Barbro Klein (1938-2018)

Deputy Principal Emerita and Permanent Fellow Emerita, SCAS.
Professor Emerita of Ethnology, Stockholm University

Barbro Klein is Deputy Principal Emerita of the Collegium and one of its Permanent Fellows.
She is also Professor Emerita of Ethnology at Stockholm University. She received her Ph.D.
in Folklore Studies and Anthropology at Indiana University in 1970 and has taught at the
University of California, Berkeley; the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; the University
of Bergen; Stockholm University; and other institutions. In 2012, she held the Pearson
Distinguished Professorship of Swedish Studies at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas.
She is or has been a member of the editorial boards of Journal of American Folklore, Journal
of Folklore Research, Ethnologia Scandinavica, Journal of Northern Studies
and other period-
icals. She also serves or has served as a panelist or in other capacities at Riksbankens Jubileums-
fond, the Swedish Research Council, the Academy of Finland, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft,
National Heritage Board, and other foundations and councils. She has been a member of the
Executive Board of the American Folklore Society and of the Board of Point Sud in Bamako.
Between 1997 and 2000, she co-directed a multinational project on ‘Folklore, Heritage Politics
and Ethnic Diversity’.

Klein has written extensively on oral narration, rituals, museum displays and other forms of expressive
culture in complex multiethnic settings, primarily in the United States and northern Europe. She has
also worked on broad methodological issues and on the entangled disciplinary histories pertaining to
folkloristics, ethnology, anthropology, museology and related fields.

In addition to numerous articles, her publications include Legends and Folk Beliefs in a Swedish-
American Community: A Study in Folklore and Acculturation
(1980); Swedish Folk Art: All
Tradition Is Change
(edited with Mats Widbom, 1994); Från erfarenhet till text: om kulturveten-
skaplig reflexivitet
(From Experience to Text: On Reflexivity in the Cultural Sciences, with Billy Ehn,
1994); Gatan är vår! Ritualer på offentliga platser (The Street Is Ours! Rituals in Public Places,
edited 1995); Creating Diversities: Folklore, Religion, and the Politics of Heritage (edited with Stein
Mathisen and Anna-Leena Siikala, 2004); Narrating, Doing, Experiencing: Nordic Folkloristic
Perspectives
(edited with Annikki Kaivola-Bregenhøj and Ulf Palmenfelt, 2006); and The Benefit of
Broad Horizons: Intellectual and Institutional Pre-conditions for a Global Social Science
(edited with
Hans Joas, 2010). Among her recent contributions are ‘Women and the Formation of Swedish Folklife
Research’ (in Journal of American Folklore, vol. 126, no. 500, 2013); “Cultural Heritage, Human Rights,
and Reform Ideologies: The Case of Swedish Folklife Research” (in Cultural Heritage in Transit:
Intangible Rights as Human Rights
, edited by Deborah Kapchan, 2014); and “Baltic Folklorists and
Ethnologists in Sweden: Reflections on Scholarship in Exile and Discipline Formation (in Mapping the
History of Folklore Studies: Centers, Borderlands, and Shared Spaces
, edited by Dace Bula and Sandis
Laime, 2017). She recently completed a book on her father as storyteller.

Klein has been a Fulbright Fellow, and is a Fellow of the American Folklore Society. She is a Member
of the Royal Gustavus Adolphus Academy; in 2006, this academy awarded her a major prize from the
Jöran Sahlgren Fund. In 2000, she received the Festschrift Folklore, Heritage Politics, and Ethnic
Diversit
y (edited by Pertti Anttonen) and, in 2017, she was awarded the King’s Medal for “significant
contributions to Swedish and international scholarship and as an ethnologist.”


This information is accurate as of the academic year 2017-18.