The internationally-acclaimed Strindberg scholar, translator, and former ASF Fellow Harry G. Carlson (Strindberg and the Poetry of Myth, 1982; Out of Inferno: Strindberg’s Reawakening as an Artist, 1996; Strindberg: Five Plays, 1984) passed away in December 2012, at the end of the August Strindberg centennial year.

This evening Carlson’s legacy will be celebrated with readings from his unpublished Strindberg translations by Scandinavian American Theater Company (SATC) and accolades from colleagues, students, and collaborators, including Marvin Carlson, The Sidney E. Cohn Distinguished Professor of Theatre, CUNY Graduate Center; Seth Baumrin, Chairman of the Department of Communication and Theatre Arts, John Jay College of Criminal Justice; Mary Reilly, Director of Artist Services, Brooklyn Academy of Music; and Eszter Szalczer, Associate Professor of Theatre, University at Albany, State University of New York.

About Harry G. Carlson

Harry G. Carlson (1930 – 2012), professor of theater history and modern drama and internationally published scholar and translator of Swedish literature, is best known as a leading authority on the works of August Strindberg and Lars Forsell, and as a great Strindberg scholar who above all others transformed the Swedish playwright from a peculiar Swede to a foundational figure of literary modernism. His books and scholarly articles were published in both English and Swedish and were translated into many other languages.

Harry G. CarlsonHis most influential books include Strindberg and the Poetry of Myth and Out of Inferno: Strindberg’s Reawakening as an Artist. At the time of his death he left behind a yet unpublished manuscript on August Strindberg as a painter and his relationship to French artists and artist colonies of his time. He also translated many scholarly works from Swedish into English, including August Strindberg by Martin Lamm (1971) and The Art of Acting by Frederik Schyberg (1961), which became classic texts for students of drama and theater worldwide. Carlson’s highly praised play translations (found in his Strindberg: Five Plays and in Modern Nordic Plays: Sweden, 1980, among other published volumes) continue to be widely read and produced by theater companies internationally. He also had a life-long engagement with the theater and worked on productions both in Sweden and in the U.S. as dramaturg and simultaneous interpreter.

After earning his Ph.D. at Ohio State University he taught at various universities in Illinois and Georgia, and finally at the Department of Drama, Theater and Dance at Queens College and the Ph.D. program in Theater at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). Even after retiring from CUNY, he remained active as a teacher until his death, lecturing on Shakespeare for enthusiastic groups of students on Long Island, most recently at the Amagansett Public Library.

Born in New York City, Carlson was raised in the Bronx, was drafted upon graduating from college, and served in the Korean War. For his achievement as scholar and translator he was awarded an honorary Doctorate from Umeå University, Sweden (1990), and was recipient of many prestigious honors and awards, including the Guggenheim Fellowship (1966), and fellowships from The American-Scandinavian Foundation in 1956 and 1996.



Photo by the American-Scandinavian Foundation

TUE – 3-19-2013 – 6:30 PM