Nordic Studies Institute - Norse Short Courses

Welcome to campus for the first Nordic Studies Institute, highlighting various aspects of Nordic culture through music, arts, the environment, and more! We invite alumni, families, and friends of the college to engage in a two-day program, June 10-12, 2022.

The program will begin at noon, June 10, and from there participants will start their short weekend course. In addition, there will be opportunities for participants to come together for joint activities connected to the Nordic culture in Decorah.

The following Nordic Institute Courses are being offered. Please rank your course preference when registering in case your first choice fills. Click on the course title for more information.

Rosemaling with Sally Stromseth
Rosemaling is the decorative painting of Norway. It is made up of C shapes and S shapes with stylized flowers and scrolls painted with blended colors and fine lines on a plain background. The style that will be taught in this class will be the Rogaland Style, which comes from the Southwestern coastal region of Norway. The Rogaland Style is symmetrical in design with blended colors. We will be painting in oils using very small brushes. Practice will begin on a background poster board with hopes of completing a Norsk Blue wooden piece before the class ends. (Maximum enrollment of 14).

Sami Bracelet Making with Norma Refsal
Join Norma Refsal for a weekend of Sami-inspired bracelet making. We will work in the traditional materials of the Sami people, using reindeer leather, pewter thread (lead free, 4% silver) and a reindeer antler button, to create the iconic bracelet familiar and beloved by so many people. The indigenous Sami people (formerly referred to as Laplanders) live in the circum-polar region of the world in northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola Peninsula of Russia. Reindeer are an integral part of Sami life, both present and past, with many Sami people continuing to own and manage their own herds. Climate change is having an impact on their lives in this fragile part of the world, and we join with them in solidarity to create an environment that will preserve both their traditional ways of life and the animals they depend on. The bracelets will be made to fit each student and you will leave the class with a lovely finished piece of jewelry. (Maximum enrollment of 12).

(CANCELLED) Scandinavian Sounds: How Nordic Voices Shaped the Lutheran Choral Tradition in the Upper Midwest
Choral music traditions in the upper Midwest are indelibly linked to the musical heritage of Nordic immigrants. Of the six schools of thought cited as subcultures within American choral music, the most influential and long-lasting may well be the one founded and guided by Norwegian conductor and composer F. Melius Christiansen. Christiansen's reach in this part of the choral world is pervasive. Participants will investigate the "Lutheran Choral Tradition" - it's players, style features, impact, status, and future. Participants will engage in reading, listening, discussion, and singing at a level suitable for folks of all interest and ability levels. The course instructor is Mark Potvin '01, Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Norskkor and Cathedral Choirs.

(CANCELLED) Sustainability and Place in Decorah
This course focuses on issues of sustainability, looking at examples and initiatives both at Luther and the surrounding community.  From renewable energy and climate action to regenerative agriculture and local food systems, we will study global challenges and local efforts to create more sustainable communities in the Driftless Region. Leaning on the Norwegian idea of “friluftsliv” or the outdoor life, this course will combine field trips and experiential learning with discussions of the “Nordic Model” of how sustainability is addressed in Scandinavian countries. Course instructor are Jon Jensen '89,
Professor of Philosophy and Environmental Studies and Director of the Center for Sustainable Communities; and Rachel Brummel, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and Political Science. (Maximum enrollment of 22).

Nordic Studies Institute Course Schedule:

Friday, June 10th
11:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.  Check-in at Lobby of Dahl Centennial Union
11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m.  Lunch on your own
1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.    Course Session 1 - Valders Hall of Science, Rooms 367 and 369
2:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.    Break - Valders atrium
2:45 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.    Course Session 2
5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.    Dinner in the cafeteria

Saturday, June 11th
7:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.     Breakfast in cafeteria
9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.   Course Session 3
10:15 a.m.- 10:45 a.m.   Break
10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Course Session 4
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.   Lunch in cafeteria
1:30 p.m.                      (optional) Guided Tour of Vesterheim Museum
3:00 p.m.                      (optional) Guided beer tasting at Pulpit Rock Brewing Co.
5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.     Dinner in cafeteria

Sunday, June 12th
7:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.     Breakfast in cafeteria
9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.   Course Session 5
10:15 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. Break
10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. Course Session 6
11:50 a.m. - 12:10 p.m. Wrap-up and Mission in Action with Maren Johnson, Associate Professor of Nordic
                                     Studies, Olin Room 102
12:15 p.m. - Goodbye and checkout, lunch on your own


Full Resident Bundle (housing, meals, course fee): $325 per person (single or double occupancy)
No Housing Bundle (meals and course fee, no housing): $275 per person

If you have a spouse, partner or child that will be accompanying you, but not participating in the Nordic Institute, housing is available for a fee of $68 per person. Meals are not included. (As you go through the registration form, you will get to a "Questions & Venue" section where you can indicate the need for lodging for a non-participating spouse, partner or child). 

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ONLINE using a computer or tablet. You can also call the Campus Programming Office at 563-387-1563.

Farwell Residence Hall provides air-conditioned rooms with basic twin beds. Linens are provided, but you may want to bring your own pillow, an extra blanket, and a reading light. Bathrooms are shared.

Cancellation Policy:
Refund for Nordic Studies Institute Course: Prior to June 3 you will be charged a $50 administrative fee. On June 3 or after, you will be charged a $100 administrative fee.

Luther College’s Norwegian Heritage
Nordic values like egalitarianism, mutual respect and innovation have shaped Luther College throughout its history. The college’s ethos reflects Nordic commitments such as service on behalf of the common good, empowering women, practicing environmental stewardship, and offering hospitality to those of different ethnic and religious backgrounds. The college’s curricular and program offerings incorporate Nordic insights in the areas of business management and economic theory; alternative approaches to social welfare, health care and education; as well as efforts to address global issues like peace and conflict resolution, deforestation and climate change, and relief and development work.

These and other Nordic values and insights guide the work of the Torgerson Center for Nordic Studies and support rich partnerships with Luther College’s Center for Ethics and Public Engagement, Center for Sustainable Communities, and Center for Global Learning.