Despite all of this, I am incredibly proud of the ways in which our department has weathered the storm. Faculty, staff, and students alike have come together in unexpected ways, providing support, encouragement, and inspiration. If we are defined by crisis, I’m proud of who we have become. And despite difficult circumstances, we should nevertheless celebrate an unforgettable year in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology.
Just in the last 12 months our faculty have published 6 books, 20 peer reviewed articles, curated 12 public exhibitions, and presented at well over 100 international conferences and symposia. Brandon Barker (Folk Illusions) and Rebecca Dirksen (After the Dance, The Drums are Heavy), and Alisha Jones (Flaming?) published their first monographs this past year. Likewise, our newest colleague, Solimar Otero, published her second monograph (Archives of Conjure). In addition, Barbara Hillers (Charms, Charmers, and Charming in Ireland), and Greg Schrempp (The Truth of Myth) also published books this year.
I am particularly proud to share with you several major awards given to my colleagues. Both Jason Baird Jackson and Ray Cashman were appointed Fellows of the American Folklore Society. This is one of the most prestigious honors in folklore, recognizing career contributions to the field. Likewise, both Diane Goldstein and John McDowell were recognized with lifetime achievement awards: Diane received the Linda Dégh Award for lifetime achievement in legend scholarship from the International Society for Contemporary Legend Research, and John McDowell was awarded the lifetime achievement award from the Children’s Folklore section of the American Folklore Society.
Over the past year the Department conferred 10 B.A. Degrees in Folklore and Ethnomusicology, 8 M.A.s, and 10 Ph.D.s. Two of our recent alumni, Allie Martin and Nate Gibson, have each accepted tenure-track positions at Dartmouth University and the University of Wisconsin.
And finally, it is important to recognize and celebrate the upcoming retirement of Sue Tuohy. Sue has been a fixture of our department for 40 years as both a student and faculty member. Her immense impact on the study of ethnomusicology at Indiana is unquestioned, evidenced by her leadership in the curriculum and the hundreds of former graduate students she has taught, advised, and mentored over the years. Congratulations Sue!
While the future is unclear in the era of COVID-19, I remain optimistic. Witnessing our extraordinary faculty, staff, and students come together in mutual care to one another, never losing sight of our core values, I am convinced that the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology will emerge from this crisis stronger than ever. Thank you for making the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology such a strong community at IU.
Dr. David A. McDonald, Chair
Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology