“Who is Wisconsin? What publics are we serving? What publics aren’t we serving?” says Tim Frandy. Asking those questions “is very important to doing effective culture work.”
Today, we kick off fall pledge drive with a conversation about public folklore—what it is and why it matters—with Tim Frandy and Marcus Cederström, the co-editors of a new book from the University of Wisconsin Press called Culture Work: Folklore for the Public Good.
Together with guest host Douglas Haynes, they talk about the Wisconsin Idea; the difference between preserving culture and letting it change and grow for future generations; how cultural investment affects education, healthcare, and the environment; and some of the inspiring projects outlined in the book.
Tim Frandy is a Sámi- and Finnish-American born and raised on Anishinaabe Aki in northernmost Wisconsin on the south shore of Gitchi-Gami, Lake Superior. They are assistant professor of Nordic Studies at the University of British Columbia Vancouver. They are the editor and translator of Inari Sámi Folklore: Stories from Aanaar (UW Press, 2019) and co-editor, with B. Marcus Cederström, of Culture Work: Folklore for the Public Good (UW Press, 2022).
Marcus Cederström works in the Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic+ at the University of Wisconsin–Madison as the community curator of Nordic-American folklore for the “Sustaining Scandinavian Folk Arts in the Upper Midwest” project. He teaches Nordic-American folklore courses, conducts fieldwork with Nordic-Americans throughout the Upper Midwest, and works with Nathan Gibson and Anna Rue to create public programming supporting Scandinavian folk arts.