Fulbright Scholar Program

Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Catalog of Awards

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Europe and Eurasia


Award Details
Grant Activity

The North as a Place of Imagination: Undergraduate level lecture course, 2x80 minutes per week, average class size: 20-30, students buy books and read articles in pdf.

Gender and Folklore: Graduate level seminar, 1x80 minutes per week, average class size: 8-12, students buy books and read articles in pdf.

It would be appreciated if the visiting Fulbright professor were willing to advise students who are carrying out research related to the lecturer’s fields of interest and expertise. It would naturally also be useful for us to hear about the teaching of Folkloristics in the US and the state of the art in the study of folklore in the US.

Grant Length
Approximately 5 months
Grant Dates

1 semester, starting August 2021  OR  January 2022 (to be determined in consultation with the scholar selected for the award)



University of Iceland, Reykjavik

There are 4 full time faculty members in the Folkloristics program at the University of Iceland.

--Professor Terry Gunnell (research areas: Old Norse religions; Nordic and Gaelic folk legends, festivals and folk beliefs; performance studies and folk drama; the collection of folklore in the 19th century; modern school traditions; immigrant traditions)

-- Professor Valdimar Tr. Hafstein (research areas: intangible heritage; copyright; material culture; masculinities; wrestling; swimming)

--Associate Professor Kristinn Schram (research areas: folk narrative; folk customs; festivals; Arctic culture; human-animal relations)

--Associate Professor Ólafur Rastrick (research areas: cultural heritage; the body; cultural history; cultural policy)

In addition, we have a University Research Center in Folkloristics in Hólmavík in the north of the country (150 minutes from Reykjavík) that is an annex of the Dept. of Folkloristics and Museum Studies. The research center has two faculty members (Jón Jónsson and Eiríkur Valdimarsson) and is focused on Public Folklore.

Finally, we have two faculty members that we share with the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies, Professor of Research Gísli Sigurðsson (whose research is on oral tradition and medieval oral literature) and Assistant Professor of Research Rósa Þorsteinsdóttir (who is the head archivist of the folklore sound archives and whose research focuses on fairy tales, folk ballads, and folk music).

Flex Option
Discipline Type
Only applications in the following disciplines will be considered
Areas of Interest

While this award is open to any project in the disciplines listed above, there is interest in scholars who are in these particular specialty areas.


Special Features

Our previous Fulbright professors have all played important roles in the academic community in the field during their stays at the University of Iceland and through continuing cooperation after their departure. We hope the same will be true of our next Fulbright professor. We have set them up in offices in our hallway (vacated by professors on sabbatical leave), organized welcome receptions in their honor, a welcome and a farewell dinner, and invited them to give lectures to the Icelandic Association of Folklorists. They have also been introduced to other colleagues in the field outside the department (and in the Social Sciences and Humanities in general), given them tours of the relevant research institutes, day trips to such places as the Golden Circle; the roundup of horses in Skagafjörður (Laufskálarétt); the University Research Center in Folkloristics in Hólmavík; and various museums around the country. Outside of such organized events, they have of course frequently joined us informally for lunch, dinner, drinks, swimming, and department parties (and even musical soirées). While we have not been able to provide our visitors with housing, we have always successfully helped to locate good apartments for them to rent within walking distance of the university and the city center. As a matter of course, they all have access to the university library and that in the Árnamagnean Institute (which has perhaps the best folkloristic library in the country and well as housing the folkloristic sound archive).

The department has had excellent experience with previous Fulbright professors, allowing them to develop important ties with a number of universities in the United States, which have continued after their visits. The department chair, Professor Valdimar Hafstein, is a Fulbright alumnus. The department is eager to strengthen the ties with US colleagues, and will of course be happy to help plug anyone who comes here into our professional networks in Europe.

Furthermore, Associate Professor Kristinn Schram, is the former director of the Center for Arctic Policy Studies at the University of Iceland and maintains an active research interest in Arctic cultures and representations of the North. He has a broad collegial network in this subject area and would be particularly pleased to introduce to these colleagues a visiting US folklorist who can teach a course on the North in folklore.

Application Deadline
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Degree Requirements
Ph.D. (or other terminal degree) required
Candidate Profile
Academics, except early career
Number of Grants
Program Staff
Carleen Velez
Outreach and Recruitment Specialist

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