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Mathilde Lind Wins NOMAD Prize


I’d like you to join me in congratulating this year’s winner of the NOMAD prize for the best essay published in the NOMAD journal – Folklore Undergraduate Mathilde Lind. Mathilde’s essay, “The Absurdity of Literary Folktales in Zachris Topelius’ ‘The Sea King’s Gift'” is remarkable in the ingenuity and the execution of the argument, and is a very vaulable addition to this year’s journal titled “Humors”.

It also gives me great pleasure to announce Finlay Louden as deserving honorable mention for their essay “A Tale of Two Snorris: Reading Conflicting Culture, Ritual, and Ridicule in Snorri Sturluson’s Poetic Edda”.

A huge thank you to all of this year NOMAD mentees and mentors for putting together an amazing range of essays related to Humors–kudos to all of you!


Sunayani Bhattacharya

NOMAD Editor



A Preliminary Guide to Establishing Sustainable Cultural Tourism as a Tool of Cultural Animation

Presented by Jillian Norris, UO Public Folklore Graduate Student

Monday, June 1, 2:30 pm, UO Folklore Archives, PLC 453

“I seek to explore how sustainable cultural tourism can be used as a catalyst of cultural animation within today’s arts and culture sector, and how these two phrases are representative of a symbiotic relationship. I will describe how “presenters” of local culture—museums, local arts councils, community cultural developers, etc.—can successfully employ sustainable cultural tourism methods to create a dialogue between them and their constituents while actively being involved in the cultural animation process.”

— Jillian Norris



Theorizing “the hoʻi mai” in This is Paradise

Jun 2, 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

[Colloquium Series]

Many Nations Longhouse

Native Pacific Cultural Studies scholars have theorized the concept of roots and routes to frame Pacific indigeneity and diaspora. In this paper, I contemplate what some Kānaka Maoli have termed, “the hoʻi mai”, that is, the return home to Hawaiʻi. Kānaka Maoli living in the diaspora are consistently told that in order to be authentically Kanaka Maoli and to have a voice in the larger struggle for Hawaiian sovereignty, they need to “come home”. According to many Hawaiian nationalists, “coming home” is the only way to combat settler colonialism in Hawaiʻi. Such pressures and foreclosures function to inhibit expressions of Hawaiian indigeneity and worse, keep Kānaka Maoli simultaneously landlocked and lost at sea. Bringing together debates around settler-colonialism in Native Studies and Queer of Color critiques of diaspora and belonging, I focus on the quotidian in Kristiana Kahakauwila’s story, “The Old Paniolo Way” in her book, This is Paradise (2013). By analyzing how the characters in This is Paradise perform conflicting narratives of being “bound in place” and desiring a “rudder” to steer a vessel at sea, I theorize a Moana-specific articulation of Kanaka Maoli indigeneity and queerness. In addition, I examine the cultural imperatives faced by Kānaka Maoli to reimagine “the hoʻi mai” and to expand how Kānaka Maoli maintain connections across the Moana nui and on the ʻāina.

Lani Teves (Kanaka Maoli) is an Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Oregon. She is co-editor of the forthcoming anthology, Native Studies Keywords (University of Arizona Press, Spring 2015) and is currently working on a manuscript that explores how contemporary Kānaka Maoli performers negotiate their relationship to aloha and Hawaiian self-determination.


Lani Teves




Loren Kajikawa Book Cover

Loren Kajikawa Releases New Book, “Sounding Race in Rap Songs”

Sounding Race in Rap Songs argues that rap music allows us not only to see but also to hear how mass-mediated culture engenders new understandings of race. The book traces the changing sounds of race across some of the best-known rap songs of the past thirty-five years, combining song-level analysis with historical contextualization to show how these representations of identity depend on specific artistic decisions, such as those related to how producers make beats.  Read More



Dr. Lisa Gilman, Director of the Folklore Program, has been elected to the Executive Board of the American Folklore Society. Click image to Read More.

Dr. Lisa Gilman, Director of the Folklore Program, has been elected to the Executive Board of the American Folklore Society. Click image to Read More.


Folklore Program Director Prof. Lisa Gilman recently returned from a meeting of the Executive Board of the American Folklore Society held in Columbus, OH, March 12-14, 2015. Photo, courtesy of Board Member Prof. Norma Cantu.







The Folklore Program at the University of Oregon is proud to announce that Dr. Carol Silverman has been inducted into the Fellows of the American Folklore Society.  Read More

The Folklore Program at the University of Oregon is proud to announce that Dr. Carol Silverman has been inducted into the Fellows of the American Folklore Society.  Read More

The Folklore Program at the University of Oregon is proud to announce that Dr. Carol Silverman has been inducted into the Fellows of the American Folklore Society.  Click image to Read More.Dr. Lisa Gilman, Director of the Folklore Program, has been elected to the Executive Board of the American Folklore Society. Click image to Read More.

Studies in Folklore

The Folklore Program at the University of Oregon is one of a few major centers of folkloristic research in the United States. With more than thirty participating faculty, our program provides an interdisciplinary approach to a Masters Degree, allowing students to create a focused course of study in their areas of interest.

