Alf Arvidsson is professor in ethnology and since 2014 serving as upholder of the chair of ethnology.
I have a PhD in ethnology with my thesis Sågarnas sång. Folkligt musicerande i sågverkssamhället Holmsund 1850-1980. (Popular music-making in the saw-mill community of Holmsund 1850-1980) which I defended in Umeå 1991. In 2002 I was appointed full professor. An important part of my research is on oral narrative; life stories, personal narratives, legends, focusing on 20th century material. The main part of my research is within the field of ethnomusicology and comprises larger studies of the intersection of music and politics in Sweden during the sixties and seventies, the changing status of jazz in Sweden from entertainment to high culture, and a joint project together with the Swedish Archive of Folk Music and Jazz Research on contemporary music-making. Currently I am involved in several projects: studies on how artists cope with cultural policies stressing entrepreneurship and urban planning, the edition of Pehr Stenberg’s 18th century autobiography/autoethnography, studies in Swedish jazz criticism that aims at publishing an annotated anthology, and studies of how “storytelling” is constructed as a revitalized immaterial cultural heritage, a “new” art form, and as a means for education and tourism.