K. Brandon Barker

K. Brandon Barker

Assistant Professor, Folklore and Ethnomusicology

Director of Undergraduate Studies

Editor, Children’s Folklore Review



  • Ph.D., University of Louisiana, 2012
  • M.A., Middle Tennessee University, 2007
  • B.A., Maryville College, 2002

Research interests

  • cognitive folkloristics
  • folk illusions
  • material culture and embodied cognition
  • American country music
  • children’s folklore
  • American foodways
  • folklore and diversity in the southern United States
  • science of animal folklore

Courses recently taught

  • Embodying the Humanities
  • Illusions in Culture
  • Introduction to Folklore
  • Folklore and Science of Childhood
  • American Country Music
  • Folklore of the South
  • American Foodways

Awards & Distinctions

  • David and Cheryl Morley Early Career Award for Outstanding Teaching, 2023
  • Indiana University Bloomington Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, 2023
  • Iona and Peter Opie Prize for Books on Children’s Folklore, for Folk Illusions: Children, Folklore, and Sciences of Perception, 2020
  • Indiana University Trustees Teaching Award, 2019
  • Indiana University Trustees Teaching Award, 2017