Christena Lindborg Schlundt
Professor Emeriti (1922-2004)
Professor Emerita Christena Lindborg Schlundt joined UC Riverside in 1953 as one of the first members of the UCR faculty. Throughout her career she was a campus leader. She began as an Acting Assistant Professor of the Department of Physical Education, which she subsequently chaired in the mid-1960s. She also served as an Associate Dean in what is now the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. In 1972, she served the first of several terms as Chair of the newly formed Program in Dance, which evolved into the present Department of Dance. She established the nation’s first Master of Arts degree program in dance history in 1982. A decade later, her vision for the first Ph.D. program in dance history and theory in the world became a reality, establishing the UCR Department of Dance as an internationally recognized center for the study of dance history and theory. The department’s annual lecture series in UCR’s Center for Studies of Body, Performance, and Dance is named in her honor. She earned the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1981, one of the highest accolades that can be bestowed by the UCR Academic Senate. In 1991, she retired, but remained active on campus.
Professor Schlundt received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Augustana College, a Master of Arts degree in Education from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and a Ph.D. in American History from Claremont Graduate School. Prior to her coming to UC Riverside, she taught at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, and Wayne State University in Detroit. Her research interests centered on 20 th-century American choreographers: first, modern dance pioneer Ruth St. Denis (with whom she consulted while conducting her research), and then Ted Shawn, Helen Tamiris, Doris Humphrey, Jerome Robbins, and Daniel Nagrin.
Her lasting legacy at UC Riverside is noted in the 190-foot mural painted on the Highway 60 underpass at the University Avenue entrance to the campus, which includes an image of Professor Schlundt leaning against an arch of the Tomas Rivera Library.
A poem by Christena Lindborg Schlundt
Oh house given over to an unfamiliar
feeling of tolerating the broken story
of a purposeful person from the bottom
of the heap, to whom the stars or fate
granted a body that sheltered two children
and a strength that passed their goings
and a stretch that took in a continent,
a reach that shaped a figure
a height that demanded respect
from school children, clerks, gents
and a mouth that brooked no feminine
acquiescence to a secondary
station. And its loud stubborn in-your-face
assertions again and again and yet,
and yet of effect which did not matter,
and an old age, which is death’s day breaking
and a career, which no one remembers
and a habit of stringing together lines of words
and a constant eye for “facts”
and for maps some machine has sketched
and for words, grimaces, hesitations, movements
of living thrusts in whatever,
and of the Swedes, by birth, by church,
and of the French, by choice, by need,
and that bad habit, New York,
and who, one morning like all the rest,
settles for these images.