Ray Cashman

Ray Cashman

Professor, Folklore and Ethnomusicology

Director, Folklore Institute

Editor, Journal of Folklore Research


  • Ph.D., Indiana University, 2002
  • B.A., Williams College, 1993

Research interests

  • Ireland, UK, North America
  • oral traditions and verbal art
  • the ethnography of communication
  • performance studies
  • historical consciousness
  • commemoration
  • collective memory
  • nostalgia
  • politics of culture, identity, and tradition
  • sense of place and place-making
  • vernacular custom and material culture
  • theory, methodology, and ethics of fieldwork and ethnography

Courses recently taught

  • Irish Folklore
  • Folklore Theory in Practice
  • History of Ideas in Folklore Study: Tradition
  • American Regional Cultures

Awards & Distinctions

  • Michael J. Durkan Prize for Books on Language and Culture, for Packy Jim: Folklore and Worldview on the Irish Border, awarded by the American Conference for Irish Studies, 2017
  • IU Trustees Teaching Award, 2016-2017
  • Indiana University Summer Faculty Fellowship, 2015, 2016
  • Elected to the Executive Board of the American Folklore Society, 2010-2013
  • OSU ASC Grant-in-Aid for International Travel, 2011, 2009
  • The Chicago Folklore Prize, for Storytelling on the Northern Irish Border, awarded by the American Folklore Society and the University of Chicago, 2009
  • Donald Murphy Prize, for Storytelling on the Northern Irish Border, awarded by the American Conference for Irish Studies, 2009
  • Frederick W. Conner Prize in the History of Ideas for “Critical Nostalgia and Material Culture in Northern Ireland,” 2005


Packy Jim
Packy Jim

Folklore and Worldview on the Irish Border

Ray Cashman

The Individual and Tradition
The Individual and Tradition

Folkloristic Perspectives

Ray Cashman, Tom Mould, Pravina Shukla

Publication highlights

  • Packy Jim: Folklore and Worldview on the Irish Border. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press (2016)
  • “Genre and Ideology” in Genre, Text, Interpretation: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Folklore and Beyond, ed. Kaarina Koski.  Helsinki: FF Communications, Academia Scientiarum Fennica (2016)
  • Tradition, Self Expression, and Social Critique: A Voice from the Donegal Border” in Béaloideas: The Journal of the Folklore of Ireland Society 83 (2015)
  • The Individual and Tradition: Folkloristic Perspectives, ed. Ray Cashman, Tom Mould, and Pravina Shukla.  Bloomington: Indiana University Press (2011)
  • “Situational Context and Interaction in a Folklorist’s Ethnographic Approach to Storytelling” in Varieties of Narrative Analysis, ed. James Holstein and Jaber Gubrium. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications (2011)
  • Storytelling on the Northern Irish Border: Characters and Community. Bloomington: Indiana University Press (2008, 2011 paperback 2nd edition)
  • “Visions of Irish Nationalism” in Journal of Folklore Research 45/3 (2008)
  • “Storytelling and the Construction of Local Identities on the Irish Border” in Orality and Modern Irish Culture, ed. Nessa Cronin, Seán Crosson, Louis de Paoir, and John Eastlake. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing (2008)