CFS Newsletter, Spring 2020. January 29, 2020
New Visiting Scholar: Kikee Bhutia (University of Tartu)
Born in Sikkim, a former Buddhist Himalayan Kingdom, now part of Indian Union, Kikee D. Bhutia is a final year PhD Student at the Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore, University of Tartu, Estonia. She holds a Master’s Degree in English Language and Literature from the North-Eastern Hill University in Shillong, Meghalaya (India). Before starting her PhD studies, Kikee worked over two years as a Research Assistant in Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Gangtok (India). At the Institute, she was involved in various projects which included collection of more than 200 proverbs and later transcription, translation and interpretation of them. She also assisted in the production of an ethnographic documentaries.

Her research focuses on belief narratives regarding yul lha gzhi bdag (Local protective deities) in Sikkim (India), and particularly seeks to draw out the relational principles that connect these deities with villagers in their everyday life. Her PhD research, more broadly, concentrates on Folk belief, belief narratives and is an exercise in the vernacular theorizing of Buddhist (folk/vernacular) lifeworld in Sikkim. Her research is an exploration of the beliefs, values, stories and rituals she grew up with, and so she sees her research as both an academic endeavor and a quest for discovering and understanding ‘the self.' Her first article, which won the 2018 Student Prize for best paper in belief narratives in ISFNR, is titled: “'I Exist Therefore You Exist, We Exist Therefore They Exist': Narratives of Mutuality between Deities (yul lha gzhi bdag) and lhopo (Bhutia)villagers in Sikkim.”

Beside academics, she is also actively engaged in a movie project, where she plays the lead role of the movie titled Dhokbu-The Keeper. The plot revolves around an ethnographic researcher who gets lost in the wild and is therefore protected by a nature spirit called "Dhokbu." Presently, she is also a part of the sequel, D2-The quest for Mayal, where she resumes her role from the previous franchise.
CFS panels displayed in the Global Gallery

The Humanities Institute and associated centers opened their exhibit at the Hagerty Hall Global Gallery last week. The Center for Folklore Studies has eight panels in the exhibit that showcase the Ohio Field School and the recent Placemaking in Scioto County, Ohio traveling exhibit. The Humanities Institute exhibit will be on view through March 30th. You can see the images above amongst the panels, which show field school students completing a walking audit in Portsmouth (left) and participants in the Portsmouth-based urban homesteading program, Watch Me Grow (right).
Hemmig's Appointment at Texas A&M

Alumnus Christopher Hemmig (PhD, 2015) began a position as an Instructional Assistant Professor of Arabic at Texas A&M in College Station, Texas, in Fall 2019, working in the department of International Studies. His primary duties are teaching upper-level Arabic language courses along with courses focusing on Arab culture. The Arabic program at A&M is working to implement a proficiency-based approach for language that provides students an opportunity to attain institutionally validated attestation of their language skills after four years of study. Another aspect to Hemmig's role is the development of language courses that incorporate a Project-Based Learning approach to promote applied/experiential language learning through interpersonal collaboration.
Stork hired as OSU Program Coordinator

Jasmine Stork 
(PhD Candidate, Comparative Studies) was hired earlier this month as the new Program Coordinator for the Undergraduate Fellowship Office in Honors & Scholars at OSU. She has been committed to an alt-ac/academic-adjacent career path and is exited to be serving the OSU community by helping students apply for competitive external fellowships!
Schoon receives UITL Endorsement

Danielle Schoon
(Senior Lecturer, Near Eastern Languages & Cultures) recently received the OSU Institute for Teaching and Learning (UITL) Endorsement: Course Design Institute Pathway. UITL Endorsements are special credentials awarded to individuals across Ohio State to acknowledge their dedicated and substantial effort in continued professional learning in instructional development. Endorsements represent in-depth, sustained, and recognized approaches to pedagogical improvement and excellence. Danielle has also been accepted into the SP2020-SU2020 UITL SoTL and DBER Learning Community, in which she will work with colleagues on the use of virtual reality in OSU culture and language courses as a means to achieving intercultural competence. 
Professors awarded GA+HDT Grant for Workshop

