Luther College faculty Anna Peterson named the Norwegian-American Historical Association’s new editor

September 3, 2018

The Norwegian-American Historical Association is pleased to name Anna M. Peterson, Luther College assistant professor of history, as the Association’s new editor. For the past decade Peterson has been an active scholar in the field of Norwegian-American history. She will hold the two roles concurrently.

In her role as editor, Peterson will oversee the redesign and relaunch of NAHA’s journal, Norwegian-American Studies; anticipated relaunch is fall 2019. The roots of the journal go back to 1926, when the Association released its first issue of Studies and Records. Since then, NAHA has published a total of 36 volumes of studies. The name of the series has changed over the years, but the intent has remained the same: to encourage and support scholarship in the field by offering a peer-reviewed platform.

“I look forward to sustaining and developing NAHA’s relationships with authors and showcasing the best scholarship in Norwegian American history, culture and life in our publications,” Peterson said.

She believes the NAHA publications program can play a significant role in cultivating and sustaining scholarly interest in the field of Norwegian-American migration history. “The journal has the potential to energize the field of Norwegian-American studies and attract attention to this important area of scholarly inquiry. This will ultimately enhance our understanding of the interconnected histories of both Norway and the United States,” she said.

There have been only four editors in the Association’s 93-year history: Theodore Blegen, Kenneth Bjork, Odd Lovoll and Todd Nichol. “I am honored for my name to be listed alongside the accomplished past editors of NAHA. I intend to uphold the reputation for academic excellence that they established,” Peterson said.

Peterson joined Luther College’s history department in 2013 as a specialist in modern European history. Her current coursework includes European history from 1648, Russian history, Scandinavian immigration history and the history of the Holocaust.

She received her bachelor’s degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, her master’s degree from the University of North Dakota and her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University.

Named the Nena Amundson Distinguished Professor at Luther’s Opening Convocation Aug. 30, Peterson will explore gendered ideas of health and wellness at the Norwegian-American-run Bethany Indian Mission School from 1884-1934. The Amundson Professorship Award provides a faculty stipend, a student stipend and funding for a research project, and spans two academic years. The award is competitive, based on the selection committee’s evaluation of project proposals, particularly those focusing on health and wellness issues for women.

The Norwegian-American Historical Association is a non-profit, member-supported organization dedicated to locating, collecting, preserving and interpreting the Norwegian-American experience. Housed at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, the organization is home to the largest collection of Norwegian-American manuscripts in North America, and it has produced more than 100 publications on the Norwegian-American experience throughout its 93-year history. For more information, visit

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,050, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college’s website: