Faculty Awards and Honors

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Dr. Curtis B Solberg


Annual Faculty Lecturer 1990-1991

CURTIS B. SOLBERG is a "son of the Middle Border," a Norwegian-American whose grandparents migrated as pioneers to North Dakota prior to 1900. At the age of nine, he and his family moved to Vallejo, California, where he lived until his matriculation to the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1957. He majored in history at UCSB, earning his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees.

Dr. Solberg joined the History Department faculty of Santa Barbara City College in 1965. He has also taught at Northeastern University, Boston, and at two universities in Norway. In 1971, he served as a lecturer in a USIS/Fulbright lecture series in Scandinavia.

THE LECTURER's research interests are varied. His publications includeMinorities in California History and The Pollution Papers (both co-edited with Dr. George Frakes), and A People's Heritage (co-authored with David Morris), as well as scholarly articles and book reviews published in the United States and Europe. He wrote his Ph.D. dissertation on "As Others Saw Us: Travelers in America During the Age of the American Revolution."

During the past decade, Professor Solberg has been engaged in the translation of thousands of immigrants' letters discovered in the Royal Archives in Oslo, Norway. This correspondence illuminates our understanding of America during a century (1840-1930) of unprecedented growth.

THE CULTIVATION OF his ethnic roots was activated by a visit to his ancestral homeland in 1961, affording an opportunity to rekindle pre-20th century familial connections and to master the rudiments of the Norwegian language. He has served as president of both the Santa Barbara lodge of the Sons of Norway and the local chapter of the American-Scandinavian Foundation. He is also an active member of the Norwegian-American Historical Association.

Dr. Solberg's daughters were both Santa Barbara City College students. Kaaren, married to a U.S. Navy lieutenant, resides in New Jersey. Christina, a recent University of California, Berkeley graduate in Chinese Studies, is preparing to return for a two-year stay in the People's Republic of China.

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