Scandinavia HouseScandinavia House

Lectures - Scandinavia HouseLectures & Literary Programs @ Scandinavia House

map & directions
Facebook, become a fan
Stay Connected
Facebook, become a fan Twitter, follow us Sound Cloud YouTube, subscribe to our channel

Lectures & Literary Lectures & Literary Programs

For reservations, call 212.847.9740 or email

Upcoming Lectures & Literary Programs

Rock, Paper, Scissors
Book Talk with Naja Marie Aidt

Thursday, September 10, 6:30 pm
Free | RSVP strongly encouraged

Acclaimed Danish poet and writer Naja Marie Aidt discusses her long-awaited first novel Rock, Paper, Scissors (Open Letter Books, 2015) – a breathtaking page-turner and complex portrait of a man whose life slowly devolves into one of paranoia and jealousy – with ATLAS magazine editor Maria Marqvard Jensen.

Rock, Paper, Scissors opens shortly after the death of Thomas and Jenny's criminal father. While trying to fix a toaster that he left behind, Thomas discovers a secret, setting into motion a series of events leading to the dissolution of his life, and plunging him into a dark, shadowy underworld of violence and betrayal.

A gripping story written with a poet's sensibility and attention to language, Rock, Paper, Scissors showcases all of Aidt's gifts and introduces a whole new audience to one of Denmark's most decorated and beloved writers.

Following the discussion, copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing.

About the author

Naja Marie Aidt was born in Greenland and raised in Copenhagen. She is the author of ten collections of poetry and three short story collections, including Baboon (Two Lines Press, 2006), which received the Nordic Council's Literature Prize (2008) and the Danish Critics' Prize for Literature (2007). Her books have been translated into nine languages. Rock, Paper, Scissors is her first novel.

About the moderator

Maria Marqvard Jensen holds a Masters in Language and Literature from Copenhagen University. She specializes in managing literary events in New York, most recently for the PEN World Voices Festival. She is the book editor for the Danish ATLAS magazine and her translation of Mark Twain's The Diaries of Adam and Eve was published in Denmark in December 2014 by ATLAS.

See also Nordic Book Club in LECTURES & LITERARY SERIES section.

The Girl in the Spider’s Web
Book Talk with David Lagercrantz

Tuesday, September 15, 6:30 pm
Free | RSVP strongly encouraged

Hear Swedish journalist and best-selling author David Lagercrantz discuss the highly-anticipated The Girl in the Spider's Web (Knopf Doubleday, 2015) – book four in the worldwide bestselling Millennium series of novels, which launched in the U.S. in 2008  – with Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Knopf Doubleday).

In this adrenaline-charged thriller, genius-hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist face a dangerous new threat and must again join forces. Late one night, Blomkvist receives a phone call from a trusted source claiming to have information vital to the United States. The source has been in contact with a young female super hacker–a hacker resembling someone Blomkvist knows all too well. The implications are staggering.

Blomkvist, in desperate need of a scoop for Millennium, turns to Lisbeth for help. She, as usual, has her own agenda. In The Girl in the Spider's Web, the duo who thrilled 80 million readers in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire (Knopf Doubleday, 2009)and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Knopf Doubleday, 2010) meet again in an extraordinary and uniquely of-the-moment thriller.

Following the discussion, copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing.

About the author

David Lagercrantz studied philosophy and religion at university and subsequently attended the School of Journalism in Göteborg. After graduating, he worked as a crime reporter for Expressen, a national daily paper. He is now head of news and current affairs on Swedish Public Radio.

Lagercrantz made his debut as an author in 1997 with the publication of Ultimate High (Discovery Books, 1999), the story of Göran Kropp, the Swedish adventurer who climbed Mount Everest using his own physical means and without any outside assistance. He followed with The Angels of Åmsele (Albert Bonniers Förlag, 1998)about the triple murder he covered as a journalist a decade earlier. In 2000 Lagercrantz published A Swedish Genius (Albert Bonniers Förlag), a biography of inventor Håkan Lans and in 2005, he returned his attention to the Himalayas to write his first thriller, The Sky over Everest (Pirat).

