic languages (Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, and Swedish). I am also responsible for all instruction in Swedish, which I have taught from beginning to advanced levels at American universities since 1997. I am a Faculty Associate in Leverett House and a Freshman Advisor. Special talents include Scandinavian baking and visor och ramsor for many occasions.