As a cultural worker I engage students in developing ethical reading habits, so they can critique the stories that tell us about the world and our role in it. I am especially interested in narratives of place and identity, and in power relations that inform and are maintained by these narratives. For many years my research focused on colonial representations of the Sámi and the colonizers’ systems of knowledge that fix the Sámi as primitive, racially inferior others without legitimate claim to their land. More recently, though, I have been working with ways of bringing Sámi and other Indigenous ways of knowing into the academy and creating Indigenous spaces within the university. My current projects include collaborative work on Indigenous aesthetics and a place-based, Sámi perspective on the Norwegian author Knut Hamsun.
I am a citizen of Norway and the United States, and have lived extensively in both countries. I am also Sámi myself, and my own Indigenous identity plays a major role in my work. As chair of PLU’s Native American and Indigenous Studies Working Group, for instance, I am collaborating with a wonderful group of colleagues, and with local and international Indigenous communities, scholars and institutions to develop a PLU major in Native American and Indigenous Studies that is grounded in Indigenous philosophical and intellectual traditions.
Here at PLU I teach courses in Norwegian language, Scandinavian (Nordic) culture and literature, and occasionally in PLU’s Global Studies, Environmental Studies, First Year Experience and International Honors programs, as well as for the History and Political Science departments.