University of Wisconsin Press colophon



University of Wisconsin Madison crest that links to main university site

Association of University Presses member logo that links to main AUPresses site



Catalog Archive / Spring 2022

Culture Work
Folklore for the Public Good
Edited by Tim Frandy and B. Marcus Cederström

“A timely and much-needed resource for those inside and outside academia, Culture Work provides a powerful overview of the value of public folklore and humanities across private and institutional sectors while raising issues associated with cultural work in a politically and socially stratified country.”
—Lisa Gilman, George Mason University

A distinct and new vision of public folklore work

How do culture workers construct public arts and culture projects that are effective and transformative? How do we create public humanities projects of the community, for the community, and with the community? How can culture work make a concrete difference in the quality of life for communities, and lead to the creation of a more just world? Why do the public humanities matter? Culture Work explores these questions through real-world examples of cultural and public humanities projects. The innovative case studies analyzed in the book demonstrate the vast numbers of creative possibilities in culture work today—in all their complexities, challenges, and potentialities.

Thematically arranged chapters embody the interconnected aspects of culture work, from amplifying local voices to galvanizing community from within, from preservation of cultural knowledge to its creative repurposing for a desired future. These inventive projects provide concrete examples and accessible theory grounded in practice, encourage readers to embark on their own public culture work, and create new forward-looking inspiration for community leaders and scholars in the field.


Tim Frandy is an assistant professor of folk studies at Western Kentucky University and the editor and translator of Inari Sámi Folklore: Stories from Aanaar.

B. Marcus Cederström is the community curator of Nordic-American folklore in the department of German, Nordic, and Slavic at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. He is the coeditor and translator, with Thomas A. DuBois, of Songs of the Finnish Migration: A Bilingual Anthology.




“A seminal work of impressively informative scholarship.”
Midwest Book Review


Download Cover: color | b/w

Request Review Copy

Request Exam Copy


Table of Contents

Introduction (Tim Frandy and B. Marcus Cederström)

Public Folklore, Cultural Equity, and the Wisconsin Idea of Folklore
From a Potato Hole, Part 2: Collaboration, Repatriation, and Cultural Equity (James P. Leary)
The National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowships: A Reflection on the Roots and Impact of a National Cultural Heritage Honorific Program (Cheryl T. Schiele)
The Lion’s Side: DiscoverME/RecoverME and the Utilization of Storytelling for Emotional Transformation (David Olawuyi Fakunle)
Notes from the Field: Activism, Folklore Research, and Human Rights on the South Carolina Sea Islands in the 1960s (Mary Twining Baird)
Prison Landscapes and the Wisconsin Idea: Shaping the Study of a Public Occupational Culture (Claire Schmidt)
Revitalizing Franco-American Song (Carmen Beaudoin Bombardier, Kim Chase, Robert Desrosiers, Andy Kolovos, and Lisa Ornstein)

Beyond Preservation and Conservation
Securing a Future for the Nation’s Folklore Documentation Heyday (Nicole Saylor)
Collections: Opportunities and Responsibilities (Terri Van Orman)
“We Have All Been Neighbors Here”: Preservation, Access, and Engagement with the Arnold Munkel Collection (Nathan D. Gibson and Anna Rue)
Running the Show: Documenting and Exhibiting Wisconsin Folk Art (Robert T. Teske)
The Bobbing Boat: Lasting Impressions, Rejuvenated Memories, and Intriguing Prospects (Janet C. Gilmore)
The Smithsonian Folklife Festival Model as Transferable Technology for Cultural Heritage Craft Tourism in Local Museums (Diana Baird N’Diaye)

Amplifying Local Voices
Songs of the Finnish Migration: Amplification and Revitalization (Thomas A. DuBois and B. Marcus Cederström)
The Down Home Dairyland Story (Richard March)
Then and Now: Public Folklore and the Folklorist in Missouri (Lisa L. Higgins)
Applying Ethnicity: The Case of Olga Edseth’s Hot Pink Rosemaled Pumps in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin (Jared L. Schmidt)
“Let the Blood Roses Grow”: Workers’ Worldviews in the Music of Oren Tikkanen (Hilary-Joy Virtanen)

Creating Community
Stacking Brooms: Curling Camaraderie and Folklore in a Time of Transition (Anne Pryor)
“We Wanted to Save Something while There Was Still Something Left”: Restoration and Cultural Maintenance at the Oulu Cultural and Heritage Center (Mirva Johnson)
“A Growing Art”: Traditional Arts and Heritage Rediscovery in Northern Minnesota Scandinavian Communities (Sallie Anna Steiner)
The Art of Survival on the Iron Range: Economic Strategies after the Iron Is Gone (Rhonda R. Dass)
A Fish Sandwich for All (Yvonne R. Lockwood)
Grocery Stores as Sites for the Study of Material Communication: Ethnographic Guidelines (Ayako Yoshimura)

Engaging with the Past
“The Wisconsin Historical Society Gave Me Your Name”: Doing Out-(and In-)reach on Campus, in Wisconsin, and Beyond (Troy Reeves)
Shoemaker, Frey, and Yoder and the Pennsylvania Dutch Idea (Mark L. Louden)
Finding Tradition in the Archives: Craft as Research and Research as Craft (Rebecca J. Keyel)
Hoaxes, History, Legends, and the Circulation of Stories: The Wisconsin Historical Society and Wisconsin’s Petrified French Explorer (Jennifer Gipson)
Reanimating the Past: Traveling through Michigan with Alan Lomax’s 1938 Films (Guha Shankar)
Translating Context with Digital Media in Medieval Icelandic Literature: Hrafnkels saga and the eSaga Project (Colin Gioia Connors)

Creating the Future Out of the Past
“I Need to Make A Dollar”: On the Road with Working-Class Protest Songs (Bucky Halker)
A Business Model for Folklore: Profitable, Wholehearted, and Cinematic (Jamie Yuenger)
“Did Ole Really Say That?”: Linguistics, Folklore, and Heritage Languages (Joseph Salmons)
“Este Lugar Tiene Muchas Historias”: Alternative Forms of Archiving and Community Engagement in Oaxaca, Mexico (Hilary Morgan V. Leathem)
Haunting Acknowledgment: Archiving Women’s March Folklore and the Political Potential of Care Ethics (Christine Garlough)

Works Cited


Of Related Interest

Education for Democracy: Cover showing the 'Forward Statue' in front of the Wisconsin state capitol building. The statue is a gray woman with her hair pulled back with a crown, one arm outstretched towards the sky. The capitol building in the background fades off into the distance. On top of it, the title text is proclaimed in gold and blue text.

Education for Democracy
Renewing the Wisconsin Idea
Edited by Chad Alan Goldberg

Songs of the Finnish Migration: Cover art resembles a stamped image of a ship at a harbor upon a blue background, with a cream border and a row of red stars, that match the red font of the title, towards the bottom of the cover.

Songs of the Finnish Migration
A Bilingual Anthology
Simo Westerholm
Translated with additional notes by Thomas A. DuBois and Marcus Cederström

Culture Work: cover depicting a photograph of two sets of working together to weave upon a piece of furniture. The picture is cut off at the bottom with a large, blue block containing the title text. Beneath that title text is another image of a zoomed in photograph of a piece of wooden, indigenous art.

Larger images

July 2022
LC: 2021054502 GR
440 pp. 7 x 10
34 b/w illus.

Book icon
Casebound $44.95 A
ISBN 9780299338206
Shopping cart ADD TO CART
Review Cart