Professor Emeritus of Scandinavian Studies
Kathleen Stokker has been at Luther College since 1978. She retired in Spring 2012. During her time at Luther, she has completed a beginning textbook in Norwegian (with Odd Haddal) and an anthology of readings for intermediate students. Both books grew out of hands-on experience in the language classroom and reflect the interests of the students themselves.
She has also written a book about the way Norwegians used humor to survive their occupation by Hitler's forces during World War 2 titled Folklore Fights the Nazis: Humor in Occupied Norway, 1940-45. Her book titled Keeping Christmas: Yuletide Traditions in Norway and the New Land, focuses on the development and meaning of Norwegian Christmas customs. Her most recent book, Remedies and Rituals, focuses on folk medicine in Norway and the New Land.
For more information, you can read an article about why a student would even consider majoring in Norwegian. Certainly it was the last thing Stokker thought she would do. Long interested in Chemistry (in which she has a BA from St. Olaf College), she attended a session at the University of Oslo Summer School that changed her plans from attending graduate school in Chemistry to pursue a doctorate in Scandinavian Studies.
Returning to Norway every summer, she keeps current on the language and culture, hikes in the mountains and -not least- eats Freia chocolate.
St. Olaf College (Minnesota), 1964-68, BA, Chemistry
University of Oslo, 1968-69 (Norwegian language)
University of Wisconsin, 1970-71, MA, Scandinavian Studies, 1972
University of Oslo, 1972-73 (Norwegian literature)
University of Wisconsin, PhD, Scandinavian Studies, 1978
University of Oslo, 1981-82 (Norwegian Folklore)
NEH Institute in Folklore, Madison, Wisconsin 1992
Honors and Awards:
Phi Beta Kappa, St. Olaf College, 1968
NEH Fellowship for College Teachers, 1981
NEH Summer Stipend, 1995
St. Olav Medal, honor conferred by His Majesty King Harald V, King of Norway, October 11, 2004
Employment at Luther College:
Luther College, Decorah, Iowa
Professor of Norwegian 1990 - 2012
Director of Scandinavian Studies, 1978 - 2012
St. Olaf College, Instructor of Norwegian, 1977-78
Moorhead State University, Instructor of Norwegian, 1973-77
Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study
Norwegian- American Historical Association
American Folklore Society
American Scandinavian Foundation
Vesterheim Norwegian American Museum
Midwest Institute of Scandinavian Culture