Mark Bender
 (Professor, East Asian Languages and Literatures) and John Low (Associate Professor, Comparative Studies), with Daniel Rivers (Associate Professory, History) and Yvette Shen (Assistant Professor, Design) received a Global Arts and Humanities Discovery Themes Open Grant to host a workshop in Fall 2020 entitled “Khasi Interfaces: Objects, Orality, Poetry, Place, and Things,” featuring folklorist and poet Dr. Desmond Kharmawphlang, from North East Hill University, Shillong, North East India. There will be updates forthcoming.
Rock Critic to visit OSU in March

Two-time Grammy nominee and leading rock critic Holly George-Warren will be visiting Columbus on March 19th & 20th, as arranged through the School of Music. She is known for both her music and publications, including the recent biography of Janis Joplin. Interested students and faculty should reach out to Graeme Boone ( to inquire about classes visits, gatherings, and other opportunities to meet with George-Warren.
Mark Bender (Professor, East Asian Languages and Literatures) published a peer-reviewed article entitled "Co-creations, Master Texts, Monuments: Long Narrative Poems of Ethnic Minority Groups in China" in Chinoperl Papers. This article concerns publications of long narratives, both oral and written, associated with ethnic minority groups across China. Bender discusses these publications in terms of “co-creation” and translation, “processing,” format, native-Chinese translation teams, and the concept of these epics as “monuments” to traditional cultures that have altered swiftly under the forces of modernization and globalization. Bender's article is available to read online here.
PhD student Kati Fitzgerald (Comparative Studies) recently published a translation of an essay by Lhashamgyal called “Tibetans of Beijing” in Asymptote. Lhashamgyal is one of the most prolific contemporary Tibetan authors, and this work (originally published in 2015) is a complicated comparison of the 13th century religio-political figure Phakpa Lodro Gyaltsen and Lhashamgyal as a modern Tibetan intellectual living in Beijing. Fitzgerald's essay, as well as a link to the original essay, can be found on the journal's website here.
Postdoc Moriah Flagler (Theatre) published an article through the OSU Fisher College of Business titled "Leading Through Activating Dialogue." In the article, Flagler explains how folks with dominant identities and voices often fill the space in groups and conversations, and she proposes methods that leaders can utilize to invite participants to listen and share across difference. You can find Flagler's article on the Fisher website here.
Dean Ritter to visit the CFS Monthly Lunch (1/31)

The Center for Folklore Studies is pleased to host Vice Provost and Executive Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Gretchen Ritter during her visit on Friday, January 31st. Dean Ritter joins Ohio State after her time at Cornell University, where she was a professor in the Department of Government and served as the Harold Tanner Dean of Arts and Sciences from 2013-2018. She is also a leading expert in the history of women's constitutional rights and contemporary issues concerning democracy and citizenship in American politics. Dean Ritter will be visiting the Archives during the Friday Monthly Lunch (12:30-2:30pm, see event below). So stop by, enjoy a meal, and get to know the new dean!
CFS Seeking Feedback on Archival Submission Process
For faculty and graduate students who teach or have taught Intro to Folklore (English 2270/CompStd 2350)

Cassie Patterson & Martha Sims are working to revise and update the process for accessioning projects into the Student Ethnographic Papers (SEP) Collection at the Folklore Archives and to develop a more efficient and user-friendly system for project intake. Electronic submission of projects is part of that stream-lined process. They are requesting suggestions and/or concerns about the process of donating content to the Folklore Archives from those of you who have used the current and past systems, working with/enabling your students to submit projects. If you have suggestions for information that is missing from the forms or should be updated--for example, they plan on expanding/extending the number of slots for interviewee information, changing terms (like “informant” to “interviewee”), and including additional keyword suggestions (such as “county”)--they want to hear about those. You can review these documents at the Forms and Registers page
In addition, if you have more general ideas for the process, for example, strategies you have used to help students navigate the submission process, those would be welcome as well. (Revising the “Instructions for Electronic Submission” is part of their larger project.) Feedback related to specific parts of the process as well as to either of their primary goals would be appreciated. You can contact Martha Sims via email ( with questions or ideas.
Call for Submissions
Robert L. and Phyllis J. Iles Award for Graduate Study of Myth
Deadline: Friday, February 14, 2020 by 5pm (EST)

