Rasmus Bjørn Anderson was born on a farm in Southern Wisconsin on January 12, 1846. He became the first professor of Scandinavian Studies at the University of Wisconsin in 1875, thereby establishing the UW Department of Scandinavian Studies as the oldest in the nation. He served in this position until 1883, when he was appointed as minister to Denmark by President Grover Cleveland. When he returned from Europe, he took over as editor for Amerika, a Norwegian-American newspaper, which he ran for twenty-four years.
Our presenter, Susan Brantly is a Professor of Scandinavian Studies at the University of Wisconsin, where she has held a position since 1987. Professor Brantly 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. She served as president of the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study from 2007 to 2009 and she is currently the editor of the journal Scandinavian Studies.