Full house at lecture by Dr. Benjamin Teitelbaum, Head of Nordic Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder

Posted on October 29th, 2014 by

Teitelbaum lectureOn Monday evening, October 27th, the Department of Scandinavian Studies welcomed Dr. Benjamin Teitelbaum, Head of Nordic Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder, for a lecture tied to his forthcoming book on the music of radical nationalism in the Nordic countries, “Lions of the North: Sounds of the New Nordic Radical Nationalism,” forthcoming from Oxford University Press. Dr. Teitelbaum’s lecture was also part of Gustavus’s Department of Music’s Colloquium Series, and he will present his talk this evening in the Department of Scandinavian Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison later in the week.




Dr. Teitelbaum’s talk examines the construction of gender roles in contemporary white nationalist music in the Nordic countries. Grounded in ethnographic fieldwork, Teitelbaum traces the rise of leading Swedish nationalist singer—and chief musical influence for Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik—Saga. He argues that her music channels emerging trends in Nordic radical nationalism whereby women use stylized performances of traditional gender identities to achieve power and influence. Teitlbaum’s discussion is informed by insider interviews, performance observations, and analyses of musical structure and lyrics.

Benjamin Teitelbaum is Head of Nordic Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He earned his Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from Brown University with auxiliary studies at the Royal College of Music, Stockholm and Harvard University. Ben’s research explores the intersections of race, nationalism, and expressive culture in the Nordic Countries, and he has conducted extensive ethnographic fieldwork among neofascist ideologues, activists, and musicians in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. His 2013 dissertation won the Joukowsky Family Foundation Outstanding Dissertation Award at Brown University as well as the Applied Research Award from Germany’s Institute for the Study of Radical Movements. His first book, “Lions of the North: Sounds of the New Nordic Radical Nationalism,” is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. Teitelbaum has written and presented on topics ranging from folk-tune collecting in 1800s Sweden, white nationalist hip hop and reggae, and Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik. And his analysis and commentary on Scandinavian neofascism has appeared in various print media and radio outlets in the U.S., Sweden, and Norway, including the New York Times,  Aftonbladet, (Norwegian) Dagbladet, Dagens Nyheter, Sveriges Radio, and NRK Radio. In addition to research, Teitelbaum is also an active musician, specializing in Swedish folk music and Sweden’s unofficial national instrument, the nyckelharpa. Having earned the first degree in nyckelharpa performance awarded outside Sweden as an undergraduate, he tours nationally and internationally as a performer and teacher.


Dr. Teitelbaum’s recent op-ed in the New York Times, addressing Sweden’s recent elections can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/17/opinion/swedens-fraying-tolerance.html?_r=0


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