Thomas A. DuBois, Chair
Department Chair and Professor

Languages: Finnish, Sámi, Swedish, Old Norse

Research/Language Interests: Folklore, religious studies

Education: AB Cornell University PhD University of Pennsylvania

Affiliated Departments: Comparative Literature and Folklore Studies, Religious Studies Program

Undergraduate Courses: Folklore/Religious Studies 352 Shamanism Scandinavian 419 Scandinavian Children’s Literature Folklore 220 The Folktale Scandinavian 443/Folklore 443 Sámi Culture Yesterday and Today Scandinavian 444/ Folklore 444/Lit Trans 347 Kalevala and Finnish Folklore Scandinavian 446/Folklore 446 Celtic–Scandinavian Interrelations Folklore 517 The Irish Tradition

Graduate Courses: Scandinavian 520/Folklore 530 Topics course; 2016 topic: "Transposing Experiences"


About Me: As a folklorist, I teach and research on a range of topics having to do with the way people think about and use the idea of tradition in their lives. Most of my research focuses on Nordic cultures, especially Finnish and Sámi, although I am increasingly interested in the relations of Nordic peoples with populations and ideas coming from elsewhere, particularly the Celtic world. My recent research and service has also included work on the repatriation of traditions among Wisconsin Ojibwe people, particularly at the Lac du Flambeau reservation. I teach a variety of courses, including Finnish language, a course on the Kalevala, a survey of Scandinavian children's literature, an introduction to Sámi culture past and present, an introduction to shamanism, and a course on Scandinavian-Celtic relations in the Viking Age. I am a big believer in academic service, particularly in what we at the UW call the "Wisconsin Idea," i.e. the active engagement of the university with its surrounding constituencies. I make it a goal to bring academic scholars into productive dialogue with members of the broader public, helping contribute to the intellectual and cultural life of our society.

Selected Publications

An Introduction to Shamanism.  Cambridge University Press’s  Introduction to Religion Series. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009. 317 pages.
            Translation: Úvod do šamanismu.  Praha: Volvox Globator, 2011.

co-edited with Susan Brantly  The Nordic Storyteller:  Essays in Honour of Niels Ingwersen. Chapter by T. DuBois: “Frithiof’s Motley Cousins: On the Perils of Using Folklore to Create a National Epic”  178-210. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 2009.  417 pages.

Sanctity in the North: Saints, Lives, and Cults in Medieval Scandinavia. Edited volume.  Introduction and three chapters by T. DuBois: “Introduction;” “Sts Sunniva and Henrik: Scandinavian Martyr Saints in their Hagiographic and National Contexts;” “St Katarina in Her Own Light;” (co-authored with Niels Ingwersen:) “St Knud Lavard: A Saint for Denmark.”  Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 2008. 399 pages.

Lyric, Meaning, and Audience in the Oral Tradition of Northern Europe.  Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2006.  260 pages.

co-authored with Leea Virtanen. Finnish Folklore.  Studia Fennica Folkloristica 9.   Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society in Association with the University of Washington Press, Seattle, 2000.  297 pages.

Nordic Religions in the Viking Age. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999.  271 pages.

Finnish Folk Poetry and the  Kalevala.  New Perspectives in Folklore  1. Publications of the American Folklore Society.  New York: Garland Press, 1995. 317 pages.

Your name: *
Your phone: *
Your e-mail: *
Contact Preference:
Title of Message: *
Text: *
Our company collects this data to be able to provide services to you. We process this data according to our Privacy Policy. If you consent to our usage of your data, click this checkbox.