A generous gift from Anne O. Thomson, whom Lois referred to as her Swedish adoptive mother, provides supplementary project support for two American Fulbrighters in Sweden every year. In 2016, the Roth Endowment Selection Committee selected proposals submitted by Kirsten Santos Rutschman and Tess Kutasz.
Kirsten Santos Rutschman, of Duke University, is conducting research on the concept of “folk” in 19th century Swedish music. During this century, Sweden’s boundaries changed dramatically, leading to a crisis of national identity. Kirsten’s research aims to link this questioning of what it meant to be Swedish with the incorporation of folk melodies into various forms of music, including solo, choral and orchestral works. Traveling to Sweden gives Kirsten the special opportunity to access to musical manuscripts of compositions that use folksong and trace the development of the use of folk melodies over time. Upon her return to the United States, Kirsten will incorporate her findings into new courses and advocate for the performance of this genre of music.
Tess Kurtasz, of the Pennsylvania State University, is working to situate the collections of Queen Christina of Sweden within the broader antiquarian markets of 17th-century Europe. By broadening our knowledge of this subject, Tess seeks to illuminate the significance of art collecting as a sign of power and social status as well as explore the extent to which Queen Christina used it to fashion her own public image as a ruler, a sponsor of learning and an early modern woman. Additionally, Tess hopes that her research will clarify and challenge existing representations of Queen Christina’s legacy, both in scholarship and popular culture, which present her actions and lifestyle in an unflattering manner.
For a complete list of recipients of the Roth‐Thomson Award for work in Sweden, please consult Swedish Project Alumni.