Navigation: Main Content Sections

Scandinavian Program



Anna Westerståhl Stenport

Director of the Scandinavian Program


Office Hours Spring 2013: Monday 3-4pm

Office: 3109 FLB

Phone: 217-300-2681


About Anna …

Anna Westerståhl Stenport is Associate Professor of Scandinavian Studies, Conrad Humanities Scholar, Director of the European Union Center, Dean's Fellow for International Strategy in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and a Faculty Liaison for INSPIRE (Illinois-Sweden Program in Educational and Research Exchange). At the U of I, she also holds faculty appointments in Media and Cinema Studies, Comparative and World Literature, Theatre, Gender and Women's Studies, Global Studies, and the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory. She received B.A. and M.A. degrees from Uppsala University and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. She was a Visiting Associate Professor and Anna Lindh Fellow in the Europe Center at Stanford University during the 2011-12 academic year; a visiting scholar in the Department of Scandinavian at UC Berkeley in 2010 and at the Division of History of Science and Technology and the Environmental Humanities Lab at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm in 2013; a U of I Center for Advanced Study Beckman Fellow in 2010-11; and an American Scandinavian Foundation Fellow in 2009. She is a Research Associate at the Danish Film Institute in 2013-2017. She has also taught at UC Berkeley and is an affiliate associate professor [docent] at the University of Gothenburg.

Stenport's teaching and scholarship focuses on modern European film, literature, theater, media, and culture, with a particular emphasis on Nordic and Arctic studies. She is one of the architects behind the course 'Environment and Society in a Changing Arctic,' taught jointly with KTH in Stockholm and at Spitsbergen, Svalbard. She is the co-editor of Films on Ice: Cinemas of the Arctic (Edinburgh University Press, 2014; ed. with Scott MacKenzie), the first book on transnational global Arctic film and media, and the forthcoming When Worlds Collide: Arctic Ecological Imaginaries (ed. with Lill-Ann Körber and Scott MacKenzie). She has written extensively on contemporary Scandinavian film and media (including digitality studies, adaptation, transnationalism, and Nordic Noir) as well as on playwrights August Strindberg and Henrik Ibsen, publishing over 40 refereed articles and chapters on these and other film, comparative and interdisciplinary topics in Comparative Literature, Cinema Journal, Convergence, English Language Notes, Modernism/Modernity, Scandinavian Studies, Edda, Public, Studies in the Novel and a number of edited volumes. She is on the Editorial Board of Journal of Scandinavian Cinema.

Her books include Nordic Film Classics: Lukas Moodysson's 'Show Me Love' (U of Washington P, 2012), Locating August Strindberg's Prose: Modernism, Transnationalism, and Setting (Toronto UP, 2010), The International Strindberg: New Critical Essays (ed., Northwestern UP, 2012), and Det gäckande könet: Strindberg och Genusteori (ed. with Anna Cavallin, Symposion, 2006). She has given guest lectures, keynotes, festival talks, media commentary, and symposium papers in Europe, Asia and North America. She has also participated in The Diane Rehm Show about Stieg Larsson's best-seller The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Click here to listen.

Present and on-going research projects include two co-authored monographs on transnational Arctic cinemas and Global Nordic cinemas as well as an anthology on August Strindberg and visual culture. Her research has been supported by the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, the Sweden-America Foundation, the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Rotary Foundation, the European Commission, the University of Illinois Research Board, CIBER, the European Union Center, and numerous Swedish foundations and agencies.

Mark Safstrom


Lecturer in Swedish and Scandinavian Studies

Coordinator and Advisor for Scandinavian Studies Program

Office Hours Spring 2014: by appointment

Office: 3117 FLB


About Mark …

Dr. Mark Safstrom is Lecturer of Swedish & Scandinavian Studies in the Germanic Languages & Literatures Department at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His primary research interests are 19th and early 20th century Scandinavian history, with emphasis on the so called "folk movements" (the temperance movement, labor movement, and the religious revivals), as well as the history of Scandinavian immigration to North America, and Scandinavian polar explorers and their travel accounts.

Dr. Safstrom completed his PhD degree in Scandinavian Languages & Literatures at the University of Washington, Seattle in 2010. The title of his dissertation is “Religious Origins of Democratic Pluralism: Paul Peter Waldenström and the Politics of the Swedish Awakening 1868-1917.” He has written articles and conference papers on Scandinavian travel literature, polar exploration, Scandinavian-American history, and Scandinavian Lutheran Pietism, two of which have recently been published in books collections:

“The ‘Waldenström Party’ in Swedish Politics 1868-1917; Interpreting the Political Activism of the Swedish Awakening” in The Pietist Impulse in Christianity Ed. Collins-Winn, Gehrz, Carlson & Holst. (Eugene, OR: Pickwick 2011).

“Writing History Together; Norwegian- and Swedish-American Historians in Dialogue” in Friends and Neighbors? Swedes and Norwegians in the United States. Ed. Dag Blanck and Philip J. Anderson. (St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society Press 2011)

Dr. Safstrom currently teaches courses in beginning and intermediate Swedish language at the University of Illinois, having previously taught Swedish for three years at the University of Washington. He also teaches topics courses on Scandinavian literature in translation and Scandinavian history. During the summers, he has frequently taught at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden as part of the INSPIRE exchange initiative. Together with Professors Dag Avango, Anna Stenport, Bruce Fouke, Alison Anders and Jonathan Tomkin and our collaborating partners at Illinois and KTH, Dr. Safstrom has helped to establish a joint course between the two universities called the “Stockholm Summer Arctic Program: Environment and Society in a Changing Arctic” with field site components in Svalbard, Norway and Northern Sweden.

Theo Malekin


Visiting Lecturer

Office: 3119 FLB


About Theo …

Theo Malekin did his PhD at Glasgow University’s Centre for Literature Theology and the Arts, where his research centered on August Strindberg. He subsequently drew on this research for his book Strindberg and the Quest for Sacred Theatre (Rodopi, 2010), which takes an interdisciplinary approach to some of the playwright’s later works.

His research interests include Scandinavian cinema; an ongoing engagement with August Strindberg; and more recently a new departure into Scandinavian children’s literature. He is also interested in the growing interdisciplinary engagement between consciousness studies and literature.

He regularly teaches courses on Viking sagas and Viking mythology and has also taught a number of courses on more recent Scandinavian literature and on film. He has also developed a new course on children’s literature and youth culture.

Jensen Beach




About Jensen …

Jensen Beach completed his MFA in fiction at the Program for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Prior to that, he received his MA and BA in English at Stockholm University. His research and teaching interests are mainly in contemporary and modern American fiction and poetry, Scandinavian literatures, and literature in translation. In his critical work and his creative work, he is particularly interested in how national (and international) identities are rendered in fiction. He has published short stories, non-fiction, and reviews most recently in the Cincinnati Review, Kenyon Review Online, Ninth Letter, Sou'wester, Witness and many others. He is the author a collection of short stories called For Out of the Heart Proceed (Dzanc Books) and is currently working on two projects. The first is a book of linked stories set in Sweden that in part explores the intersection of historical narrative and fiction, and the second is a novel about Swedish involvement in the Nigerian-Biafran War of the late 60s. He teaches courses on American Literature, writing, and Scandinavian Literature. He can be reached through his website at: