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

Learn more about FNLS

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

Growing Up in Sweden

presented by Marianne Bratt

For this Friday Night Lecture Series program, listen to Marianne Bratt share about her lived experience growing up in Sweden.

Recorded on 11/6/2020

Stubborn Norwegians! My Grandfather's Prison Camp Diary

presented by Erik Brakstad


In occupied Norway, the Germans had plans to make the Norwegian schools conform to a sweeping Nazi agenda. The Norwegian teachers resisted, and in the spring of 1942, over 1,000 were arrested. Edvard Brakstad was one of them. He kept a surreptitious journal while interned above the Article Circle at a prison camp outside of Kirkenes. This account provides a unique perspective on his daily reality of sickness, harsh conditions, hunger, and uncertainty. Erik Brakstad will discuss and read excerpts from this memoir, which brings to life a little-known but important part of Norwegian history.


Recorded on 5.1.2009

We Stopped Forgetting, Stories from Sámi Americans

presented by Ellen Marie Jensen

Ellen Marie Jensen was born in Minnesota and now lives in Tromsø, in Northern Norway above the Arctic Circle. She is a dual citizen of the US and Norway (and registered Sámi). She has a BA in Women's Studies from the University of Minnesota. She moved to Sápmi (Sámi homeland in the far north of Norway, Finland, Sweden or Russia) to continue her education and research her father's Sámi heritage. Subsequently, she earned two Master's degrees, one in Indigenous Studies and one in Culture & Literature, and is currently in a PhD program at the University of Tromsø.


Recorded on 1.11.2013

Recent Swedish Immigrants to the Pacific Northwest

presented by Dr. Lars Nordstrom


Dr. Lars Nordstrom is the author of ,"Ten New Lives: Swedes in the Pacific Northwest." In his book, Dr. Nordstrom sheds light on this rarely studied topic of Swedish immigration to the US following the Vietnam War. In this lecture he will share several stories of these immigrants and how their lives changed in a new land.


Recorded on 11.4.2011

Growing up in The Faroe Islands (Føroyar)

presented by Rakul Ketels and Torgerd Vaillancourt


The Faroe Islands, halfway between Iceland and Norway, are a group of 18 islands a bit larger than Multnomah County. A country of breath-taking beauty built upon tilted volcanic basalt it is known for its soaring cliffs, fjords, green fells and heather. Rakul Ketels and Torgerd Vaillancourt will show slides from their childhood in the Faroe Islands and explain their unique adventures of growing up in the Faroe Islands.


Recorded on 4.3.2009

Growing up in Denmark

presented by Fritse Hakkinen


Fritse Hakkinen was born in Odense, Denmark and has lived there and in several small Danish villages. Having received her education in both Denmark and the US, she has enjoyed a career in nursing with the last 23 years as a hospice nurse helping patients and their families with pain and symptom control. 


Recorded on 2.1.2008

Growing up in Iceland

presented by Edda Sigurdar


Edda Sigurdar was born and grew up in Iceland. She immigrated to Washington State at the age of 18, continued her education, married and had a family. She has lived n Oregon for over 25 years and owns her own hairdressing salon. She is well known as a volunteer in the Scandinavian community and has received the prestigious Niskanen Award for her many years of volunteer work.


Recorded on 5.2.2008

My Adventures with DNA

presented by Morgan Pope

Morgan Pope, married to a half-Swede, has spent a lot of time and effort hoping to prove he too, has some Scandinavian roots. Now says he is ~37% Scandinavian! What will the National Geographic Genographic project say? And what does it mean?


Recorded on 3.7.2014

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


Monday - Friday

9:00 AM - 5 PM

Saturday & Sunday

9:00 AM - 3:00 PM


at Nordia House

8800 SW Oleson Rd.

Portland, OR 97223



Thursday - Sunday

9:00 AM - 3 PM



Thursday - Sunday

8:00 AM - 3:00 PM


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