Nordic Folklife Postdoctoral Fellowships

Pekka Olson works on a new wood carving

The Nordic Folklife project is offering two Postdoctoral fellowships in order to further folklife fieldwork and research with Nordic American folk artists and organizations. Fellows will be expected to conduct original fieldwork, research, and create public productions based on their fieldwork and documentation, culminating in a public project to be completed in the final year of the fellowship.

Each fellowship is a two year position, beginning August 22, 2022 and ending August 21, 2024 and will be based at the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures. Funding for fellows includes a stipend and limited funds for a computer, production supplies, travel throughout the region, and conference fees.

The Nordic Folklife Fellowships are designed to provide professional development experiences in public folklore and outreach to ensure that the next generation of folklorists are prepared to work in a variety of contexts, and are able to take their experience with Nordic and Nordic American folklore with them wherever they go. See below for more detail.


Degree and area of specialization:

Background in Folklore or related fields (Anthropology, Ethnography, Ethnomusicology, Museum Studies, Scandinavian Studies, etc.).

Minimum number of years and type of relevant work experience:

PhD required (conferred sometime between 2016 and the present) or scheduled to file by start date.

Previous experience working in a community-engaged setting (such as a museum, cultural center, non-profit, or university).

Previous experience producing public programming and productions.

Position Summary:

The Sustaining Scandinavian Folk Arts in the Upper Midwest Project (SSFAUM) is sponsored by a non-federal grant aimed at supporting Scandinavian folklife traditions in the region through teaching, training emerging professionals in the field, research, outreach, building archival collections, creating public productions, and more. Based at the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures (CSUMC), this project involves active team members and partners across and off campus in a variety of activities aimed at supporting and providing resources for artists, scholars, community partners, and students in the field.

The College of Letters & Science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison invites applications for two, two-year postdoctoral fellowships funded by SSFAUM. The Fellowships will be based at the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures and be affiliated with the Department of German, Nordic, Slavic+ as part of the Folklore Program. The Fellowships will begin on August 22, 2022, and will focus research and public productions/events on Nordic American communities.

The Fellows will engage in original fieldwork in their area of interest/expertise and must involve Nordic American communities in the Upper Midwest. This fieldwork will serve as the basis for a required public production, to be completed by the end of the fellowship. Public productions might include, but not be limited to, physical exhibits, virtual exhibits, multimedia productions (film, audio essays), archival collection guides/resources, etc.

In 2022–2024, the stipend for each Postdoctoral Fellowship will be $60,000 per academic year, with a $6,000 per year research allowance (conference fees, travel, public production costs). Each Fellowship will come with office space and a laptop computer and is eligible for health insurance (more information:

 Principal Duties:

  • 40%: Public programming and productions
  • 40%: Fieldwork and research
  • 20%: Professional development

 Eligibility and Area of Specialization

  • Applicants must hold a PhD (conferred 2016–present) in Folklore or a related field such as Anthropology, Ethnomusicology, Museum Studies, Scandinavian Studies, etc.
  • Applicants must be emerging public scholars or folklorists who are not yet tenured or on the tenure track since earning their PhD.
  • Applicants who do not yet hold a PhD but expect to file their final thesis prior to the begin date of the fellowship (August 22, 2022) must provide a letter from their home institution (department chair, head of graduate studies, or advisor) confirming the degree award schedule.
  • The fellowships have no nationality requirements. If accepted, international candidates will be responsible for securing their own paperwork, visas, etc. as needed, though the university can provide some support in this process.
  • Selected recipients may not hold another fellowship simultaneous with this one.

Application Materials

Applications must be submitted in English and are due by Sunday, June 5, 2022.

Your application must include the following:

  • Proposal of up to 2,000 words. The proposal should include planned research and fieldwork that will be conducted as a Nordic Folklife Fellow; plans for public productions, programming, and publication; a description of professional goals; and other relevant information. Include how you believe you would benefit from being at UW–Madison, including associations you would like to develop with faculty and staff on campus on campus and organizations in the region.
  • Curriculum vitae; include publications, productions, and programming forthcoming and in progress.
  • Portfolio of up to 25 pages double spaced, featuring previously developed public productions or programs (including links to digital work), as well as a writing sample featuring your research. The writing sample should be in English. References/images/endnotes included in the portfolio may be in reasonable excess of the 25 pages.
  • Three professional references who can, if contacted, speak to the applicant’s qualifications for the project, past work, and potential contributions to and benefits from being a Nordic Folklife postdoctoral fellow at UW–Madison.

Minimum number of years and type of relevant work experience:

Well qualified candidates will have the following preferred experience:

  • Producing published research and/or public programming;
  • Conducting fieldwork and archival research;
  • Working collaboratively with artists, practitioners, and community organizations;
  • Working in the area of Nordic and Nordic American studies

Diversity is a source of strength, creativity, and innovation for UW–Madison. We value the contributions of each person and respect the profound ways their identity, culture, background, experience, status, abilities, and opinions enrich the university community. We commit ourselves to the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research, outreach, & diversity as inextricably linked goals. The University of Wisconsin–Madison fulfills its public mission by creating a welcoming and inclusive community for people from every background – people who as students, faculty & staff serve Wisconsin and the world.

For more information on diversity and inclusion on campus, please visit: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at UW-Madison.

Submit Applications on or before Sunday, June 5, 2022 to:

Anna Rue

432 East Campus Mall

Madison, WI 53706-1407

Phone: 608-262-8180