Lagercrantz is perhaps best known for working with Swedish football star Zlatan Ibrahimović on his critically acclaimed memoir, I Am Zlatan, which was published by Månpocket in 2011 and broke sales records in Sweden and throughout Europe. The book sold 500,000 hardcover copies in Sweden in less than two months and was later shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award and nominated for the August Prize in Sweden. To date, I Am Zlatan has been published in over 30 languages around the world and sold millions of copies.

In 2009 Lagercrantz published The Fall of Man in Wilmslow (Forlaget Modtryk), a historical novel about the English mathematician and code breaker Alan Turing. The book was well received in Sweden and rights were sold to publishers in 15 countries. Knopf will publish the book in the U.S. in fall 2016.

See also Nordic Book Club in LECTURES & LITERARY SERIES section.

Back to top of page

Ivory Vikings: The Mystery of the Lewis Chessmen
Book Talk with Nancy Marie Brown

Monday, September 21, 6:30 pm
Free | RSVP strongly encouraged

Join award-winning author and former ASF Fellow Nancy Marie Brown as she discusses her new book (St. Martin's Press, 2015) that delves deeper into the provenance of the Lewis chessmen – one of the most important Viking treasures ever found.

In the 1830s on a remote Hebridean beach on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland, 92 chessmen carved from walrus ivory were uncovered. Their unearthing is Scotland's best-known archaeological find. Among the most viewed and beloved objects at the British Museum in London and the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, these mysterious figurines have inspired numerous songs, fantasies, thrillers, and films.

Yet so little about them is known: Where did the ivory come from? Were the chessmen meant for the king of Norway? Who carved them, and when? Were they made in Trondheim between 1150 and 1200, as art historians have long presumed? Or in Lund, where a bit of ivory looking like the front feet of a Lewis knight's horse was found in an archaeological dig? Or, as a new theory proposes, were these masterpieces of Romanesque art carved from Greenlandic walrus ivory for Bishop Pall of Iceland? And how did they end up in far-western Scotland?

Drawing from medieval Icelandic sagas, modern archaeology, art history, forensics, and the history of board games, Ivory Vikings links the Lewis chessmen to the Vikings' luxury trade in walrus ivory and to a Norwegian king's fondness for wearing kilts. It presents a vivid history of the 400 years when Norsemen ruled the North Atlantic and the sea road connected places thought of as culturally distinct: Norway and Scotland, Ireland and Iceland, Greenland and North America. Finally, Ivory Vikings brings from the shadows Margret the Adroit of Iceland, the talented 12th-century artist who carved the Lewis chessmen – maybe.

Following the discussion, copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing.

About the author

Nancy Marie Brown writes about Iceland and Vikings, science and sagas. Her books combine extremes: medieval literature and modern archaeology, myths and facts. They ask: What have we overlooked? What have we forgotten? Whose history must not be lost?

She is the author of six general interest books and one young adult novel, including Song of the Vikings: Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths (St. Martin's Griffin, 2012), winner of the Mythopoeic Scholarship Award for Myth and Fantasy Studies; The Abacus and the Cross: The Story of the Pope Who Brought the Light of Science to the Dark Ages (Hartcourt Books, 2010); The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman (Mariner Books, 2007) and its companion novel, The Saga of Gudrid the Far-Traveler (2015); Mendel in the Kitchen: A Scientist's View of Genetically Modified Foods (with Nina V. Fedoroff, Joseph Henry Press, 2004); and A Good Horse Has No Color: Searching Iceland for the Perfect Horse (Stackpole Books, 2001).

She holds a Master's Degree in Comparative Literature from Penn State University, where she specialized in Old Icelandic and Old French, and enjoyed a 20-year career as a science writer and editor for Penn State's Research Publications before turning freelance in 2003.