The Folklore Program offers perspectives on ethnic, regional, occupational, gender, and other traditional identities of individuals in specific societies. Students study the extent to which tradition continues to enrich and express the dynamics of human behavior throughout the world. Folklore courses examine the historical, cultural, social, and psychological dimensions of such expressive forms as mythology, legend, folktale, music, dance, art, belief, foodways, ritual, and ceremony.

Theoretical analyses, research methods, and fieldwork techniques are integral parts of the program’s curriculum. Graduate courses cover an extensive range of interdisciplinary topics: cultural heritage, ethnicity, subcultures, popular culture, performance, gender, film, religion, community arts administration, local culture, and issues of diversity and globalization.

Folklore graduates work in various public and private agencies as educators, archivists, editors, arts and humanities consultants, museum curators, festival planners, and more.

Read an article about the Folklore major.

In addition to the undergraduate major and minor in Folklore, the UO’s Folklore Program has introduced two new tracks to its existing graduate Master’s degree program. The General Folklore Track offers students a strong foundation in Folklore Studies while also allowing them to take elective courses in their areas of focus, such as anthropology, arts and administration, English, comparative literature, and music. The Public Folklore Track prepares students who plan to work in the public sphere by building professional skills such as ethnographic research, documentation, grant writing, administration, and programming. For more information about graduate studies in Folklore at the University of Oregon, please visit our: Graduate Studies page.

The American Folklore Society (AFS) is the national professional academic organization for the discipline of Folklore.  For information about the AFS and to learn how to become a member, use this link.



February 8, 2017

Dr. Gantt Gurley Book Publishing Celebration

Please join the UO Folklore Program’s Dr. Gantt Gurley in  celebration of the publication of his new book “Meïr Aaron Goldschmidt and the Poetics of Jewish Fiction.”  The celebration is scheduled for Wednesday, February 22,  3-5 pm, in the Graduate School Lounge in Susan Campbell Hall on the UO campus.

Gantt Gurley received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 2007. Before coming to Oregon he lectured at the University of California’s Scandinavian Department and was a Harry Starr Fellow in Judaica at the Center for Jewish Studies at Harvard University. His forthcoming book Meïr Aaron Goldschmidt and the Poetics of Prose examines one of Denmark’s greatest nationalistic writers as first and foremost a Jewish artist, exploring his relationship to the Hebrew Bible and later Rabbinical traditions such as the Talmud and the Midrash as a form of poetics. He is currently working on a joint project that is mapping the sudden appearance of Rabbinic tales in eighteenth- and nineteenth- century vernaculars in Northern Europe. A central aim of the project is to illuminate the mechanisms whereby Hebraic thought is reawakened in the European consciousness. His research and teaching interests include ancient and medieval song culture, the birth of the novel, the Wandering Jew, Long Romanticism, Old Norse literature, the lyrical mode, Hans Christian Andersen, and notions of religiosity in the Danish Golden Age.


December 22, 2016

Professor Carol Silverman Confronts the Persecution Faced by Roma People


UO anthropologist and folklorist Carol Silverman has studied and written about Roma people and the prejudices against them for nearly four decades and has won numerous fellowships and awards for her contributions to the field. Inspired by their rich culture, she quickly developed a parallel interest in their everyday lives and the prejudice and fear they face around the globe.

See her featured in this article from AroundtheO:


November 15, 2016

Folklore Colloquium Series – Mary Kupsch to Present

Please join us this Thursday evening, November 17, from 6-8 pm, in the Collaboration Center Room 122 at Knight Library on the UO campus for our Fall Colloquium

Pizza and other food will be served.

Folklore Graduate student Mary Kupsch will present

The Prince, the Punisher, and the Perpetrator: An Analysis of Different Displays of Masculinities in Animal/Monster Groom Tales



Stories of animal/monster groom are folktales/fairy tales that follow a specific tale type. In the story, a young woman is married to, betrothed to, or courted by a man whose physical body takes on a form that is animal like or in some way monstrous. This project uses a textual analysis paired with the theory of multiple dominate masculinities to examine 1) how the animal/monster grooms in these types of tales enact their masculinity 2) the ways in which animal/monster grooms strive to become members of a dominate masculinity and 3) how the actions of the other characters in the story effect how animal/monster grooms maintain or attempt to rise above their level of masculinity. By observing how animal monster grooms display, maintain, and prove their masculinity as well as the actions taken by them to rise to a level of dominate masculinity, it becomes obvious that, in order to do any of these things, animal/monster grooms are restricted to three stereotypical roles. Furthermore, these characters are most often not in control of which role they will be required to take on if the alternative to achieving a dominate masculinity or, at the very least, maintaining a subordinate masculinity, is to be stripped of their masculinity altogether. By examining these roles and how specific characters find themselves enacting them, we can apply the same method of observation to our own society to see how the young men of America are restricted as to which role they can display based on their masculinity and the actions taken by those around them.


