Curriculum Vitae (short version)
Laura Virginia Castor
Department of Language and Culture
Faculty of Humanities, Social Science, and Education
University of Tromsø
+47 959 37 352(mobile)
Laura Castor is professor in American Studies at the Arctic University of Tromsø, where she has taught literature, culture, and Indigenous studies since 1997. She has published articles on multicultural American literature and women’s literature of the nineteenth to the twenty-first century. In research and teaching, she seeks understanding of how specific historical contexts are represented in the arts, and the potential of the arts to influence social reality. She is especially interested in questions related to collective memory as expressed in multiple forms, including life writing, fiction, and cross-overs between fiction, visual art, and music. Her forthcoming book (to be published by Cambridge Scholars Press), Daring Independence: Coming Home in Contemporary American Narratives of Trauma and Transformation, addresses these issues.
The Arctic University of Tromsø, Norway. Professor, 1997-present.
Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA, USA. Part-time Associate Professor, Liberal Arts, Jan.-Dec. 2009.
Collective memory, Indigenous literatures of North America, African American literature and culture, American life writing, literature and the land, gender studies, short fiction, crossovers between literature and other forms such as music and visual arts, literature in various genres from the nineteenth century to the present.
Research Groups: FemArc (interdisciplinary research group in feminist theory and gender studies at UiT), 2015-present; Border Poetics/Border Culture Research Group, 2017-present.
PhD. American Studies, Minor in Feminist Studies.
University of Minnesota; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; June 1994.
*Dissertation: Historical Memory, Autobiography, and Art: Redefining Identity through the Writing and Theater of Isadora Duncan, Hallie Flanagan, and Lillian Hellman.
Fulbright Foundation Grants:
*Organizer and academic coordinator for Fulbright Senior Specialist Program: Collaborative educational project and groundwork for developing linkages in Digital Humanities and with the Writing Centers at UiT and Monmouth College with Associate Professor Bridget Draxler (Monmouth College). Hosted and organized Draxler’s research visit to UiT January 25-February 7, 2016. Draxler and Castor co-teach our courses in Rhetoric (Draxler) and Satire (Castor) in Spring 2016.
*Organizer and academic coordinator for Senior Specialist Fulbright Professor Polly Welts Kaufman (from University of Southern Maine), March 1-30, 2005.
Funded Conferences and Guest Lecturers:
*Co-Organizer for ASANOR/NACS (American Studies in Norway/Nordic Association of Canadian Studies) Conference: Connections and Exchanges: America in an Intercontinental North. September 19-21, 2014. International conference with 50 participants. Funded by the U.S. Embassy Oslo, Norway Fulbright Foundation, Fritt Ord Organization, the Norwegian Barents Secretariat, and the University of Tromsø.
*Organizer for two guest lectures and visit for novelist Linda Hogan to University of Tromsø, May 30-June 2, 2011. Funded by Nordic Association of American Studies (NAAS) and the Sami Center, University of Tromsø.
*Organizer for the 29th American Indian Workshop: Indigeneity and “Indianness” in the World: Old Stories, New Dialogues. University of Tromso, Norway. May 14-16, 2008. International conference with 50 participants. Partially funded by a Norwegian Research Council grant and the Faculty of Humanities with additional support from the Sami Center.
*Organizer for guest lecture, Mats Jönsson (from Orebrö University, Sweden) on “Hollywood and Europe: Toward a New Kind of Historical Narration in Film,” November 2002.
Funded by Faculty of Humanities, University of Tromsø.
*Organizer for guest lecture, Bjørg Berg, “Paying for Peace: Is It a Human Right?”
Funded by Center for Peace Studies, University of Tromsø. October 2002.
*Co-organizer for Symposium on “Bridging Cultures in Language, Literature, and Culture: Studies in Time and Place,” (Third of three workshops on “Building Bridges in the Barents Region.” International symposium with 20 participants).
Funded by Nordic Council of Ministers, April 2002.
INTERDISCIPLINARY GRADUATE LEVEL COURSES taught at UiT:
*Rhetoric and the Humanities (co-teacher). Ph.D. interdisciplinary course, Humanities.
