Curriculum Vitae

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Curriculum Vitae
Margaret Hayford O’Leary
King Olav V Chair of Scandinavian-American Studies
St. Olaf College


Ph.D. 1987. University of Wisconsin-Madison. Scandinavian Studies-literature.
Minor: Second Languages and Cultures Education.
Dissertation title: Post-War Norwegian Literature: Portraits of Women in Occupied Norway .

Special Diploma Exam in Norwegian Language and Literature. University of Oslo. 1979.

MA 1977. University of Wisconsin-Madison. Scandinavian Studies-literature.

BA 1973. Summa cum laude. Concordia College (Moorhead, Minnesota). German; chemistry, Norwegian, education.



  • September 2017-present
    King Olav V Chair in Scandinavian-American Studies
  • June 2016 – present
    Associate Dean for Humanities
  • 2011-15
    German Department Chair
  • 2001-2, 2003-9; 2010-15
    Chair of Norwegian and Director of Nordic Studies
  • fall 2000-present
    Professor of Norwegian
  • 2002 summer
    Acting Associate Dean for Interdisciplinary and General Studies
  • 1999-2002
    College Registrar and Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • 1993-2000
    Associate Professor of Norwegian
  • 1987-1993
    Assistant Professor of Norwegian
  • 1977-86
    Instructor in Norwegian


2009-2016 (summer)
Instructor of Beginning Norwegian and course leader of Norwegian Life and Society Lectures at University of Oslo International Summer School.

2007-08 (summer)
Course Leader and Lecturer of Contemporary Norwegian Society at Oslo International Summer School

External examiner for Five Colleges Norwegian Self-Study program, Amherst, MA


ACTFL Certified OPI tester in Norwegian (2013-2017)

Offices Held:

President (President-elect/Past President): Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study 2013-2019

Board Member:  Norwegian Researchers and Teachers Association of North America 1987-2017



Colloquial Norwegian. Co-authored with Torunn Andresen. Routledge, 2016.

Culture and Customs of Norway. Greenwood, 2010.

The Four Winds, translation of For alle vinder, by Gerd Brantenberg. Women in Translation, 1996.

Norsk i sammenheng, second year Norwegian, by O’Leary and Shackelford. McGraw-Hill 1993.

Teachers Guide to Norsk i Sammenheng, 1993

Learners Guide to Norsk for utlendinger by Åse-Berit and Rolf Strandskogen. Jeffrey Norton, Inc., 1985.


På gang Web Portal:  Brødre i blodet.  Funded by a DHH grant.  Spring 2017.

På gang Web Portal:  grammar tutorial.  Funded by a DHH grant.  February 2016.

KlikkNorsk: Interactive grammar and vocabulary CD-ROM, with Nancy Aarsvold and Louis Janus. Skandisk 2003.

Everyday Norwegian, Interactive Video Project, University of Massachusetts 1999.

Articles and Short Works:

Article on Norway for Worldmark Encyclopedia of Religious Practices (Thomas Riggs & Co). 2014

Co-authored National Standards for Norwegian. The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). 2011.

Articles on Gerd Brantenberg, Torborg Nedreaas, and Herbjørg Wassmo for the Encyclopaedia of Contemporary Nordic Culture, published by Hurst & Co (London) 2011.

“Norwegian in North America” with Louis Janus. Published in I Mannes Minne: Minneskrift til Gerd Manne. Ed. Jon Erik Hagen, et al Bergen: Forlaget Fag og kultur, 2003.

Translation of excerpt from Sangen om St. Croix, in Echo: Stories from Scandinavia About Girls, ed. Ia Dubois and Katherine Hanson. Women in Translation, April 2000.

“Norwegian Literature,” in 2000 Britannica Book of the Year. 2000.
“Norwegian Literature,” in 1999 Britannica Book of the Year. 1999.

“The Tyskertøs: Loving the Enemy in Occupied Norway” in Studia Scandinavica, Spring 1997,  nr 15.

“Norwegian Children’s Literature” in A History of Norwegian Literature, ed. Harald S. Naess.

University of Nebraska Press, 1993.
Articles on Gerd Brantenberg, Solveig Christov, Anne Karin Elstad, Tove Nilsen, Vigdis Stokkelien, Halldis Moren Vesaas, and Herbjørg Wassmo. In Dictionary of Continental Women Writers, ed. Katherina Wilson. Garland, 1991.

Teaching Scandinavian Languages: A Status Report,” Directory of Scandinavian Studies in North America, 1989.

“Using Videotapes in the Foreign Language Classroom,” Norwegian Teachers’ Newsletter, Spring 1986.

