Janet Gilmore




2315 Sterling Hall



Janet Gilmore is a folklorist whose research, teaching, and outreach integrate folklore and landscape perspectives and methodologies.  Landscape study is embedded in her research in maritime occupational communities, foodways, and festivals and celebrations in the Upper Midwest and home territory of the Pacific Northwest.  She infuses the study of cultural landscape preservation and landscape history with ethnographic methodologies, the National Register traditional cultural property model, and Folklore’s concepts of cultural conservation. 


Janet unites varied landscape and folklore approaches especially in her teaching, which requires ethnographic exercises and reflection in class and assignments, and involves students in aspects of professional public folklore and cultural landscape preservation practice.  In turn, in recent years, she has begun to publish, with student involvement, insights she has gained from her “ethnography in the classroom” approach and her teaching of field school and lab type classes.  She enjoys “sensing landscape” explorations. 

Courses chiefly taught:


Cultural Landscapes of Food

Festivals & Celebrations

Cultural Resource Preservation & Landscape History

Field School: Ethnography of Wisconsin, often with

Historic Preservation Planning Workshop

Ethnic Representations in Wisconsin

Methods in Historic/Cultural Resource Preservation 


Public Folklore: 

Since the 1980s, Janet has worked as an independent public folklorist and humanities consultant, documenting and presenting folk artists, their handiwork and the creative process, in a variety of public formats such as exhibits and festivals. Through the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures, she now collaborates with folklore colleagues, archivists, archivists-in-training, and digital librarians on numerous nationally-funded projects to identify, catalog, and make accessible publicly-funded folklife documentary collections and productions generated in Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest since the 1970s. 


 2012 Dr. Brenda Pfaehler Award of Excellence, UW-Madison Center for Educational Opportunity

 2007 Brenda McCallum Prize, American Folklore Society Archives & Libraries Section 

University Affiliations: 

 Department of Scandinavian Studies

Material Culture Certificate Program

Buildings Landscapes Cultures Program with University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 

 Recent Consulting &/or Teaching Relationships: 

 Chippewa Valley Museum, Eau Claire, WI 

Folklore Village, Dodgeville, WI

Wisconsin Arts Board, Madison 

Wisconsin State Historic Preservation Office, Madison

 Areas:  Expressive Culture & Diversity in the Upper Midwest Cluster, Department of Landscape Architecture, Department of Comparative Literature and Folklore Studies, Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures

Office:  46C Agricultural Hall

Phone:  (608) 265-8270

Email:  jgilmore@wisc.edu

Web Page:  http://la.wisc.edu/faculty/janet-gilmore/

Education:  BA English Language and Literature, Reed College; MA and PhD in Folklore, Indiana University, Bloomington