*Representations and Self-Representations (course leader and co-teacher). Masters level required course for interdisciplinary program in Indigenous Studies.
*Cultural, Linguistic, and Educational Revitalization (curriculum development for Masters level Indigenous Studies required course).
MASTERS LEVEL COURSES at UiT in literature/culture:
*The Multicultural Detective Novel in America.
*Toni Morrison and the African American Literary Tradition.
*Ways of Knowing in Short Fiction.
*Writing America in Oral Traditions: Myths, Histories, and Collective Memories.
*Crossing Borders in Contemporary Critical Practice.
*Sites of Memory: Story and History in 20th Century American Autobiography.
*American Progress and Paradox at the Turn of the Twentieth Century.
*Indigenous Literatures of North America.
*Nature Writing in the Age of Environmental Crisis
*American Modernisms: Narratives of Trauma and Transformation
UNDERGRADUATE LEVEL COURSES at UiT in literature/culture:
*Introduction to American Literature and Culture (beginning level)
*Introduction to Narrative Literature (beginning level)
*American Life Narratives (for intermediate level students)
*The African-American Literary Tradition: Literature and the City (intermediate level)
*Mimesis, Myth, and History: Narrating the Living World in America (intermediate level)
*Survival and Subversion: Indigenous Literatures of North America (intermediate level)
*Native American Literatures (intermediate level)
*Art and Politics of Telling the truth in American Autobiography (intermediate level)
*Political Satire as Cultural Critique (intermediate level)
*The American Presidential Election (intermediate level)
At Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway
*Senior Lecturer, Department of Applied Linguistics, NTNU, Dragvoll.
May 1995-July 1996.
At NTNU I taught PhD and M.A. level courses in scientific and technical writing, and I participated actively in the Department of Applied Linguistics’ interdisciplinary work-in-progress research seminar.
Between 1984-1994 I taught a wide variety of courses at the University of Minnesota and Augsburg College in American Studies, literature, and writing composition.
Utdanningsfondet (Pedagogy Fund). Funding for two visiting guest lectures for course in the American Presidential Election: Professor Geir Lundestad (Former Director, Norwegian Nobel Institute and secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee) and Associate Professor Alf Tomas Tønnessen, University College of Volda. September 2012.
I have advised about 20 students who have successfully completed Masters’ theses in literature/culture of the English speaking world, and in the Program in Indigenous Studies at the University of Tromsø. Currently I co-supervise a PhD student in Indigenous Studies.
INVITED LECTURES AND PRESENTATIONS
Commentator for doctoral candidate Sigfrid Kjeldaas’s dissertation chapter in progress on “Barry Lopez in the Arctic: The Poet at the Edge of the Ice – and Romanticism” at Arctic Modernities Research Group, November 16, 2015.
“The Words are the Best Reason for the Beat: From Culture Wars to the Poetry of Rap” at Nordic Association for American Studies (NAAS) Biennial Conference, University of Oslo, Norway. Plenary speaker. May 2011; presented in a different version as lecture/seminar for 11 upper secondary school teachers at Kongsbakken Videregående Skole, November 20, 2014.
“Native Americas Meet European Americans: Teaching the Work of Sherman Alexie as Culture, History, and Literature.” Lecture for upper secondary school teachers in the Sør- Trøndelag region of Norway. Trondheim, Norway. May 2011.
“Aboriginal, Francophone, International: Rewriting Collective Memory Through Poetry.”Plenary lecture at “Canadian Ghosts, Hopes, Values/Rémanences, espérances et valeurs canadiennes”: 4th Congress of the Polish Association for Canadian Studies/4e Colloque de l’Association Polonaise des Etudes Canadiennes. Pulawy, Poland. April 2007.
“Aboriginal Poetry from Québec: Another Way of Knowing?” Lecture for masters level students at Department of American Literature at Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, Lublin, Poland. April 2007.
