Associate Dean


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Dr. Olaf Kuhlke, Associate Dean of College of Liberal Arts

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Since 2011, I have served as the Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

At UMD, I have called the Department of Geography, Urban, Environment and Sustainability Studies my home since 2002. I have taught courses in both the geography and cultural entrepreneurship programs, and I continue to do research in geography and entrepreneurship.

For as long as I can remember, I have been interested in human mobility. I study why and how people walk, dance, and move from place to place, over short distances and across countries and continents. Most importantly, I look at the cultural, social and economic contexts and impacts of such moves.

As a cultural geographer, I have written about international migration, large-scale dance festivals and their place in national and local discourse, the representation of national identity in Canadian popular music, the global diffusion of dance practices, and the places of Freemasonry in the United States. Most recently, I have been a passionate advocate for the establishment of cultural entrepreneurship as an academic discipline and practice, and have written about the theoretical foundations of this new form of entrepreneurship emerging out of the liberal arts.

I enjoy the many outdoor activities that Duluth has to offer, and try to spend a lot of family time outside (with my wife Kari, son Kiel and daughter Anja). Biking, hiking, walking the dogs and running are my favorite things to do.

View my Research Publications

Read my Teaching Philosophy

I'm part of the core faculty at the Centre for REsearch in ARts and Economics (CREARE).

View my professional profile on LinkedIn and in the The Cultural Entrepreneurship Group