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People

Joe Salmons

Joseph Salmons

Director

Joe Salmons is the Lester W.J. “Smoky” Seifert Professor of Germanic Linguistics. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy (UNC-Charlotte, 1978) and a Ph.D. in Germanic linguistics (University of Texas at Austin, 1984). He works to integrate research in linguistics with teaching and outreach beyond the university.

Jim Leary

Jim Leary

Co-Founder

James P. Leary was born and raised in northern Wisconsin and, since the early 1970s, has focused his research on the folklore of the Upper Midwest's diverse peoples, with particular emphases on musical and narrative performances, on pluralism and creolization, and on public folklore. Leary earned a B.A. in Literature from the University of Notre Dame (1972), an M.A. in Folklore from the University of North Carolina (1973), and a Ph.D. in Folklore and American Studies from Indiana University (1977).

Ruth Olson

Ruth Olson

Associate Director

Ruth Olson holds a Ph.D. in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania, and teaches in the Department of Comparative Literature and Folklore Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also frequently instructs teachers and other adult learners about folklore studies and documentation methods. Olson is one of the founders of Wisconsin Teachers of Local Culture (WTLC), a network of educators interested in integrating local culture into existing curricula.

Janet Gilmore

Janet Gilmore

Research Collections, Exhibits

Janet C. Gilmore holds a Ph.D. in Folklore from Indiana University. She is a folklorist with extensive public sector experience and particular expertise in commercial fishers in the Pacific Northwest (The World of the Oregon Fishboat: A Study in Maritime Folklife , 1986), material culture, and foodways. She teaches courses related to historical/cultural preservation, fieldwork, and festivals & celebrations.

Hope Hague

Hope Hague

Administrator

Hope Hague handles finances, communications and day-to-day business for the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures, the Mayrent Institute for Yiddish Culture, and the Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies. She can be reached at 608/262-7546 or by email.

Anna Rue

Anna Rue

Community Curator

Anna Rue is a Community Curator at the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures with the Sustaining Scandinavian Folk Arts in the Upper Midwest Project. She holds a Master’s in American Studies from the UMass-Boston and a Master’s and Ph.D. in Scandinavian Studies and Folklore from UW-Madison. Rue teaches courses relating to fieldwork, public folklore, and Scandinavian American and Upper Midwestern cultures. In addition, she researches Norwegian American communities in the region, focusing in particular on musical traditions, identity, immigration, and cultural preservation.