Astrid Lindgren researcher Astrid Surmatz has passed away. Researchers Helene Ehriander and Lisa Källström write a memoir about a missing colleague.

In memory of Astrid Surmatz
File Dr Astrid Surmatz, Amsterdam, has died only 53 years old after a period of illness. Closest relatives are husband Jasper and daughters Ingrid and Ebba.

Astrid grew up with her two sisters Christina and Hanna in Clausthal-Zellerfeld (Germany) in a bilingual home (Swedish-German). She studied Scandinavian in Göttingen and completed her studies in 1997 with the groundbreaking doctoral dissertation Pippi Longstocking as a paradigm (printed in 2005) on the reception of the popular children's book character in especially Germany but also in other countries.

In addition to German publications, she also presented her research to a Swedish- and English-speaking circle of readers, for example in the anthology Beyond Pippi Longstocking (together with Bettina Kümmerling Meibauer) and the article "International politics in Astrid Lindgren's works" (published in Barnboken vol. 42). In recent years, her research was about Carl von Linné's Lapland trip. For her research on Pippi and Linné, her analyzes are of course particularly important, but the issues she discusses and the solid craftsmanship behind her research are more important than that.

We became good friends with Astrid Surmatz during her years as junior professor at Universität zu Cologne (Lisa) and by meeting at the international conferences where she often presented her ongoing research (Helene). In 2007–2011, she was visiting professor of Astrid Lindgren's memory at Linnaeus University in Växjö, where she was an esteemed teacher and researcher. She lived with her family in Amsterdam and worked there at the Department of Scandinavian Studies. Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands were all important countries for her and she mastered all three languages as well as English in speech and writing as if they were her native language.

Astrid Surmatz participated in several interdisciplinary and international research networks. She sat on the jury for the German State Literature Prize for Youth Literature, was instrumental in initiating the research group CHILLL at Linnaeus University, participated in two research groups in Tromsø and Umeå on travel stories and subarctic, and was a board member of the International Research Society for Children & #8217; s Literature, IRSCL (2011). 2015). She was also elected a member of The Linnean Society in London.

It is with great sadness and missingness that we now say goodbye.

Our warmest thoughts go to the family.

Lisa Källström and Helene Ehriander

Link to condolence greeting:

photo: private