The Center for the Study of Religion (CSR) at OSU is very pleased to announce its annual competition to award up to $4000 to an Ohio State graduate student in the Arts and Humanities who is working on myth, broadly conceived. The Iles award, which is administrated by the CSR, has been established to make an annual award of up to $2000 each spring to a graduate student in the Division of the Arts and Humanities in support of that student’s research on myth. The award shall be supplemented by $1000 from the Division of the Arts and Humanities and supplemented by up to $1000 from the student’s home department, for a possible total up to $4000.
Studies of myth from any culture in any period of human history are eligible for consideration.  For the purposes of this award, a “myth” is “a story that is sacred to and shared by a group of people who find important meaning in it, as conveyed through narrative, art or ritual.”  Eligible projects include, but are not limited to:  the relationship between myths and religious practices, the uses of myth in literary and artistic productions, and the reuse of one culture’s myths by other cultures.  Possible approaches include, but are not limited to, the anthropological, the literary, the historical, and the folkloristic, as well as creative approaches that aim to re-present a myth as part of a new artistic product.
Candidates will be selected based on merit, although some preference will be given to proposals that cite specific need for funding for travel of other expenses related to research or to the performance or production of other artistic projects. Preference will be given to candidates whose projects are part of a doctoral dissertation (with exceptions granted for students in departments that offer only a master’s degree). 

For more information about this award and to submit applications, please visit the CSR award page.
Call For Submissions
CFS Patrick B. Mullen and Daniel R. Barnes Prizes
Deadline: April 1, 2020

The Patrick B. Mullen Graduate Prize
This is a $200 cash award for the best OSU folklore graduate student paper written during the academic year by a graduate student who is actively engaged in the folklore community at OSU, participates in activities of the OSU Center for Folklore Studies and the Folklore Student Association, and takes courses taught by folklore faculty. Papers should be submitted to Cassie Patterson at, by 11:59 pm on April 1, 2020, with the subject line: "Mullen Prize Submission 2020." Read guidelines and more information here.

The Daniel R. Barnes Undergraduate Prize
This is an annual $200 cash award for the year's best folklore paper by an OSU undergraduate. It honors beloved emeritus professor Daniel R. Barnes, who taught folklore and literature courses in Ohio State's Department of English from 1967 until 1995. Papers should be submitted to Cassie Patterson at, by 11:59 pm on April 1, 2020, with the subject line: "Barnes Prize Submission 2020." Read guidelines and more information here.
NEH Summer Programs
Deadlines vary (many due in March 2020)

There are a number of summer seminars and institutes funded through the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Programs. These projects are designed primarily for full-time or part-time faculty who teach undergraduate students. Advanced graduate students, and those employed by museums, libraries, historical societies, and other organizations are also eligible to participate. You can browse the full list of Programs and their deadlines on the NEH website.

Of special interest to folklorists might be "Engaging Geography in the Humanities," "Voices of the Ancients: Archaeology and Oral Tradition in the American Southwest," and "The Visual Culture of the American Civil War and its Aftermath."
National Humanities Center Summer Opportunities
July 6-17 (Durham, NC) | June 14-19 (San Diego, CA)

Passionate Teaching in a Research Environment (Durham, NC)
The annual Graduate Student Summer Residency will be hosted on July 6-17, 2020 at the Center in Durham, NC. This two-week program models and shares strong inquiry-based teaching strategies. University faculty from a variety of institutions lead meaningful conversations around undergraduate teaching pedagogy and approaches as well as frank discussions about the positive impact of passionate teaching in their careers. For more information on how to apply, visit the event page on the NHC website here.

Podcasting the Humanities: Creating Digital Stories for the Public (San Diego, CA) 
The five-day NHC Graduate Student Regional Institute will focus on how to create research-based digital narratives in the form of podcasts. Tuition includes all program costs, meals, lodging, and a $500 stipend to the student. The NHC is pleased to welcome Barry Lam, professor of philosophy at Vassar College and mind behind the popular and award-winning podcast series Hi-Phi Nation to frame the week as our keynote. For more information on how to apply, visit the event page on the NHC website here.
Alt-Academic Job Workshop for Humanities Graduate Students
February 1 & 2, 2020 | 8:00am to 4:00pm
311 Denney Hall

Thinking about going “alt ac,” as they say? Take this weekend to build your confidence as a job candidate, explore your career options, and learn strategies that maximize your odds of a successful job search. This workshop will discuss such skills as: building your confidence as a job candidate, translating your academic skills for non-academic job markets, where to look for jobs, how to read job ads—and know if you’re qualified, cover letters and resumes, how to negotiate salary and benefits, and more. Breakfast will be provided both days.

