First and foremost, it gives me great pleasure to announce that Dr. Solimar Otero will be joining our faculty as Full Professor this Fall. Dr. Otero is well known for her research in gender, sexuality, spirituality, and Yoruban religious practices throughout the Afro-Caribbean. We couldn’t be more thrilled for Solimar and her husband Eric to be joining the faculty at IU. Not only is Solimar a perfect fit with our departmental values and mission, but her groundbreaking work in Latinx and Afro-Caribbean studies will transform the study of Folklore at IU for years to come.
In addition, I’d like to highlight a couple truly exceptional achievements from this past year. Among these we celebrated the publication of 3 monographs authored by our faculty; the conferral of 9 Ph.D.s and 5 M.A.s! Several of our recent grads accepted permanent positions in the field. And Dr. Jon Kay has been appointed one of 25 Bicentennial Professors for the coming year.
I would also like to take a moment to recognize our ongoing departmental efforts to create new funding opportunities for our many stellar graduate students. This year the department was able to create a substantial Summer Research Fellowship to support graduate students’ dissertation research. We hope to sustain and expand this funding program in the coming years. Likewise, the department has more than doubled the amount of hourly funding available and created a new permanent graduate assistantship in partnership with the Society for Ethnomusicology. These efforts are meant to provide meaningful research, teaching, and service opportunities for our graduate students, better preparing them for the career marketplace. As the flagship department for the study of Folklore and Ethnomusicology, our mission is to apply disciplinary knowledge for the public good. We do this to advance the educational mission of Indiana University, and to sustain our long legacy of cutting-edge Folklore and Ethnomusicological scholarship.
Dr. David A. McDonald
Chair, Folklore and Ethnomusicology