Diversity & Inclusion


The disciplines of folklore and ethnomusicology are shaped by a deep appreciation of diverse perspectives. The Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology reaffirms its commitment to inclusion of all students, faculty, and staff.

Diversity statement

The Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology emphasizes diversity within human communities in relation to the composition of our scholarly community; as a central intellectual theme in our teaching, research, and creative activity; and in our service work, locally, in the state of Indiana, and nationally. That our faculty and student body are as diverse as any in the College is a testimony to our sustained efforts.

Many of our faculty members participate in national organizations and workshops devoted to recruitment and increasing diversity within the academy, our professional societies of folklore and ethnomusicology, and our department specifically. Beyond the classroom, our faculty members work individually with our students to ensure success in our program and in their future careers. Such efforts are enhanced through such activities as professional development workshops and mentorship within pedagogy, research assistantships, and graduate assistantships in units such as the Archives of African American Music and Culture, the Minority Languages and Cultures Project, and Traditional Arts Indiana. We have a long and strong track record of success in the retention of students from groups that have been underrepresented in American higher education. After graduation, many of these students teach at or hold important administrative positions at universities, while others hold equally important positions in public education programs within the U.S. and beyond. 11% of our current graduate students are members of underrepresented minorities.

In our research and teaching, we seek to understand diverse populations throughout the world, with an emphasis on ethnographic research on artistic practices, worldviews, and daily life. Each semester, we offer classes such as F101 Introduction to Folklore and F111 World Musics and Cultures that introduce undergraduate students to cultures from different parts of the world. And we offer advanced courses on the cultures and expressive traditions in particular world areas and nations. Just as we are dedicated to a serious encounter with diverse world populations, so too are we actively involved in understanding human diversity as a resource and as a challenge within our own society. F131 Folklore in the U.S. is a virtual survey of ethnic diversity in the United States; 300-level courses explore the expressive arts of most minority and under- represented populations in the United States, including courses on women’s folklore, Native American folklore, and children’s folklore. For graduate students, we regularly offer seminars exploring themes in the expressive arts and cultures of minority populations in the U.S.

The diverse backgrounds and perspectives of our faculty and students enrich exchange and communication within our classes and daily lives in the department. And they contribute to our efforts to engage with communities throughout the state through the work of Traditional Arts Indiana and the participation of our students and faculty in public artistic, social, and educational programs locally and within our professional organizations.