Sponsored by OSU Department of English and The Center for the Humanities in Practice. Grad students from all OSU humanities departments are welcome. For more information and to register for the workshop, please visit the event website.
Bringing the Border to Columbus: A Symposium
April 10-11, 2020 | The Ohio State University

This symposium will bring art and scholarship about and from the border to the OSU and greater Columbus community by engaging with academics, activists, artists, and immigrants  to interrogate the politics of American south-to-north migrations in the borderlands between the United States and Mexico, and the resulting death and disappearances in these borderlands. The symposium will ‘bring the border’ to Columbus and demonstrate how the border reaches into our communities far beyond its geographic limits. The symposium includes the exhibition Hostile Terrain 94 and a keynote address by Dr. Robin Reineke (University of Arizona) along with panel discussions and community-engaged activities with local scholars, artists, and activists. The symposium is funded by the Global Arts & Humanities Discovery Theme and is open and free to the public. 
CFS Monthly Lunch
Friday, January 31, 2020 | 12:30 to 2:30pm
Folklore Archives (218 Ohio Stadium)

We're welcoming back folks with food and fun at the Archives! Faculty will be providing the lunch items, so stop by and catch up with friends and colleagues as we begin the new year and new semester. All interested students, staff, faculty, and friends are welcome!
CFC Potluck: Publication Celebration
Friday, January 31, 2020 | 6:30pm
Home of Amy Shuman (email for address)

Folklorists and friends: Join the Columbus Folklorists' Circle this Friday at Amy Shuman's house as we celebrate the publication of The Folklorist in the Marketplace: Conversations at the Crossroads of Vernacular Culture and Economics. The book is co-edited by our own Puja Batra-Wells (Global Arts + Humanities) and features contributions from Cassie Patterson and Amy Shuman, as well as folklore alums Graham Zhao and Chris Johnson. If you have a copy of the book and would like to have it signed, please bring it along! This event will be a potluck dinner, so feel free to bring food/drinks to share. Note: paid parking is available through ParkColumbus app.
Wajd: Songs of Separation (Film Screening)
Monday, February 10, 2020 | 12:00 to 2:00pm
100 Ramseyer Hall

Inspired by the traditional sacred music of Syria, filmmaker Amar Chebib travelled to Damascus and Aleppo in 2010. Six months later the revolution began, escalating into a bloody civil war and the largest humanitarian crisis of our time. Touched by the harrowing experiences of the friends he made, Wajd transformed into the stories of three musicians turned refugees. Over five years, we witness the struggles of Ibrahim, Abdulwahed, and Mohamed as they face their traumatic past. Forced to rebuild their lives in exile, they turn to their love of music to help them find meaning in the aftermath of destruction and atrocity. Intimate footage of their daily lives weaves together with bittersweet musical performances, extremely rare Sufi ceremonies, and poetic imagery of a pre-war Syria that no longer exists. What unfolds is a cinematic meditation on loss, yearning, and faith. For more information, please visit the event page on the Near Eastern Languages & Cultures website. 

This event is co-sponsored by the Ethnomusicology program in the School of Music, the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, the Middle East Area and Islamic Studies Librarian, and the Global Arts + Humanities Discovery ThemeA facilitated audience discussion of the film will follow the screening. Food and refreshments will be provided.
Two Upcoming Workshops with Tim Lloyd
Wednesday, February 12, 2020 | Wednesday, March 4, 2020
2:00 to 4:00pm | Humanities Institute (198A Hagerty Hall)

Register now for two upcoming workshops with Senior Advisor for Partnerships for the American Folklore Society (AFS) & Former AFS Executive Director (2000 to 2018), Tim Lloyd. The first, "The Institutional History and Ecology of Folklore Studies in the U.S.," will take place February 12 (2-4pm), and the second, "Finding Funding for Your Work in Folklore," will be held March 4 (2-4pm). In order to practice in the field of folklore studies fully and effectively, and to ensure through that practice the community and vibrancy of the field as a whole, folklorists need to become familiar with the field’s past and present institutional and professional landscape, including those organizations that provide financial support for folklore research and public education. These workshops will lead to that familiarity by providing you with:
  • an overview of the institutional history of the field of folklore studies
  • an ethnographic introduction to the current institutional landscape of the field in academic, government, and non-profit settings
  • practical information about the primary organizations that fund folklore work, and about successful strategies for finding support for your work in the field
To register for these events or to learn about how to count this workshop towards course credit, please visit the event websites here (February workshop) and here (March workshop).
13th Annual OSU/IU Folklore & Ethnomusicology Conference
Friday, February 21 & 22, 2020 | Events throughout the day
Research Commons, 18th Ave Library (Friday) & Denney Hall (Saturday)