English native speaker, Norwegian (good reading knowledge, writing and speaking for communication), French (good reading knowledge, conversational speaking ability, writing ability in informal contexts)
SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY
*External Expert (one of two)on the appointment of Senior Lecturer in English-Language Literature, Södertörns högskola (Södertörn University), Stockholm, Sweden (December-April 2016).
*Board Member, American Studies Association in Norway (ASANOR) (2010-present).
*Referee (2010-present) American Indian Quarterly, American Studies in Scandinavia, Ecozon, Nordlit, Revista de Estudios Norteamericanos.
*Four doctoral commissions, Administrated the committee’s work for three of these, and invited to be an Opponent for the fourth (between 2000-2010).
*Member, Five search committees for associate professor positions at the University of Tromsø, 2011-2015.
*External Evaluator (one of three) for one candidate for promotion to professor, NTNU, Department of Language and Literature, Trondheim, Norway, 2015.
SELECTED PUBLICATIONS 2007-present.
Castor, Laura (Article in book), “I saw the whole world caught in that sound”: The Visual in Joy Harjo’s Poetry” in Ekphrasis in American Poetry: The Colonial Period to the 21st Century. Ed. Sandra Lee Kleppe, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015. 185-196.
Castor, Laura (Article in journal), “Trauma, Transformation, and the Reader as Witness in Nicole Krauss’s Man Walks into a Room. Journal of American Studies of Turkey (41) 2015, 45-68.
Castor, Laura (Article in book), “Crossroads on the Path to Mental Decolonization: Research, Traditional Knowledge, and Joy Harjo’s Music,” in Indigenous Presences in Sapmi and Native North America. Univeristy of Arizona Press, 2015. 229-249.
Castor, Laura (Article in book), “Fictional Freedoms and Real Violations in Louise Erdrich’s Shadow Tag,” in Writing the Self: Essays on Autobiography and Autofiction. Ed. Kerstin Shands, Giulia Grillo Mikrut, Dipti R. Pattanaik, and Karen Ferreira-Meyers. Huddinge: Södertörns högskole: 2015. 239-255.
Castor, Laura (Article in book), “This house is strange: Digging for American Memory of Trauma, or Healing the ‘Social’ in Toni Morrison’s Home,” in Living Language/Living Memory: Essays on the Works of Toni Morrison. Huddinge: Södertörns högskole: 2014. 139-150.
Castor, Laura (Article in journal), “Making Songs of the Marrow”: Joy Harjo’s Music and Traditional Knowledge in American Studies in Scandinavia, 44(2), 2013, 58-83.
Castor, Laura (Article in book), “Rita Mestokosho’s ‘L’Arbre de la Vie’: Whose Memory, Whose Power?” Book chapter in Native Americans and First Nations: A Transnational Challenge. Paderborn: Ferdinand Schoeningn 2009. 109-121.
Castor, Laura (Article in book). “Representing Heid Erdrich’s ‘Indians Who’ve Been to Paris’: Whose Story? Whose Identity?” Book chapter in Seeking the Self - Diasporic Narrative and the Ethics of Representation. Ed. Tuomas Huttunen, Kaisa Ilmonen, Janne Korkka and Elina Valovirta. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008. 136-150.
Castor, Laura (Article in book). “Photograph, Story, and Memory in Sherman Alexie’s The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven.”Book chapter in Less is More: Short Fiction Theory and Analysis. Oslo: Novus Forlag, 2008. 157-167.
Castor, Laura (Article in journal). “Rita Mestokosho’s Politics and Poetics of Memory: Reading “L’arbre de la vie,” Språk og Språkundervisning. 2007:1, 2-9.
Castor, Laura (Article in book). “Captives, Colonizers, or Friends? Representing Quakers and Native Americans in James Alexander Thom’s The Red Heart. North America: Tensions and (Re)solutions: Selected Papers from the 7th International Tartu Conference on North American Studies. Cultural Studies Series No. 8 (The Baltic Center for North American Studies, University of Tartu). Ed. Raili Poldsaar and Krista Vogelberg. Tartu, Estonia: Tartu University Press, 2007. 56-65.