Sweden has a way of continually coming back into my life, no matter where my research takes me. At this time seven years ago (!!) I moved to Uppsala for an exchange year with a scholarship from the Swedish Women's Educational Association (SWEA)- Michigan. I took my first proper archaeology class there and conducted archaeological research that became my first academic publication. After corresponding that year via email, I also met one of my early academic heroes, the late Swedish archaeologist Bibi Sawyer, and her husband, the medievalist Peter Sawyer.
As I said goodbye to Bibi Sawyer all those years ago, I thanked her for taking the time to talk to me, just an undergraduate student at the time, and for her willingness to chat about my research on the Swedish runestones and to offer advice and feedback. With my flight back to the U.S. just a week away, I promised her I would come back to Uppsala someday ("Jag kommer tillbaka en dag.") She smiled and responded prophetically, "Det tror jag."
So I suppose it is only fitting that SWEA- San Francisco is taking me back to Sweden for my dissertation project on a very different subject. Words cannot express my gratitude for the incredible women at SWEA and their support of studies and research projects like mine. And many thanks to Gunnel Tottie for the lovely chat before my flight and the kind blog post.