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May 18, 2016

English Department/Folklore Program Commencement

The University of Oregon’s 2016 Commencement will be held on Monday, June 13th at 9:00 a.m. in the Matthew Knight Arena.

The English Department/Folklore Program Commencement ceremony will take place on Monday, June 13th at 12:00 p.m. on the Memorial Quad. The ceremony will include those who graduated Summer 2015 through Winter 2016 and those who have applied Spring 2016 and Summer 2016.

May 13, 2016

Dr. Dorothee Ostmeier Featured in Cascade Magazine

Congratulations to Dr. Dorothee Ostmeier, Professor of German and Folklore, who is featured in the latest issue of Cascade!!
You’ll find the story here:

You can find a virtual edition of the magazine here:, and the Cascade website, here:

Dorothee Feature Story Image
April 18, 2016

Dr. Carol Silverman To Give Invited Lecturess

Dr. Carol Silverman is slated to deliver invited lectures at the Library of Congress, Brooklyn College, and New York University.  Details of the lectures can be found below.
Carol Silverman is Professor of Cultural Anthropology and Folklore at the University of Oregon. She has done research with Roma for over 25 years in the Balkans, Western Europe and the US. Her work explores the intersection of politics, music, human rights, gender, and state policy with a focus on issues of representation. She is also a professional performer and teacher of Balkan music, and works with the NGO Voice of Roma. Her book Romani Routes: Cultural Politics and Balkan Music in Diaspora (Oxford University Press, 2012) won the Merriam Book Prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology.
Global “Gypsy”:  Balkan Romani Music, Appropriation and Representation
Carol Silverman, Prof. of Anthropology and Folklore, University of Oregon
Benjamin A. Botkin Folklife Lecture at the Library of Congress
Pickford Theater, 3rd Floor, James Madison Building, Library of Congress
April 21, 2016, noon
“Gendered Migration of Muslim Balkan Roma: Work, Sexuality, and Ritual in New York and Germany”
April 15, 2016,  4:30 PM
NYU Gender and Transformation: Women in Europe Workshop
Global “Gypsy”:  Balkan Romani Music, Appropriation and Representation
April 19, 2016 11 AM
Brooklyn College, Wolf Institute for the Humanities, and Department of History
Tanger Auditorium, info: 718-951-5847

Dr. Dorothee Ostmeier Releases Video – “Fairy Tales, Fantasy and the Uncanny”

Dr. Dorothee Ostmeier, in collaboration with the UO Office of International Affairs, has released a video entitled “Fairy Tales, Fantasy and the Uncanny.”

Dorothee Ostmeier is Professor of German and Folklore at the University of Oregon, where she also serves as Affiliated Faculty of Comparative Literature, Women and Gender Studies, and the Center for the Studies of Women in Society (CSWS). Her research and teaching focuses on the borders between German literatures, culture and philosophies of the 18th to the 21st centuries. International reviews of her book Sprache des Dramas-Drama der Sprache. Nelly Sachs’ Dramatische Szenen, recognize this study as one of the few works that analyze Sachs’ cryptic dramatic writings, which she composed after escaping Nazi persecution in 1941. Ostmeier’s analysis situates Sachs’ oeuvre within the ongoing debate on obsessive memory in the face of the universal disappearance of idealist utopias.

April 17, 2016

Folklore Program Alumnus Hired at Truman State University

Dr. Summer Pennell, 2009 M.A. graduate of the University of Oregon Folklore Program, has been hired as Assistant Professor of English Education in the Department of English and Linguistics at Truman State University in Missouri.
During her master’s program at UO, Dr. Pennell was interested in doing outreach and educational programming and originally planned on working for a museum or community organization. Her master’s thesis was a lesbian-themed Indonesian shadow puppet performance, with a focus on the performance as a form of public education and outreach. Upon graduation, Dr. Pennell entered an alternative licensure program and became a high school English teacher in rural North Carolina. She loved teaching, but was dismayed by heteronormative and homophobic cultures and practices that harmed both herself and her queer students. This experience lead Dr. Pennell to find her true passion in education and social justice, and after two years in the classroom she entered a PhD in Education program at UNC-Chapel Hill, in a strand called Culture, Curriculum and Change. Dr. Pennell also took a course in UNC’s folklore department on collaborative ethnography, and did an independent study with her favorite folklorist, Elaine Lawless, when she was a visiting faculty member here. Dr. Pennell goals were to improve schooling experiences for LGBTQ students, teachers and families, and that has remained the driving force that permeates all of her research.
According to Dr. Pennell, “My folklore training informs all that I do. My research is qualitative and primarily ethnographic, which I learned first at UO. I also think folklore gave me a drive to study and celebrate things on the margin, and this has continued in my work in education. The mainstream has enough attention- I want to celebrate the people, places, and subjects on the outside.”
This fall Dr. Pennell will be teaching an LGBTQ YA literature course. Truman has a folklore minor housed in her department.  Dr. Pennell will teach a folklore methods class and is planning a class that combines folklore research methods with new literacies, which is “a fancy way of saying I want to teach a class on daily documentation processes like instagram and snapchat.” Dr. Pennell cites Dr. Lisa Gilman, who was her advisor at UO, as a primary and ongoing influence. “I really enjoyed both her Folklore & Gender and Folklore & Sexuality classes at UO,” says Dr. Pennell, “they have continued to be influential to my current work.”
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