Peter ‘Doc’ Ellertsen

  • 2125 South Lincoln Avenue, Springfield, Illinois 62704-4327
  • Telephone: (217) 793-2587. Email: edmund.ellertsen85 -at-

Selected publications/presentations

  • Ordinary Time: A Zen Lutheran Lectionary (, April 2019-present.
  • “Songs from the Gallows: A Story from Early Springfield History,” Illinois Heritage, in press.
  • “Swedes in Roger Williams’ Garden: Acculturation in Immigrant Churches, 1848-1860,” Conference on Illinois History, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Springfield, Oct. 7, 2020.
  • “Cultural Hybridity, Anglo-American Hymns and European Chorales in a Pioneer Swedish Immigrant Singing School.” Conference on Illinois History, APML, Springfield, Oct. 5, 2017.
  • “A Religious Community’s Response to Wartime Nativism: Swedish-American Lutherans in Rock Island at the Onset of World War I.” Illinois History Symposium, Illinois State Historical Society, Lincoln Land Community College, Springfield, April 20, 2017.
  • “‘How Newness Enters the World’: Cultural Creolization in Swedish-American Hymnals Published at Augustana College, 1901–1925.” Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 109 (Spring 2016), pp. 9-45.
  • “Pastor Esbjorn’s Box Zither: Reinventing a Swedish Immigrant Tradition.” Dulcimer Players News Fall 2015, pp. 20+.
  • “Welcome to Andersonville: Swedish-American Museum Helps Define a Diverse Neighborhood.” Illinois Heritage May-June 2015, pp. 15+.
  • “Pastor Esbjorn’s Singing School: A Workshop for Founders’ Day, on the 155th Anniversary of the Augustana Lutheran Synod.” Jenny Lind Chapel, Andover, Illinois, April 25, 2015.
  • “Dulcimer and Psalmodikon: Diverse Traditions.” Nordic-American Psalmodikonforbundet. 14.1 (Spring 2011).
  • Introduction, The Missouri Harmony Songbook [with Karen Isabell]. Wings of Song edition. St. Louis: Missouri Historical Society, 2005.
  • “‘Untaught melody of grateful hearts’: Southern Appalachian Folk Hymnody in Illinois, 1800-1850.” Journal of Illinois History 5.4 (Winter 2002), pp. 258-82.
  • Speaker, Road Scholars, Illinois Humanities Council. “Swing Low: Dwight Moody, an Original American Crossover Artist,” 2014; “Shape-Note Singing Schools on the Illinois Frontier,” and “Ballads, Bobby Burns and Fiddle Tunes,” 2001-2004.


  • Retired, 2010-present. Independent scholar.
  • Professor, English and mass communication, Benedictine University Springfield (formerly Springfield College in Illinois), 1993-2010.
  • Administrative assistant to Patrick Quinn, Illinois State Treasurer, Springfield, 1991-1993.
  • Political reporter and columnist, The State Journal-Register, Springfield, 1985-1991.
  • Courthouse reporter, The Rock Island Argus, Rock Island, Illinois, 1984-1985.
  • County government reporter, The Oak Ridger, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, 1975-1982.


  • M.A., journalism, 1983. Pennsylvania State University, University Park.
  • Ph.D., English, 1975. University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
  • M.A., history, 1967. University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
  • Studied Norwegian language and history, 1966. International Summer School, University of Oslo, Norway.
  • B.A., history, 1964. Albion College, Albion, Michigan.

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