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AFS Review: In Memoriam

Kara Nicole Bayless (1982-2010)

Saturday, October 16, 2010   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jesse A. Fivecoate

By Katharine R. Schramm (Indiana University) — 

Kara Bayless, a PhD student at Indiana University, delivered her final AFS presentation on Thursday morning 2010 before we lost her on Saturday afternoon. Born in Ponca City, Oklahoma, Kara loved the Middle West, but also Russia, her scholarly passion. She crossed boundaries in her Masters degrees as well, bridging the fields of education, library science, and folklore to explore how the classification of children’s books of Russian folktales impacts how they are utilized to meet academic standards for language education and to teach folklore in elementary schools. As part of a 2008 summer research team in Siberia, Kara collected folk songs, embroidery patterns, and oral histories. Somewhere between St. Petersburg and Vladivostok on the trans-Siberian railroad, her interest in the material culture of Ukrainian-Siberian villages flowered into dissertation plans. In the classroom, Kara was an inspired and committed teacher, recognized with the department's Henry Glassie Teaching Award. With a ready, infectious laugh and relentless determination, she invested deeply and generously in all her relationships. In the spirit of remembrance and gratitude for her own generosity, enthusiasm, and scholarly dedication, the IU Department of Folklore & Ethnomusicology has set up the Kara Bayless Memorial Fund to provide money for financial awards to support graduate students in the department. Donations to the fund may be sent care of the department.

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