Joe Salmons


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


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

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.

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.

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 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.

CSUMC Affiliates

Steven A. Ackerman (Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences; Director, Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies)

Anna Andrzejewski (Art History)

B. Marcus Cederström (German, Nordic, and Slavic)

Susan Cook (Director, Mead Witter School of Music)

Tom DuBois (Religious Studies; German, Nordic, and Slavic)

Chris Garlough (Gender & Women’s Studies)*

Nathan Gibson (Mills Music Library)

Mary Hoefferle (Art Education Program Director, Art, School of Education)

Rob Howard (Communication Arts)

Mark L. Louden (Director, Max Kade Institute; German, Nordic and Slavic)*

Monica Macaulay (Language Sciences; American Indian Studies).*

Ann Smart Martin (Art History)

Larry Nesper (Anthropology; American Indian Studies)

Omar Poler (The Information School; School of Education)

Tom Purnell (English)

Eric Raimy (Director, Language Sciences; English)

Troy Reeves (University Archives)

Theresa Schenck (Emerita, Comparative Literature and Folklore Studies)

Rand Valentine (Linguistics, American Indian Studies)

External Partners

Kaitlyn Berle (Folk Arts Program, Wisconsin Arts Board)

Joshua Bousquette (Georgia)

Tova Brandt (Museum of Danish America)

Josh Brown (UW-Eau Claire)

Rhonda Dass (Minnesota State University, Mankato)

Tim Frandy (Western Kentucky University)

Bucky Halker (Independent Scholar)

Nicholas Hartmann (National Czech & Slovak Museum)

Peg Korsmo-Kennon (American Swedish Institute)

Sarah Larsson (Somali Museum of Minnesota)

Samantha Litty (Bloomsburg University)

Brian Miller (Eoin McKiernan Library)

David Natvig (St. Olaf)

Anne Pryor (Independent Scholar)

Mike Putnam (Penn State)

Kathryn Remlinger (Grand Valley State University)

Liz Reuter (Chippewa Valley Museum)

Carrie Ronnander (Chippewa Valley Museum)

Rina Rossi (Folk and Traditional Arts Program, Minnesota State Arts Board)

Daniel Trucky (Beaumier Upper Peninsula Heritage Center)

Hilary Virtanen (Finlandia University)

Terri Van Orman (Folklore Village)

Mai Zong Vue (Hmong Institute)

Mark Wagler (Independent Scholar)

* Member of Executive Committee