The Folklore Student Association (FSA) at the Ohio State University, in collaboration with the Department of Folklore & Ethnomusicology at Indiana University, will be hosting the 13th Annual IU/OSU Conference with the title of 20/20 (Re)Vision: Looking Back, Thinking Forward. The conference invites participants to foreground alternative, decolonial, and under-acknowledged perspectives that engage critically with disciplinary origins across folklore and ethnomusicology graduate student scholarship. Events begin Friday afternoon (Feb 21) and go until the end of the day Saturday (Feb 22). Information on our Friday Keynote speaker can be found below. Programs will be forthcoming, but in the meantime please visit our event website for more information.
OSU/IU Conference Keynote: Dr. Rachel V. González-Martin (UT-Austin)
Friday, February 21, 2020 | 5:15 to 6:15pm
Research Commons, 18th Ave Library

The Folklore Student Association is pleased to announce this year's keynote speaker: Dr. Rachel González-Martin, folklorist and Assistant Professor of Latina/o Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. González-Martin earned her PhD in Folklore at Indiana University and a BA in Anthropology from UC Berkeley. She is the author of Quinceañera Style: Social Belonging and Latinx Consumer Identities (2019). She is the co-editor of Race and Cultural Practice in Popular Culture (2018). She is currently conducting ethnographic fieldwork in minority women owned nail salons across the US for her second monograph focusing on  women of color feminist praxis and social entrepreneurship. She is also currently collaborating on a new multi-authored project tentatively titled, The Academic Uncanny: Spectres of Belief and Epistemologies of Refusal.

Co-sponsored by the Folklore Student Association, the Comparative Studies Graduate Student Group, the Graduate Student Interest Group for the Study of Expressive Culture (EMIC), the Center for Folklore Studies, and the Folklore & Ethnomusicology Graduate Student Associations (Indiana University). This event is free and open to the public.
Student Coffee Hour with Dr. Kyrre Kverndokk (U of Bergen)
Thursday, February 27, 2020 | 2:30 to 3:30pm
Heirloom Café (1871 N High St)

The Center for Folklore Studies is pleased to sponsor a Student Coffee Hour with visiting folklorist Dr. Kyrre Kverndokk (Cultural Studies, University of Bergen) on Thursday, February 27th. On Friday, Kverndokk will be presenting at the Exemplarity Conference sponsored by the Mershon Center (see event below). Kverndokk specializes in environmental humanities, belief studies, archives, memory, disaster narratives, and Scandinavian studies. Please contact Mariah Marsden ( to RSVP for the Thursday Coffee Hour.
Conference: “Exemplarity: Performance, Influence, and Friction in Political Innovation”
Friday, February 28 to Saturday, February 29, 2020
Mershon Center (1501 Neil Ave), Room 120

Tracing political exemplarity through a range of cases, this conference (organized by Dorothy Noyes, Ohio State, and Tobias Wille, Columbia University and Goethe University Frankfurt) seeks to make sense of the interplay among rhetorics and ideologies of performance, empirical processes of influence, and the frictions of interaction among differentially positioned actors in changing contexts. The friction that inevitably results from contact between various disciplinary perspectives will generate exemplary insight into a phenomenon more often taken for granted than critically examined. 

Friday afternoon (12pm) will feature a panel on Exemplary Rhetorics of special interest to folklorists: Dr. Kyrre Kverndokk, folklorist and professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Bergen, will be presenting on "Greta Thunberg, 'the child' and the polyphonic Vorbild." To register for the event and to find a full list of panels and events, please visit the event page on Mershon Center website here.
CFS Monthly Lunch
Friday, February 28, 2020 | 12:30 to 2:30pm
Folklore Archives (218 Ohio Stadium)

Whether you want to find out more about folklore at OSU or just want to relax with a group of fun-loving folklorists, please join us for food and conversation periodically through the year in the Center for Folklore Studies. All interested students, staff, faculty, and friends are welcome!
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