Bringing Friday Night Lecture Series from the past to the present, one upload at a time.

New videos posted every Friday at noon. 

Learn more about FNLS

Special thanks to Carl Thompson for his many years of volunteer service of recording each lecture.

COMING UP - Hiking in Norway: Oslo to Trondheim

presented by Julie Whipple and Lori Osmundsen

Julie Whipple, president of the Grieg Lodge Sons of Norway, and Lori Osmundsen, Grieg Lodge sports director, completed a nearly 400 mile walking trek across Norway from Oslo to Trondheim during the summer of 2010. With 30 to 35 pounds of gear on their backs, the two women spent 34 days on the little-know, 1,000 year old pilgrimage of St. Olav, or 'St. Olav's Way.' They raised over $2,000 for student scholarships, art grants and the historic Grieg Lodge library through lodge member pledges. They will present a narrated slide presentation of their scenic journey.

St. Olav's Way is a pilgrims' path walked in Medieval times by the faithful seeking the aid and comfort of Scandinavian patron Saint Olav Haraldsson, Norway's King Olav II. Pilgrims reaped the bounty of the beautiful Norwegian scenery, unique cultural & spiritual experiences and an opportunity for personal reflection.


Recorded on 1.7.2011

Written in Stone: Ancient Rock Carvings of Scandinavia

presented by Susan G. Carter, Ph.D.

Over thousands of years ancient peoples in Scandinavia left a wide variety of carvings in rocks. This presentation explores the various symbols which appear in Scandinavian rock art of the Tanumshede area in Sweden and the possible ways they may have been created and used. Can the rock art be considered ancient futurist visions, or a vestige of ancient cultural or spiritual practices from the past?

Susan G. Carter, Ph.D., teaches in the interdisciplinary graduate programs of Marylhurst University (Portland, OR), and the California Institute of Intergral Studies (San Francisco, CA). She has volunteered with the Scandinavian Prehistoric Art Society in Tanumshede.

Recorded on 10.1.2010

Nordic Crime Fiction

presented by Dr. Marlene Broemer

The current spate of Nordic crime fiction comes on the heels of generations of crime novels in the UK and the United States. What makes this genre suddenly so popular in the Nordic states in the 21st century? Do these texts represent an escape from reality, or do they present a new way of analyzing contemporary society through literature? The presentation will explore sample books from the Nordic countries. Marlene Broemer is a Comparative Literature scholar. She teaches Writing at Portland Community College and Clackamas Community College.

Recorded on 4.3.2015

Under the Swastika: A Student's Experience in Occupied Norway during World War II

presented by Erik Brakstad

Olav Brakstad was 18 when the Nazis invaded Norway in 1940. He was among 1,500 University of Oslo students arrested in 1943, and spent 13 months interned in Grini, Norway's largest concentration camp. After his release he joined the underground resistance. Erik Brakstad will tell his father's story augmented by photographs Olav took during the occupation years. Raised in Bremerton, Washington, by a Norwegian father and American mother, Erik attended Follo Folkehøyskole in Vestby, Norway, before moving to Portland to attend Reed College. Erik, a general contractor, has taught at and directed youth language camps in Washington, Oregon, Minnesota, Norway and Switzerland.

Recorded on 4.3.2015

Nordic Myths: Crossing the Rainbow Bridge

presented by Barbara Fankhauser

Join us for an evening of stories from the rich pantheon of gods and goddesses that lie at the heart of the Norse myths - from Odin's quest to gain wisdom, to the antics of Loki and Thor. Barbara Fankhauser will lead us over Bifrost, the rainbow bridge that connects Asgard and the tribe of our ancient gods, to Midgard, the world of humans - a world we still occupy today. And perhaps in looking at the triumphs, failures and fables of these ancient gods and goddesses, there are life lessons, still to be learned...

Recorded on 3.6.2015

Finland in the Cold War

presented by James Ford Cooper


In this presentation, Finlandia Foundation National Lecturer of the Year, James Ford Cooper discusses the different perspectives and geopolitical and historical factors that informed the manners in which Finland and the U.S. related to the 45-year period from the end of World War II to the collapse of the Soviet Union. 


Recorded on 3.1.2019

Saab & Volvo: Examples of Superb Swedish Engineering

presented by Carl Thompson

Carl Thompson has experience in the automotive industry for over 45 years with a special interest and background in Swedish autos. Carl will give a history of both the Saab and Volvo automobiles, discuss the many Swedish innovations adopted by the world auto industry and explain the mysteries of just how does your Swedish automobile work?

Recorded on 1.6.2012

Gods and Giants and Trolls, Oh My!

presented by Barbara Fankhauser and Ken Iverson


Join storytellers Barbara Fankhauser and Ken Iverson for an evening of Nordic myths and tales of wit and wisdom from some of our favorite tricksters, Gods, Giants and other creatures from the nine worlds. From Thor disguised as a blushing bride to Loki pitting his skills against one of the most powerful elements on earth, this will be evening to entertain, enlighten and connect you to the powerful myths that lie at the heart of Norse culture.

Recorded on 4.1.2016

The Wonderful World of Cheese

presented by Dr. Lisbeth Goddik

There are thousands of different cheeses - all of them looking, tasting, and smelling differently. Yet they all contain the same four basic ingredients: milk, bacteria, enzyme, and salt. So why are there so many. cheeses, how did the holes get into Swiss cheese, are Danish cheeses special, and what is going on with all the new artisan cheeses in Oregon? Allow Dr. Lisbeth Goddik to guide you through the wonderful world of cheese. 

Recorded on 2.5.2010

Visiting Viking Sites in Scandinavia

presented by William L. Sullivan

William L. Sullivan is the author of The Ship in the Hill, a historical novel based on the true story of a Viking ship excavated from a Norwegian farm in 1904. He will take you to Norway's North Cape, a medieval village in Sweden and a reconstructed Danish fortress. 

Recorded on 4.1.2011

The Dynamic Geology of Norway

presented by Dr. Scott Burns

Learn about the unique and dynamic geology of Norway with Dr. Scott Burns, a PSU Professor Emeritus who has been teaching for the last 38 years.

Recorded on 2.1.2019

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