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AFS Review: In Memoriam

​Matthew Wade Bradley (1970-2012)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jesse A. Fivecoate

By Lisa Gabbert (Utah State University) and Andy Kolovos (Vermont Folklife Center) — 

Dr. Matthew Wade Bradley died unexpectedly on March 20, 2012 at his Utah home. He was 41. Matt’s generosity, good humor, incisive commentary, passionate teaching, and social advocacy will be sorely missed. Matt received his PhD in folklore from Indiana University. Matt was active in the Folklore Student Association, edited Folklore Forum and Trickster Press, and invented folklore propaganda, including Vladimir Propp and Claude Levi-Strauss t-shirts, and the famous "Folklore Rules” bumper sticker. We especially remember Matt for his commitment to social justice, encouraging marginalized young people to document their own communities and tell their own stories. He battled with Human Subjects to do this work, which informed his dissertation and continued throughout his career. Matt led a distinguished teaching career at the University of Utah, inspiring hundreds of students by living a life of commitment, vision and compassion. In addition to many teaching awards, in 2010 Matt received special recognition from ACLU of Utah "For Fostering Freedom." An enthusiastic cyclist, Matt was diagnosed with cancer in 2010. He lost his right leg, yet qualified for a spot on the U.S. Paralympic Cycling National team ten months later and competed for Team USA at the World Championships in Denmark. He was named Cycling Utah - 2011 Rider of the Year. Following Matt’s passing, his Facebook page teemed with accolades from students, cancer survivors, athletes, artists, scholars, and activists. He will be remembered for his ready smile, his impressive collection of hats and varied constellations of facial hair, and his ability to combine laughter with impassioned stances on important social issues. " So long!! It's been a good ride." See also Obituary, Salt Lake Tribune (March 23-35, 2012).

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