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Academic Activities at the Swenson Center

The Swenson Center promotes academic research on Swedish migration to North America. We are interested in a variety of aspects of this topic as well as in different academic disciplines. We focus on the entire North American continent, and our time perspective is long, from the beginnings of Swedish migration to the present time.

We do such work in several ways. Academic conferences have been sponsored or co-sponsored by the Center on a continuing basis since 1987. Many of the conferences have been documented in book form or in academic journals.

The Center also promotes Swedish-American studies by assisting a number of scholars who over the years have used our resources. A selected list of such research topics include Swedes in the Civil War, the development of a Swedish-American educational system, the history of Swedish immigration to Texas, aspects of the history of Swedish female immigration, the development of a Swedish-American labor movement, Swedish-American theater, the return migration of Sweden to Sweden, the relationship between Swedes and other immigrant groups, the linguistic situation among Swedish immigrants and their children, and many studies of Swedish local communities throughout the U.S.

A fellowship in the amount of $2,500 is open to scholars interested in conducting research on any aspect of Swedish-American history. The scholarship is awarded on an annual basis with applications due May 1. For further information, see the page on the Nils William and Dagmar Olsson Visiting Scholar Award.

Through the annual O. Fritiof Ander Lecture Series the Center invites a prominent scholar in the field of immigration studies to give a lecture on the Augustana campus. Past Ander lecturers have explored the role of memory for ethnic groups, Swedish-American art, the writing of Swedish-American history, the use of names among Swedish immigrants, Swedish-American theater, and the Swedish-American press.

Beginning in 2015, the Swenson Center will offer an annual Faculty Research Stipend awarded to an Augustana College faculty member to spend time exploring the materials available at the Center, with the hopes that they will incorporate these resources into new or existing courses or into their individual research projects.