These faculty are full time Folklore faculty; they design the core courses and the program, the Ph.D. reading lists, write and grade comprehensive exam questions, and chair folklore graduate student committees.
NOTE: Faculty profiles, photos, course offerings, and publications are available on the University of Missouri website, www.missouri.edu, on departmental websites.
Elaine J. Lawless
Curators’ Distinguished Professor, English and Women’s and Gender Studies; Director, Folklore Program; Past President, American Folklore Society. Areas include: Women’s folklore, religious folklore and belief, narrative, domestic violence, performance studies, ethnographic writing.
We grieve the passing of John Miles Foley (1947-2012).
Curators’ and Byler Professor, English and Classics. Director, Center for Studies in Oral Tradition; Editor, Oral Tradition; Director, Center for e-Research. Areas include: Oral Tradition, Beowulf, Chaucer, classics.
Sw. Anand Prahlad
Professor, English, Poetry, and Black Studies.
Areas include: African American folklore and poetry, film, creative writing, postcolonial theory, creative nonfiction, fetish, humor, cultural diversity and academics.
Assistant Teaching Professor, English Department.
Areas include: American folklore and culture, foodways,film, material culture, feminist, postcolonial and critical race theories.
Associate Professor, English. Areas include: Film studies, Native American studies and folklore, with research interests in Indigenous media, Western and documentary film genres, ethnographic film, animation, early cinema and issues of ethnicity in history.
Lisa L. Higgins, Director, Missouri Folk Arts Program
Deborah Bailey, Folk Arts Specialist at the Missouri Folk Arts Program.The Missouri Folk Arts Program is a program of MU’s Museum of Art and Archaeology and the Missouri Arts Council. Lisa and Debbie supervise graduate student internships and graduate student research assistantships in public folklore. Lisa recieved her PhD from the University of Missouri in May 2008. Her research areas include: women’s oral narratives; festival; arts administration; and public arts policy. Debbie’s areas include: women’s religious traditions; material culture; and new immigrant and refugee arts. For information about the Missouri Folk Arts Program, see http://maa.missouri.edu/mfap/
These faculty regularly offer courses of particular interest to folklore students; cross-list their courses with English/Folklore Studies; and serve on graduate committees, often writing and grading exam questions for individual graduate students.
Robert "Bob" Baum
Associate Professor, Religious Studies. Areas include: African religious history, particularly West African prophetic movements; oral traditions, indigenous religions and Islam.
Richard "Chip" Callahan
Associate Professor, Religious Studies. Areas include: religious folklore and folklife, American religious culture, maritime studies, occupational cultures, New England, Appalachia, ethnographic history, haunting.
M. Heather Carver
Associate Professor, Performance Studies/Theater. Areas include: performance studies, authethography, autobiography, performative writing.
Associate Professor, English. Areas include post-colonial theory, diasporic literature, creative nonfiction, environmental writing.
J. Sanford "Sandy" Rikoon
Professor, Rural Sociology. Areas include: rural culture, sustainable agriculture, material culture, rural life, poverty food security, intellectual property rights.
Associate Professor, Art History and Archeology. Areas include: American art and culture, popular culture, material culture, American photography, material culture of religion, visual culture.
These faculty have expressed an interest in the Folklore Studies program, courses, and students. They regularly teach courses that may be of particular interest to our students.
Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies, Romance Languages and Literatures. Areas include: Afro-Caribbean people and culture in literature, the poetics of Negrismo and Negritude, national identities, Creolite. Teaches courses in Spanish.
Associate Professor, English; Chair of the Linguistics Program. Areas include: linguistics, African languages and linguistics, Bantu, Noam Chomsky.
Associate Professor of Spanish, Afro-Romance Languages and Literatures. Areas include: Spanish American literature and critical theory, Afro-hispanic and Afro-Cuban literature and poetry, visual culture, culture and politics, theatre and postcolonial identity.
Associate Professor, English. Areas include: American literature and culture theory, travel narratives, popular culture, political culture, aesthetics, theatre and social crisis, New England, cultural geography.
Associate Professor, English. Areas include: linguistics, socio-linguistics, phonology, slang, regional and social dialects.
Associate Professor, English and Black Studies. Areas include: 28th and 19th Africana and American literature and poetry, post-colonial theory, black aesthetics, poetics and oral traditions.
Associate Professor, English and Black Studies. Areas include: African and Africana literature, African diaspora, African American fiction, post-colonial theory.
Assistant Professor, Ethnomusicology and Black Studies. Areas include: African and African Diaspora music, literature and culture, black women and life writing, hip hop, world music, film, parallels between the literature and music of Africa and the African Diaspora.
NOTE: The University of Missouri offers a wide variety of teaching opportunities for graduate students in folklore, including teaching several different levels/courses in writing and composition, introductory folklore courses, and topics courses designed around their own particular interests. The following students currently teach folklore courses in the program or will be teaching them in the near future, including 1700 Introduction to Folklore Genres; 2700 Introduction to Folklore Fieldwork; and other topics courses as available.
Ph.D. candidate, 20th century African American literature and Folklore. Areas include literature of the African Diaspora, post-colonial literature, humor, and 19th century American literature.
MA/Ph.D. student, Folklore. Areas include: Folklore and media studies, Scandinavian studies, bioethics.
Ph.D. candidate, Folklore. Areas include narrative studies, social justice, public sector folklore, ethnographic writing, and creative non-fiction. Associate Editor for the International Society of Studies in Oral Tradition.
Heather Johnson Ph.D. student, Folklore. Areas include: folk belief, material culture and folk art, folk medicine and medieval studies.
Jennifer Spitulnik's research interests include folklore and folkllfe, ethnography and ethnographic texts, performance studies film studies, women and gender studies, online participatory cultures, and online networks. Jennifer holds an MA in folklore from George Mason University and a B. Music in voice performance from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music.
Ph.D. student, Folklore, African Diaspora Studies. Areas include: Ethnographic representation, folk belief.