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Postdoctoral Researcher in Public Folklore

Organization: Center for Folklore Studies at Ohio State University
Date Posted: 4/3/2019
City: Columbus
Location: Ohio
Country: United States
Primary Category: Fellowship
Education Requirement: PhD

Description & Details

The Center for Folklore Studies (CFS), within the College of Arts and Sciences at Ohio State University, seeks a Postdoctoral Researcher in Public Folklore to join the team. The College of Arts and Sciences is the academic heart of the Ohio State University, hosting 81 majors; it values diversity and offers a supportive, open, and inclusive community. This postdoctoral position is one of several being funded as part of Ohio State's Global Arts + Humanities Discovery Theme, a research initiative focused on the human dimensions of current societal challenges.

CFS seeks an emerging public folklorist who will contribute to CFS’s exploration of community and institutional initiatives for supporting the folkways of diverse populations in rural and post-industrial Ohio. With its Ohio Field School initiative, CFS is conducting ongoing research on the expressive and practical responses of communities to environmental, economic, and cultural change. The position will be available for one year starting August 2019 with the possibility of extension based on satisfactory performance and availability of funds.

Duties: The CFS Public Folklore Postdoc will assist with administrative oversight, conduct fieldwork, and serve as the public folklorist for "Sharing Visions: Intergenerational Work in Appalachian Ohio," a project documenting and promoting cross-county, intergenerational relationship-building, capacity building, and succession planning for grassroots organizations in Scioto and Perry counties in Appalachian Ohio. In consultation with the Director and Assistant Director of CFS, the postdoc will collaborate with community partners in Perry County and Scioto County to design collaborative research projects and collect ethnographic data on intergenerational relationship building and community life; develop public programming for Sharing Visions and the Ohio Field School; apply for grants to support public programming and the continuation of the Ohio Field School beyond 2020. In addition, the postdoc will teach one undergraduate folklore course each autumn semester and teach in the Ohio Field School course in spring semesters of 2020 and 2021.

Qualifications: PhD in folklore or related field by August 2019 with training and experience in public folklore and ethnographic research. They are especially interested in candidates who engage collaborative ethnography and have experience with community-focused engagement.  Preference will be given to scholars whose research focuses on culture and the environment in Appalachia, the lower Midwest, or comparable rural/post-industrial environments. Candidates with experience in archiving, grant writing, and teaching ethnographic methods are especially encouraged to apply.

Benefits: The postdoc will be provided $2,000 in research funds, an office, and $2,000 in moving expenses. The postdoc may take advantage of the Global Arts & Humanities Discovery Themes mentoring program and will be onboarded by Center for Folklore Studies faculty and staff. Dr. Katherine Borland and Dr. Dorothy Noyes will serve as faculty mentors, and Dr. Cassie Patterson will serve as CFS mentor.

Position start date: Autumn 2019

To apply: Please submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, a sample course title and brief (200-250 word) description for an undergraduate introduction to folklore course, and names of three references to this application system.

For more information, follow this quick link to the official job positing, click here. 

Inquiries may be directed to: Galey Modan ( and Cassie Patterson ( Applicants should be prepared to provide a writing sample, two sample syllabi, and the letters of references. This position is made possible by Ohio State’s Global Arts + Humanities Discovery Theme in the area of Livability.


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