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CSUMC Monograph Series

Languages and Folklore of the Upper Midwest: The CSUMC Monograph Series

Joseph Salmons and James P. Leary, Series Editors, University of Wisconsin Press

The CSUMC Series on Languages and Folklore of the Upper Midwest includes monographs and documentary compact discs that focus on the lives, languages, and cultural traditions/folklore of the Upper Midwest’s diverse peoples, both historical and contemporary. Recognizing the interdisciplinary nature of our series, the editors seek and welcome manuscripts by scholars from various disciplines with innovative perspectives and topics, as well as a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches.

Books can be ordered through University of Wisconsin Press (

Current Publications in the CSUMC Monograph Series

America’s Upper Midwest is a distinctive region where many indigenous and immigrant peoples have maintained, merged, and modified their folk song traditions for more than two centuries. In the 1930s and 1940s, Sidney Robertson, Alan Lomax, and Helene Stratman-Thomas—with support from the Library of Congress and armed with bulky microphones, blank disks, spare needles, and cumbersome disk-cutting machines—recorded roughly 2,000 songs and tunes throughout Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Spanning dance tunes, ballads, lyric songs, hymns, laments, versified taunts, political anthems, street cries, and recitations, these field recordings—made by people born before or shortly after 1900—were captured at a transformative moment when America was in the throes of the Great Depression, World War II was erupting, and market-driven mass entertainment media were expanding rapidly. Yet, except for a handful of Anglo-American performances, these remarkable field recordings in more than twenty-five languages have remained largely unknown, along with the lives of their mostly immigrant, indigenous, rural, and working-class performers.

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he Tamburitza Tradition is a lively and well-illustrated comprehensive introduction to a Balkan folk music that now also thrives in communities throughout Europe, the Americas, and Australia. Folklorist Richard March documents the centuries-old origins and development of the tradition,which features acoustic stringed instruments ranging in size from tamburas as small as a ukulele to ones as large as a bass viol.

Special to the CSUMC website: Notes from the author and a gallery of supplemental images.

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Wisconsin Talk brings together perspectives from linguistics, history, cultural studies, and geography to illuminate why language matters in our everyday lives, with a focus on Wisconsin, one of the most linguistically rich places in North America.

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