Josephine McRobbie and Joseph O’Connell, independent folklorists based in Durham, North Carolina, received an Archie Green Fellowship to document “The Culture of Birth Work in North Carolina.” The researchers will focus on the occupational folklife of midwives and doulas working in a variety of institutional settings, including academic research hospitals, local community practices in underserved communities, and private homes. They will document the experiences of approximately 20 contemporary birth workers and explore the vast body of knowledge that they have inherited, learned, and practiced in the course of their professional duties.
Awards + Accolades
Dr. Virtanen wins distinguished faculty award
Dr. Hilary-Joy Virtanen, an assistant professor of Finnish & Nordic Studies, joined Finlandia's Suomi College of Arts and Sciences in 2014. She teaches 12 courses including Cultural Anthropology, Finnish Language, Gender in Nordic Society and the Kalevala. She also chairs the Institutional Review Board.
"Being part of FinnU's commencement is an annual source of joy to me," said Dr. Virtanen. "Being recognized through the Distinguished Faculty Award for my little bit in what we all do was a nice bonus."
One of the more memorable events each year is the trip Dr. Virtanen leads to Finland. A group of students each summer travel abroad in the Paloheimo Fellows Program.
"As someone who has had 'Dr. V' for a couple classes and gone with her to Finland, I was really happy to see her get the distinguished faculty award," recent alumna of Findlandia University, Monica Freeman said. "She's hardworking and passionate about her field of study and classes. Her passion is so infectious and inspiring, and when I was a student it showed me that if you love what you do everything will work out."
Her professional memberships include the American Folklore Society, the Association of Critical Heritage Studies, and the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study. She is also an Honorary Fellow at the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has been published six times, most recently as a co-editor of "The Making of Finland: The Time of the Grand Duchy" a Special Issue of Journal of Finnish Studies 21(1&2) in 2018.
Dr. Hansen serves as guest editor of the Missouri Folklore Society Journal
Gregory Hansen, Professor of Folklore & English at Arkansas State University, recently served as one of the guest editors of the Missouri Folklore Society Journal. He and Michelle Stefano of the American Folklife Center compiled a special issue on Folklore and Heritage Studies for Volume 37, published retroactively for 2015. This issue was drawn largely from presentations initially made at a 2017 consortium sponsored by the U. S. Chapter of the Association for Critical Heritage Studies that was held at Arkansas State University. Hansen and Stefano worked with Felix Burgos, Rodrigo Chocano, and Jeremy Wells to coordinate the event that they titled Connecting (to) Heritage Studies in the U.S.
Along with presentations from the consortium, Hansen and Stefano developed the new publication by including entries on folklore and heritage by Barry Bergey and Ruth Hawkins, both of whom are native Missourians. The new publication is intended to be a festschrift honoring Barry’s work at the National Endowment for the Arts as well as a tribute to Ruth’s work with Heritage Studies at Arkansas State University. Hansen and Stefano contributed articles that explore ways to connect folklore to the wider heritage movement, and Hansen also included a photo essay to commemorate Hawkins’ contributions to developing heritage sites in eastern Arkansas.