The Changing Arctic under U.S. Leadership
Lecture by Dr. Olav Orheim

Wednesday, September 23, 6:30 pm
Free | Reservations required

The Arctic continues to change at an accelerating rate. Distinguished polar expert Dr. Olav Orheim examines several new developments – politics, territory, climate, and transportation – occurring in the far north: In May 2015 the United States assumed the Chairmanship of the Artic Council, ushering in increased expectations of leadership; nations bordering the Arctic Ocean make extensive territorial claims northwards; attention and interest from Asia and continental Europe is on the uptick; and access to the region and transportation shift as global warming escalates.

About Dr. Olav Orheim

Dr. Olav Orheim is a renowned Norwegian polar expert, who has been deeply involved in Arctic affairs from the Cold War period to the present. His career includes Professor at University of Bergen and Director of the Norwegian Polar Institute from 1993 to 2005. From 2005 to 2012, Orheim was in charge of International Polar Year activities at the Research Council of Norway.



Light and Silence in Nordic Architecture
Lecture with Louis Becker, Henning Larsen Architects

Saturday, October 31, 2 pm
Free | RSVP strongly encouraged
#HammershøiNYC | #Archtober | #5years5boroughs

Louis Becker, Design Director and Principal Partner at the Copenhagen-based Henning Larsen Architects, discusses Nordic architecture and its characteristic sensitivity to light. Becker touches on Nordic architecture from the 19th century to the present, drawing connections between contemporary and historic projects, such as those seen in the work of renowned Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershøi, on view in the Gallery.

About Louis Becker

Louis BeckerLouis Becker is Design Director and Principal Partner at Henning Larsen Architects. He has been part of the management team since 1998 and is responsible for the company's activities in global markets. He has been one of the driving forces behind a number of large Danish and international projects – from significant building icons to complex masterplans. 

In 2008 Becker was appointed Adjunct Professor at the Department of Architecture and Design at Aalborg University. In 2011 he was awarded the Eckersberg Medal by the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts as a special recognition of his extraordinary contribution to Danish architecture.

About Archtober

Archtober is New York City's Architecture and Design Month, the annual, month-long festival of architecture activities, programs, and exhibitions taking place during the month of October. Five years, five boroughs.

Archtober presents special tours, lectures, films, and exhibitions that focus on the importance of architecture and design in everyday life. The festival's many participating organizations aim to raise awareness of the important role of design in New York City and to build a lasting civic and international recognition of the richness of New York's built environment.

Presented in association with Archtober, Architecture and Design Month New York City, October 2015 and organized in collaboration with AFSMK – American Friends of Statens Museum for Kunst.


See also Painting Tranquility: Masterworks by Vilhelm Hammershøi from SMK – The National Gallery of Denmark in UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS section.

Back to top of page

Upcoming Lectures & Literary Series

Nordic Book Club

Tuesdays, 6 pm: September 29 & October 27, 2015
Series continues fall 2015 & winter 2016
Free | #nordicbookclub

Read and discuss Scandinavian literature in translation as part of Nordic Book Club – ASF’s newest literary series. This season’s selections include Swedish crime thrillers, Danish contemporary fiction, and Finnish fantasy. Discussions typically take place the last Tuesday of the month in the Halldór Laxness Library at Scandinavia House and online at

September 2015: Swedish Crime Thriller
The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz

Book Club Discussion: September 29 | Related Book Talk: September 15

In this adrenaline-charged thriller (Knopf Doubleday, 2015), genius-hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist face a dangerous new threat and must again join forces in book four of the worldwide number one bestselling Millennium series of novels.

See also The Girl in the Spider Web – Book Talk with David Lagercrantz in LECTURES & LITERARY section.

October 2015: Danish Contemporary Fiction
Rock, Paper, Scissors by Naja Marie Aidt

Book Club Discussion: October 27 | Related Book Talk: September 10

Naja Marie Aidt’s long-awaited first novel Rock, Paper, Scissors (Open Letter Books, 2015) is a breathtaking page-turner and complex portrait of a man whose life slowly devolves into one of paranoia and jealousy.

See also Rock, Paper, Scissors – Book Talk with Naja Marie Aidt in LECTURES & LITERARY section.

Back to top of page