“Perhaps Some Fading Flower Then/Would Come to Life and Bloom Again”: Revitalization of Swedish American Labor Poetry in the 21st Century

Marcus Cederstrom ()

In 1915, Industrial Worker of the World (IWW) member Joe Hill was executed in Utah. Hill, born in Sweden, made a name for himself as the troubadour of the IWW. In 1920, IWW member Signe Aurell remigrated to Sweden after seven years in the United States. Aurell, also born in Sweden, made a name for herself as a Swedish-speaking immigrant and labor poet in the US. By examining two case studies—musical projects by Bucky Halker and Maja Heurling— I argue that Hill and Aurell’s work creates meaning today as cultural productions because of movement between the US and Sweden.

Part of 21-03 Creative Shifts: Music, Mobility, and Meaning in a Globalizing North, Tuesday, October 19, 9:30 am–11:00 am