Book Reviews:

Review of Norway, Society and Culture by Maagerø and Simonsen. Norwegian Teachers Newsletter, fall 2005.

Review of Heritage Languages in America, by Peyton, Ranard and McGinnis (eds.) The Modern Language Journal 87 (2003).

Review of Norsk referansegrammatikk, by Faarlund, Lie, and Vannebo. Scandinavian Studies 70:1.

Review of Technology-Enhanced Language Learning, ed. Michael D. Bush. Language Learning & Technology, Vol. 1, No. 2, January 1998.

Review of View from the Window, trans. Elizabeth Rokkan and Ingrid Weatherhead. Scandinavian Studies 63:3.

Review of A Priest’s Diary, by Sigbjørn Obstfelder. Scandinavian Studies. 63:3.

Review of The House with the Blind Glass Windows, by Herbjørg Wassmo, translated by Roseann Lloyd and Allen Simpson, in Norwegian Teachers Newsletter, October 1988.

Review of Der stod seg et bryllup in Scandinavian Studies 59:1.

Review of Preposisjonsøvelser med svar in Norwegian Teachers Newsletter Fall, 1987.

Lectures and Papers Delivered

National professional conventions

Use of Videorecording in the Language Classroom,” paper presented and session chaired at the annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study SASS, April, 2004.

“Technology in the Classroom,” paper presented and session chaired at the annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study SASS, April 1996.

“The Tyskertøs: Loving the Enemy in Occupied Norway,” paper presented at the annual conference of the Modern Language Association (MLA), December 1988

“Wassmo’s Tora: The Power of the Word,” paper presented at the annual SASS conference, 1988.

“The Tyskertøs in Post-War Norwegian Literature,” presented at the annual SASS conference 1986.

Director of NorTANA Workshop on Multimedia in Norwegian Teaching. St. Olaf College, June, 1997.

Opening and introductory lecture on History and Background of ACTFL Oral Proficiency testing Scale. Norwegian Teachers Workshop, St. Olaf College, June 6-8, 1991.

“On Teaching Culture,” presentation at Seminar for Norwegian Teachers St. Olaf College, June 1984.

“Oral Proficiency Testing,” presentation at Seminar for Norwegian Teachers, St. Olaf College, June 1984.

Regional or local professional meetings

“Åsmund Frægdegjæva in Song and Textile.” Keynote speaker/singer at Conference on Norwegian Woven Textiles, Hosted by Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum and Luther College for the Norwegian Textile Guild. October 21-23, 2005.

“Women in Norwegian Occupation Literature,” paper presented for the Language and Literature Group of St. Olaf College, November 20, 1987. 

Panel and seminar participation

Panel participant: “ACTFL Language Standards. at the annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study, April 2011.

Nordic Studies outside the Nordic Countries. Invited participant at conference in Vilnius, Lithuania, Nov. 3-5, 2005.

Marketing Nordic Studies in the Midwest. Panel. SASS conference April 1999.
Workshop on Technology in the Classroom (planner and presenter). SASS conference April 1998.

Panel participant: “Writing Literary History,” at the annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study, May, 1990.

Consulting and Interviews

Interviewed on Interview on Worldview, WBEZ, Chicago public radio about Norwegian police and weapons:  July 2015

Interviewed on Wordview, WBEZ, Chicago Public Radio about Norway’s prison culture:  March 2013

Content consultant for children’s book on Norway for ABDO Publishing Company, summer 2012.

Evaluated Norwegian grammar book proposal for Routledge, summer 2012.

Evaluated book-length translation for University of Washington press. 2012.

Outside consultant for grant. Norskedalen Heritage Center. 2011.

Outside evaluator for grant. Five Colleges Language Resource Center, 2009.

Reviewed translation of Garman og Worse for MLA. December 2003.

Reviewed application to NEH October 1998

Reviewed various articles for Modern Language Journal

External examiner for Five Colleges Language Resource Center, Amherst, MA.  1992 to present

College and Community

  • Norwegian Department Chair  2001-2, 2003-9, 2010-15
  • German Department Chair  2011-15
  • Member of college committees and task forces:
    • Curriculum and Educational Policies Committee
    • Advising task force (chair)
    • Pandemic taskforce
  • NAHA board member 2015-present
  • St. John’s Church
    • Member of St. John’s Chorale
    • Chair of search committee for Director of Music Ministry (2009)
    • Member of search committee for Director of Music Ministry (2014)
    • Usher


The Royal Norwegian Order of Merit, Knight First Class (Den kongelige norske fortjenstorden, ridder 1. klasse).  2016