Susan Brantly
Nordic, Professor

Languages: Swedish and German

Research/Language Interests: 19th Century Scandinavian Literature, Modernism in Swedish Literature, Historical Fiction, August Strindberg, Karen Blixen, Literary Decadence

Education: Ph.D., Germanic Languages and Literatures, Yale University, 1987 M.A., Scandinavian Studies, University of Minnesota, 1983 B.A., German and Scandinavian, Harvard University, 1980

Affiliated Departments: Theater and Drama

Undergraduate Courses: Masterpieces of Scandinavian Literature: The 20th Century, The Drama of August Strindberg, Art of Isak Dinesen/Karen Blixen, Nineteenth-Century Scandinavian Fiction, Scandinavian Decadence in its European Context

Graduate Courses: Survey of Scandinavian Literature: 1500-1800, Survey of Scandinavian Literature: 1800-1890, and occasional seminars on historical fiction and the Scandinavian Modern Breakthrough

About Susan: Susan Brantly received her Ph.D. from Yale University in 1987. In 2003, she was the recipient of the Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award and in she received the U.W. System Alliant Underkofler Excellence in Teaching Award in 2013. During her career she has shown a key interest in student-oriented activities. She is the Director of Graduate Studies for Nordic and the Director of Bradley Learning Community. She is a specialist in Swedish language and literature. Her books include The Life and Writings of Laura Marholm and Understanding Isak Dinesen and she co-edited The Nordic Storyteller: Essays in Honour of Niels Ingwersen. Her most recent book is titled The Historical Novel, Transnationalism, and the Postmodern Era. Contemporary Swedish historical fiction remains a central research interest, and she has published articles on writers such as P.C. Jersild, Sven Delblanc, Sara Lidman, Per Anders Fogelström, P.O. Enquist and others in journals such as, Clio, Comparative Literature, Scandinavian Studies, Horizont. She has also published on August Strindberg and other nineteenth-century Nordic writers, and maintains a keen interest in modernist studies. She is currently the editor of the journal Scandinavian Studies.

Selected Publications


The Historical Novel, Transnationalism, and the Postmodern Era: Presenting the Past. New York: Routledge. 2017.

The Nordic Storyteller: Essays in Honour of Niels Ingwersen.  Susan Brantly and Thomas A. DuBois, eds.Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009.

Sex and the Modern Breakthrough.  Edited and Translated by Susan Brantly. Madison: Wisconsin Introductions to Scandinavia, 2004.

Laura Marholm: Ihr Leben und ihre Werke. Trans. Albert Burkhardt. Berlin-Friedrichshagen: Müggle-Verlag Rolf F. Lang. 2004.

Understanding Isak Dinesen. Columbia, S.C.: U of South Carolina P. 2002.

The Life and Writings of Laura Marholm  Beiträge zur nordischen Philologie, no. 21.  Basel & Frankfurt am Main: Helbing & Lichtenhahn, 1991.  206 pages.


"Neke interpretacije Babettine gozbe Karen Blixen" [Reading Karen Blixen's Babette's Feast]. Trans. Tina Antonini. Knjizevna smotra [Literary Survey]. Godiste XLIX/ 2017, Broj 184 (2): 35-40.

“Murdering the Father: Hjalmar Söderberg's Doktor Glas” in Father Figures and Gender Identities in Scandinavian and Comparative Literature. Ed. Kathleen L. Komar. Berkeley and Los Angeles: North Pinehurst Press, 2016. 63-79.

Karen Blixen, Hybridity,  and some Challenges to Postcolonial Criticism.” Made in Denmark. Special issue of Kult (Journal for Nordic Postcolonial Studies). Vol 11 (2013), 29-44.

“Intertextual Enlightenment: Tournier’s Friday, Delblanc’s Speranza, and Unsworth’s SacredHunger.Comparative Literature.  61:2 (Spring 2009): 128-141.

“Whatever Happened to the Black Swedes? Ola Larsmo’s Maroonberget.”  Journal of Northern Studies. 1 (2008): 79-96.

“P.O. Enquist, Postmodernism, and the Defense of the Enlightenment.” Scandinavian Studies 80 (Spring 2008), 1: 1-12.

Ut Pictura Poesis: Word and Image in Georg Stiernhielm’s Hercules.TijdSchrift voor Skandinavistiek 17:2 (2006), 29-46.

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