Pole Raising and Speech Making

Modalities of Swedish American Summer Celebration

by Jennifer Eastman Attebery

Hardcover Price $39.95
Ebook Price $31.95
30-day ebook rental price $9.99

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Ritual, Festival, and Celebration Series

"[E]fficiently written without sacrificing depth. Jennifer Eastman Attebery’s research is meticulous, covering archives, news articles, diaries, and scholarly literature in both Swedish and English. . . . . [She] demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of the subject and manages to be simultaneously thorough and succinct. This book will be of interest to students of festival, folklore, American history, Scandinavian cultures, and Mormon history."
Journal of Folklore Research
"[A] well-founded​ ​and thorough study of the Swedish immigrants’ flexible use of​ ​traditional celebrations. ​. . . an important contribution to the field​ ​of folklore studies, immigration studies, and history, describing​ ​how tradition, rather than static repetition, is a continual process,​ ​which survives as long as the participants find it useful.​"
Western Folklore
"[A] rich book that makes use of a number of sources in archives and libraries in both the ​United States and Sweden. ​Attebery’s use of the Swedish-language press in the Rocky Mountain states is particularly effective, and she shows how much can be done with this often elusive and unwieldy source material.​"
Scandinavian Studies


In Pole Raising and Speech Making, author Jennifer Eastman Attebery focuses on the beginnings of the traditional Scandinavian Midsummer celebration and the surrounding spring-to-summer seasonal festivities in the Rocky Mountain West during the height of Swedish immigration to the area—1880–1917.

Combining research in folkloristics and history, Attebery explores various ways that immigrants blended traditional Swedish Midsummer-related celebrations with local civic celebrations of American Independence Day on July 4 and the Mormons’ Pioneer Day on July 24. Functioning as multimodal observances with multiple meanings, these holidays represent and reconsider ethnicity and panethnicity, sacred and secular relationships, and the rural and the urban, demonstrating how flexible and complex traditional celebrations can be.

Providing a wealth of detail and information surrounding little-studied celebrations and valuable archival and published primary sources—diaries, letters, speeches, newspaper reports, and images—Pole Raising and Speech Making is proof that non-English immigrant culture must be included when discussing “American” culture. It will be of interest to scholars and graduate students in ethnic studies, folklore, ritual and festival studies, and Scandinavian American cultural history.



Idaho State Journal


Jennifer Eastman Attebery is professor of English at Idaho State University, where she teaches folklore and also chairs the Department of English and Philosophy. She has twice enjoyed sojourns in Sweden, in 1988 as a Fulbright Senior Scholar at University of Gothenburg and in 2011 as the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in American Studies at Uppsala University. Attebery is the author of Up in the Rocky Mountains: Writing the Swedish Immigrant Experience. Her studies of Swedish culture in the Rocky Mountain West have also been published in Scandinavian Studies and Swedish-American Historical Quarterly.

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  • Hardcover Price: $39.95
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-87421-998-2
  • Ebook Price: $31.95
  • 30-day ebook rental price: $9.99
  • EISBN: 978-0-87421-999-9
  • Publication Month: November
  • Publication Year: 2015
  • Pages: 208
  • Illustrations: 17
  • Discount Type: Short
  • Author: by Jennifer Eastman Attebery
  • ECommerce Code: 978-0-87421-998-2
  • Get Permissions: Get Permission

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