In this new series featuring American-Scandinavian Foundation Fellows, we’ll look at multicultural conversations taking place in contemporary Scandinavia. How is culture performed, consumed, transformed and transmitted in societies where people and information are accessible across nations’ borders? What risks and opportunities do these changes pose for Scandinavian culture in the U.S. and elsewhere?

Folklorist and ASF Fellow Sallie Anna Steiner joins us for a discussion of her research into the role textile arts play for building multicultural community in rural Norway. This talk will examine in particular the work of a sewing circle in Florø, Norway, that is bringing traditional arts into conversation with global migrations to create a female-centered place for building relationships among local Norwegians and their new neighbors, incoming refugees from Africa and the Middle East. At the group, women learn to sew and knit, teach their skills to others, and spend time chatting and sharing food and drink. By making traditions together, these women practice and perform integration, a cultural negotiation borne out through fabric and craft.

About Sallie Anna Steiner

Sallie Anna Steiner is a PhD candidate in folklore with an emphasis on material culture and fiber arts. The bulk of Sallie Anna’s research has been undertaken in Sunnfjord, Norway, where she has done extensive fieldwork about the contemporary significance of a form of traditional tapestry weaving known as smett.

Her current dissertation research in Sunnfjord is exploring the material culture of Somali refugees in the region, focusing in particular on a local sewing group designed to bring Norwegian and refugee women together for handcrafts and fellowship.



MON—November 5—7 PM, free