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January 12, 2018

Folklore and Public Culture Grads in the News

Washington State Parks’ New Folklorist

The Washington State Parks & Recreation Commission has hired Makaela Kroin to be the new program manager of the Folk & Traditional Arts in the Parks Program. Starting Jan. 16, Makaela replaces Debbie Fant, who retired in September. Ryan Karlson, Parks’ Director of Interpretive Services, to whom she will directly report, says “We are quite excited to have Makaela Kroin coming to Washington State Parks to lead our Folk and Traditional Arts in Parks program. We look forward to building new partnerships and the reach of Folk and Traditional Arts programming within our diverse state park system.”

Makaela has a Bachelor’s Degree in Portuguese and Brazilian Studies from Smith College, a Master’s Degree in Information and Communication Science from Ball State University, and a Master’s Degree in Public Folklore from the University of Oregon. Kroin served as Oregon Folklife Network’s program manager under the direction of Dr. Riki Saltzman. At the OFN she conducted fieldwork, produced exhibits, coordinated public programs, wrote grants, and did extensive community outreach.

Folklore and Public Culture Alumni Published in “Western Folklore”

Please congratulate Nikki Cox and Bruno Seraphin, two recent Folklore and Public Culture Master’s graduates who published articles based on their original research:

Nikki Cox,Tangible Communitas: The Los Angeles Wisdom Tree, Folklore, and Non-Religious Pilgrimage, Western Folklore, Vol. 77 No. 1, Winter, 2018.

Bruno Seraphin, “Paiutes and Shoshone Would Be Killed For This”: Whiteness, Rewilding, and the Malheur Occupation, Western Folklore, Vol. 76 No. 4, Fall, 2017.

November 13, 2017

Alina Mansfield receives American Folklore Society Newell Prize

Folklore Program graduate Alina Mansfield was awarded the 2017 W. W. Newell Prize by the American Folklore Society at its annual conference meeting held this past October in Minneapolis.

The prize was for the best student essay on children’s folklore and was awarded to Alina for her paper “Slumber Parties as Rites of Passage” written for FLR 511 (Folklore and Religion).

Alina’s essay was also selected for the UO Folklore Program 2016 Alma Johnson Folklore Award.

November 7, 2017

“The Conversation” Blog Features Daniel Wojcik and Robert Dobler

What ancient cultures teach us about grief, mourning and continuity of life

The article was written by UO Folklore Program Prof. Daniel Wojcik and graduate Robert Dobler, who now teaches at Indiana University in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology.


October 16, 2017

New book by UO Folklore Program graduate Elizabeth Currans!

Marching Dykes, Liberated Sluts, and Concerned Mothers: Women Activists Transform Public Space (University of Illinois Press, 2017)

Marching Dykes, Liberated Sluts, and Concerned Mothers: Women Activists Transform Public Space (University of Illinois Press, 2017)

From the Women in Black vigils and Dyke marches to the Million Mom March, women have seized a dynamic role in early twenty-first century protest. The varied demonstrations–whether about gender, sexuality, war, or other issues–share significant characteristics as space-claiming performances in and of themselves beyond their place in any broader movement.

Elizabeth Currans blends feminist, queer, and critical race theory with performance studies, political theory, and geography to explore the outcomes and cultural relevance of public protest. Drawing on observation, interviews, and archival and published sources, Currans shows why and how women utilize public protest as a method of participating in contemporary political and cultural dialogues. She also examines how groups treat public space as an important resource and explains the tactics different women protesters use to claim, transform, and hold it. The result is a passionate and pertinent argument that women-organized demonstrations can offer scholars a path to study the relationship of gender and public space in today’s political culture.


Elizabeth Currans is associate professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Eastern Michigan University where she teaches courses in feminist, queer, performance, and disability studies. She earned her MA in Folklore Studies in 1999 from the University of Oregon and her PhD in Religious Studies and Women’s Studies in 2007 from UC Santa Barbara.  Recent publications appear in Feminist Formations, Social Justice, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Obsidian, and Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies. Her new research project examines public performances (bicycle rides, protests, music festivals, performance art, sculpture) in edge spaces, places were the urban and natural encounter each other.



October 12, 2017

World Music Series: Venezuelan Music with Trio Mochima

As part of the UO Latinx Heritage Month celebration, the World Music Series’s first concert features Venezuelan music with Trio Mochima this Sunday, October 15 at 7:30 PM in Beall Hall. Joropo, merengue, parranda and other genres will featured. In addition to visiting a local elementary school, the Trio will offer a free, public workshop on Venezuelan music at 11 AM on Monday, October 16 in Frohnmayer Music Building, room 190. Bring your flute, guitar, and maracas and join us!

Support for this concert comes from the UO School of Music and Dance, the Oregon Humanities Center’s Endowment for Public Outreach in the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities, the UO Folklore Program, and the UO Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies.

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