Henry H. Glassie

Henry H. Glassie

College Professor Emeritus, Folklore


  • Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 1969
  • M.A. Cooperstown Program, State University of New York, Oneonta, 1965
  • B.A., Tulane University, 1964

About Henry H. Glassie

Henry H. Glassie (born in 1941 in Washington, D.C) received his B.A. in English and Anthropology from Tulane University in 1964, his M.A. from the Cooperstown Program of the State University of New York in fold culture in 1965, and his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in folklore in 1969. During the course of his doctoral work from 1967-1969, Glassie served as the State Folklorist of Pennsylvania which at the time was the only state folklorist position in the United States. From 1970-1976, he served as professor at Indiana University’s Folklore Institute, followed by a tenure at the University of Pennsylvania from 1976-1988 where he served as professor and chair of the department of Folklore and Folklife. In 1988, he returned to Indiana University’s Folklore Institute where he served as a professor, Co-Director of the Turkish Studies program, in addition to adjunct appointments in central Eurasian Studies, American Studies, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, and India Studies. Glassie officially retired from the university in May of 2008 with the title College Professor Emeritus of Folklore and Ethnomusicology.

Glassie has published widely in the fields of material culture and vernacular architecture. Among his books are Passing the Time in Ballymenone (1982) which won the Chicago Folklore prize and the Haney Prize in the Social Sciences; Irish Folktales (1985); The Spirit of Folk Art (1989); Turkish Traditional Art Today (1993) which was included in the New York Times list of notable books of the year and won the Award for Outstanding Achievement by the Assembly of Turkish American Associations; Art and Life in Bangladesh (1997); Material Culture (1999); Vernacular Architecture (2000) which won the Cummings Award for the best book on North American Architecture; The Stars of Ballymenone (2006); Prince Twins Seven-Seven: His Art, His Life in Nigeria, His Exile in America (2010), and Daniel Johnston: A Portrait of the Artist as a Potter in North Carolina (2019). He also co-authored Sacred Art: Catholic Saints and Candomblè Gods in Modern Brazil (2017), with Dr. Pravina Shukla.

Outside academia, he helped to organize the Smithsonian’s Folklife Festival and the Office of Folklife Programs, and served on the first Folk Arts panel of the National Endowment for the Arts and as a consultant for outdoor museums such as Conner Prairie Pioneer Settlement, Plimoth Plantation and Ulster-American Folk Park. He has also curated exhibitions for the Museums of International Folk Art, the Indiana University Art Museum and the National Museum of Bangladesh. He has served as president of the Vernacular Architecture Forum, the American Folklore Society, and was appointed by President Clinton to the National Council on the Humanities. He has received a Teaching Excellence Award from Indiana University and prestigious lifetime achievement awards from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) and the American Folklore Society (AFS).