Associate Professor of Folklore in the Department of English, Florida State University, (1993-present) and Director of Undergraduate Studies (1999-2002)
Education: PhD, Department of Folklore and Folklife, University of Pennsylvania (1992); MPS, Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, (1985); MA, English, Purdue University, 1980; BA, English, Illinois Wesleyan University, (1971). Author of two books: Wiregrass Country (1997) and Downhome Blues: African American Spiritual Activism in Wiregrass Country (2010). Current chair, Florida Folklife Council; Chair, American Folklore Society Cultural Diversity Task Force (2000-2005); President, Florida Folklore Society (2000-2002); and President-elect, (1998-2000) Member, American Folklore Society (since 1986); Consultant, Association for the Preservation of Eatonville Community; Employed Philadelphia Folklore Project (1987-1990). I also have authored articles, book chapters, liner notes, and exhibition guides.
If elected, I would relish the opportunity to serve the Society in this critical time. Given the opportunity, I look forward to continuing to support the many initiatives that make this organization what it is today as well as building up AFS for the next generation of folklorists. A lack of vision weakens the future of the entire field. These are perilous times for not only the employment of folklorists but the very survival of our larger constituency. It is imperative that we put all available resources behind building a strong membership, while standing up for the principles foundational to our formation. My professional experience in both the private and public sectors serve as my incentive for the work that must be done. I also feel fortunate to say that I have been involved in AFS since I was a graduate student. My involvement, then, was the groundwork for my continued experiences in its governance. I served as the Chair of the Diversity Task Force from 2000-2005. The recent vote to change the Society’s by-laws to reflect a greater commitment to cultural diversity pleases me. I would love to be a part of the decision making to ensure the retention of more community scholars, minority scholars, international scholars, informant/consultants as well as to progress other forms of alterity. I am dedicated to the advancement of these causes.