I am a folklorist who teaches and researches on various aspects of the Nordic-Baltic region. I received my doctorate in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania in 1990, with part of my graduate study conducted at the University of Helsinki, Finland, in the departments of Folklore and Finno-Ugric Linguistics.
From 1990-99, I taught at the University of Washington, Seattle, where I started the Finnish Studies program in the Department of Scandinavian Studies, and also helped start the department's Baltic Studies program.
In 2000, I moved to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I work in the Department of Scandinavian Studies, as well as the Department of Comparative Literature and Folklore Studies. I have also served as director of the Religious Studies program.
I am a big believer in academic service, particularly in what we at the UW call the "Wisconsin Idea," i.e. the active engagement of the university with its surrounding constituencies. My main service commitments at present are co-editing the Journal of American Folklore with my colleague Jim Leary and serving at the president of the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study. I make it a goal to bring academic scholars into productive dialogue with members of the broader public, helping contribute to the intellectual and cultural life of our society.
|Door lintel, Lund Cathedral|
|Altarpiece, Skellefteå Church|
|Church Village, Luleå|