September 26, 2016

“Singular Spaces: An Introduction to Art Environments in Spain and Around the World”

Wednesday, October 19, 2016, 4:00 pm

Knight Library Browsing Room, 1501 Kincaid St.

Jo Farb Hernandez (Professor, Department of Art and Art History, San José State University in California, and Director of the Thompson Art Gallery)

In this presentation, Jo Farb Hernández takes a long view of the worldwide phenomenon of invented spaces created by self-taught artists, with a concentration on the Spanish sites that she has been documenting for the past seventeen years. Art environments, which take widely varying forms and often include sculpture, architecture, landscaping, and painting within a single site, are developed additively and organically, without formal plans or designs. Idiosyncratic, personal, and unique works of art, they completely fail to cleanly correspond to any standard characterizations developed by art or architectural historians. Yet because many face similar – and often existential – predicaments in terms of community response and governmental pressure, bringing value and visibility to these works helps not only to preserve these singular spaces, but to expand the very definition of art itself.


Jo Farb Hernández is Director and Curator of the Thompson Art Gallery and Professor in the Department of Art and Art History at San José State University in California.  She is also director of SPACES – Saving and Preserving Arts and Cultural Environments, a nonprofit archives whose focus is the worldwide documentation and preservation of art environments and other works of self-taught art. A Fulbright scholar, she has won many prizes for her books, photographs, and exhibitions, and has authored or co-authored over thirty books and exhibition catalogues; her most recent book is entitled, Singular Spaces: From the Eccentric to the Extraordinary in Spanish Art Environments.


September 25, 2016

Dr. Juan Eduardo Wolf To Give Talk – “Styling Blackness in Chile: Rethinking Music-Dance in the African Diaspora”

Dr. Juan Eduardo Wolf of the Music Department will give a talk titled “Styling Blackness in Chile: Rethinking Music-Dance in the African Diaspora” on Friday, October 21 at noon in the Oregon Humanities Center Conference Room, PLC 159.  This is a VPRI Completion Fellow Work-In-Progress talk, sponsored by OHC.

Further Information: (541) 346-3934.

Guest Lecture – What Happened to Christianity in Post-Socialist Europe?

Monday, October 24, 2016, 3:30-5:30 pm

Knight Library Browsing Room, 1501 Kincaid Street, Eugene

István Povedák, Research Group for the Study of Religious Culture, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and University of Szeged, Senior Research Fellow


Dr. Povedák’s main fields of research are contemporary vernacular religiosity, modern mythologies, and the cult of heroes and celebrities. His books include Pseudo Heroes and Fake Gods? (in Hungarian); Heroes and Celebrities in Central Eastern Europe; Landscape as a Factor for Creating Identity (co-edited with Wojciech Bedinsky); Not Even the Past is What It Used to Be: The Multidisciplinary Analysis of New Hungarian Mythologies (co-edited in Hungarian with László Hubbes); and Shamans Everywhere: The Multidisciplinary Analysis of Contemporary Paganism (co-edited in Hungarian with Réka Szilárdi).


He has been the chair of the SIEF (International Society for Ethnology and Folklore) Ethnology of Religion Working Group and the Research Group for Contemporary Mythology and the vice-president of the Hungarian Cultural Anthropology Association. He has been a lecturer at the University of Freiburg (Germany), University of Latvia (Riga, Latvia), Cabrini College (Pennsylvania) and received a Fulbright Scholarship (Ohio State University).


September 24, 2016

Tom di Maria Lecture – “From the Margins to the Mainstream: Artists with Disabilities Today”

Tom di Maria, Director of Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland, will deliver a lecture, “From the Margins to the Mainstream: Artists with Disabilities Today,” Monday, October 10, 4-6 pm, in the Knight Library Browsing Room at the University of Oregon.


Tom di Maria has served as Director of Creative Growth Art Center since 2000.  He has developed partnerships with museums, galleries and international design companies to help bring Creative Growth’s artists with disabilities fully into the contemporary art world.


African Studies Lecture Series – “Land Use Change in Eastern Africa: Developing a Model of Regime Rhetoric and Framing the Debate over Land Use”

African Studies Lecture Series
Guest: Dr. Anne Santiago, Political Science, University of Portland
Date: Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Time: Noon
Location: Knight Library Browsing Room
Talk Title: Land Use Change in Eastern Africa: Developing a Model of Regime Rhetoric and Framing the Debate over Land Use        
Dr. Anne Santiago is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Portland. She received her Ph.D. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland at College Park. Dr. Santiago’s research highlights the role of international and domestic actors in the development process in Africa, and in the relationship between political development and economic development. Her current project focuses on the process through which large-scale land leases come about, who emerges as winners and losers, and how state actors compete with other stakeholders to frame their agendas in order to persuade others to adopt them. In another line of inquiry, she conducts research on the cause of conflict and the effectiveness of different methods of conflict management. She has published chapters and articles on topics related to ethno-political violence, conflict, and national security in various parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to joining the University of Portland, Dr. Santiago worked at the National University of Rwanda, in Butare.

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