Michael Loukinen, PhD.
Professor of Sociology
Director, Up North Films
Courses currently taught at NMU:
Introduction to Sociology (SO 101),
Sociology of Aging (SO 201)
and Social Change (SO 351).
My career spans over thirty-five years of teaching and making sociological documentary films. Gradually I have evolved into cultural sociologist employing a blend of historical and anthropological perspectives along with sociology.
Research: My research has focused on ethnic and occupational traditions in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Some of this has resulted in published book chapters and articles on Finnish Americans. Most of my research has been expressed in documentary films: two on Finnish American cultural history and traditions; one on traditional wilderness workers (trappers, loggers and commercial fishers), one on Native American fiddlers, six about the Lac Vieux Desert Ojibwa Band in Watersmeet, MI; and four sociological intervention documentaries on alternative school kids, adults with disabilities, vehicular homicide victims and myths about alcohol and intimate partner violence. See the Up North Films website at www.upnorthfilms.com .
Grants: Have been awarded numerous grants from local, state and national agencies to produce and direct documentary films. Funding agencies have included state humanities councils (MI, MN, ND, WI), the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities and many grants from the Michigan Council for the Arts. Awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to teach and study in Finland in 1982. Delivered numerous papers at academic conferences. Film screenings at major academic conferences and film festivals nationally on PBS and Finnish television networks Films have won both academic and artistic honors. Recently received the Artist of the Year Award (Marquette Arts Council) and Outstanding Scholarship Award (Northern Michigan University).
Current projects include a documentary about Winona, MI – a former mining town, now a snowmobile tourist destination; a documentary about personal identity and Civil War Ancestry; and a research/travel adventure to the Middle East to learn firsthand about the region’s ethno-religious conflicts.
Post-Doctoral, University of Michigan 1976
PhD. (1975), MA. (1972) and BS. (1967) Michigan State University
Office: Room 137 Gries Hall
Studio: 104 Jacobetti