Monthly Archives: September 2015

Positive Press for the Gjellstad and Skjelver Translation of The War with the Sioux

Some nice media coverage for the Melissa Gjellstad’s and Danielle Skjelver’s recent transition of K. J. Skarstein’s the War with the Sioux from the Pierce County Tribune this week.

Also be sure to catch them next week on Prairie Public Radio’s Main Street!

Here’s the link

And here’s a snippet:

Danielle Skjelver, a UND alumna and history instructor, said she found the book in 2007 while perusing Norwegian books.

“At the time, my Norwegian was such that I had to do the heavy lifting of translation for any meaningful comprehension. So I figured if I’m going to translate it for myself, why not translate it for everyone?” Skjelver said.

Skjelver then approached Melissa Gjellstad, an associate professor of Norwegian, about collaborating on translating the book.

“Skarstein’s angle and approach to retelling this story were compelling to me as a reader, and I wanted others to be able to access Skarstein’s skillful portrayal of the events of 1862-63 and the Norwegian voices he brings to the fore,” Gjellstad said. “As our conversation evolved, we [Skjelver and Gjellstad] decided that we would do it together as a joint project. Our skill sets and background expertise in Scandinavian studies and American history were well matched, and the work was fun and enlightening.”

The Layout and Design Process

I’m beginning to play around with laying out a group of articles from North Dakota Quarterly on World War I. I’m committed to using Doves Type for all sorts of reasons ranging from the peaceful name to the vintage feel and the story, of course, of its rediscovery.  

At the same time, I’m trying figure out how best to lay out the page. Doves lacks italics or bolds, so everything has to be done with the text itself (and, say, small caps). I like that as a challenge and find that it is a fairly easy limit to overcome.

Below are a few page mock ups.

Larger (12 pt font) and in a single text block:

Libby Text Fixed

Libby Text Fixed2

Or in columns with a smaller, slightly denser font spacing?

1 Libby1 Libby2

3 Davies3 Davies2

Any feedback would be great!

Stay tuned for this to appear sometime in early November.

The War with the Sioux: The Book

It’s a good day! The English translation of Karl Jakob Skarstein’s The War with the Sioux is finally published. Go here for the links to download the book.

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The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota is excited to announce the publication of the first English translation of Karl Jakob Skarstein’s The War with the Sioux: Norwegians against Indians 1862-1863. Associate Professor of Norwegian Melissa Gjellstad and UND alumna Danielle Mead Skjelver translated the text and Dr. Richard Rothaus and Dakota Goodhouse provided new introductory material.

Skjelver noted that “”I first encountered Skarstein’s riveting narrative on the US-Dakota War in 2007. I had never read anything like it. Translating this work was fascinating and rewarding because of the book’s unique focus on a specific immigrant population, and because Skarstein admirably attempts to get at the action and emotion of the many sides of this conflict.”

Skarstein’s narrative focuses on the Dakota War of 1862-1864 which stands as one of the most overlooked conflicts in American History. Contemporary with the American Civil War, the Dakota War featured significant fighting, tactical brilliance, and strategic savvy set in the open landscape of the Northern Plains in Minnesota and North Dakota.

Karl Jakob Starstein’s The War with the Sioux tells the story of the Norwegian immigrants, American soldiers, and Lakota and Dakota Indians as they sought to protect their ways of life. Skarstein drew upon largely untapped Norwegian-language sources for life on the Northern Plains during these tumultuous years.

Prof. Gjellstad remarked “The American experience of Norwegian immigrants has been a red thread that has woven through my scholarship and teaching in Scandinavian studies. It began early in my childhood, growing up in rural North Dakota, and has spun into rich, new connections thanks to the collaborations of fellow scholars from the Northern Plains as we worked to bring Skarstein’s volume to an American audience.”

The translation of the book was funded by the Norwegian government’s NORLA: Norwegian Literature Abroad program and is available as a free download or as a paper book on Amazon.

The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota is a creative reimagining of the traditional university press. It publishes innovative and timely works in archaeology and on topics intersecting with life in North Dakota and the Northern Plains.

To get the book go here.

The War with the Sioux: An Open Access Teaser

The day is almost here for the publication of the first English translation of Karl Jakob Skarstein’s The War with the Sioux: Norwegians against Indians 1862-1863. The book was originally published in Norwegian and draws extensively on a group of untapped, 19th-century sources written by Norwegian immigrants to the Northern Plains. These sources offer new perspectives on the Dakota Wars which have attracted renewed attention since the recent, 150th anniversary commemorations. 

Melissa Gjellstad and Danielle Skjelver have preserved Skarstein’s lively narrative and along with Richard Rothaus and Dakota Goodhouse have added a series of new historical essay to introduce the work. In advance of the formal publication of the book, we are making these essays available as an open access download.

Click here to get the essays and check back soon for a link to the free download and the paper copy.

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