Congratulations to Kimberly Marshall on the successful defense of her Ph.D. dissertation today. Up until today, Dr. Marshall was a doctoral student in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology and the Department of Anthropology, both at IU. Her doctoral fields are ethnomusicology and cultural anthropology (she has a folklore M.A. already!) and her research is focused on the expressive and religious lives of Navajo Christians. As noted previously, Kim will soon begin work as an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Oklahoma. Congratulations Kim!
Posts from the ‘Degrees Earned’ Category
Congratulations to Rachel Biars on the very successful completion of her M.A. degree in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University. Rachel has also completed her concurrent work on her M.L.S. degree in the IU School of Library and Information Science. Rachel did a fine job in her folklore M.A. exam a week ago last Friday. Her M.A. project was a public folklore/exhibition project pursued collaboratively with artisans of the Miami Tribe of Indiana. Well done Rachel!
Congratulations go to Dr. Curtis Ashton who very successfully defended his Indiana University Ph.D. dissertation in folklore today. The title of his important and innovative study is: Interpretive Policy Analysis in Beijing’s Ethnographic Museums: Implementing Cultural Policy for the 2008 “People’s Olympics”. I hope that everyone will be reading it as a book very soon. In addition to finalizing his dissertation, Curtis has been teaching a course in museum anthropology at Brigham Young University.
Congratulation to Virginia Luehrsen on the successfully passing her folklore M.A. oral exams today. While a student at Indiana, Virginia pursued the joint M.L.S. degree in our School of Library and Information Science and M.A. in folklore in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology. Her thesis project, which was discussed extensively in today’s exam, is a study of intangible cultural heritage issues in libraries. She builds upon work undertaken in ethnographic museum contexts (by museum anthropologists, indigenous activists and others) carrying the insights and experiences found in this domain into the neighboring–but less well developed–domain of library collections, including library special collections and archives. Virginia is already a doctoral student in the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin. At UT, she is studying with my friend and collaborator Patricia K. Galloway and is the co-organizer of the recent Engaging in the Preservation of Cultural Heritage (EPOCH) conference. Well done Virginia!
Another successful dissertation defense to report and celebrate. Jessica Walker Blanchard (a.k.a. Dr. Blanchard) is a wonderful person and scholar whom I have known and respected for many years. She has just completed her Ph.D. in sociocultural anthropology at the University of Oklahoma (where I was proud to be one of her teachers). I am little behind in reading her dissertation (about a chapter short of finished) but I can say that it is a important contribution to anthropology and Native American studies. Jessica’s focus in her study are the activities of Southern Baptist missionaries (church “planters”) of diverse Native American backgrounds who establish mission congregations in (i.e. “targeting”) particular and specific local Native American communities. Her work was undertaken in congregations in Central Oklahoma, near the communities of Little Axe, Shawnee, and Earlboro. When she is not dissertating, Dr. Blanchard is a researcher at the Center for Applied Social Research at OU. She has been involved in a wide range of complex and important research projects, mainly focusing on the sociocultural aspects of health and wellness in Oklahoma and in general. Congratulations Jessica!
News arrived today of Kate Hennessy‘s successful dissertation defense. Kate is an awesome scholar that everyone should know about. She has just finished her doctorate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. Her dissertation, which I can recommend on the basis of firsthand experience, is titled: Repatriation, Digital Technology, and Culture in a Northern Athapaskan Community. It is excellent. It is an an important contribution at the intersections of visual anthropology, museum anthropology, digital culture studies, media studies, indigenous studies, and applied anthropology. It is a companion to the award winning media project Dene Wajich–Dane-zaa Stories and Songs, which Kate produced with a impressive group of Dane-zaa and non-native collaborators. (Including our mutual friends Pat Moore and Amber Ridington.) More could be said, but for now three cheers for Kate!
Congratulations to Arle Lommel on the successful defense today of his Ph.D. dissertation in folklore. His dissertation is titled Semiotic Organology: A Peircean Examination of the Bagpipe and Hurdy-Gurdy in Hungary. His innovative project unfolds at the intersections of Hungarian ethnography and general ethnomusicology, organology, folklore studies (especially of “folk revivals”), material culture studies, and semiotic theory. It was a pleasure to be member of Arle’s dissertation committee.
A note of congratulations for Janice Frisch on the completion of her M.A. in Folklore. Her M.A. Thesis, recently accepted by the faculty, is titled Scrapbooks in Fabric: Memory, Identity, and the T-shirt Quilt. It is a wonderful study utilizing ethnographic methods in the study of contemporary U.S. material culture. It is particularly valuable in the ways that it situates t-shirt quilts relative to the areas of (1) dress and adornment, (2) quilts and quilt history, and (3) scrapbooking and other practices associated with hand-made memory objects. In her abstract, she writes:
Historically, in the United States, clothing that was worn beyond repair was used in quilts in order to salvage the still usable parts while creating another useful item. Modern quilters, however, generally purchase new cloth to use in their quilts rather than cutting up old clothing. Fairly recently there has been a trend towards constructing quilts out of still wearable clothing items, such as t-shirts. This form of quilting is both a continuation of past practices and an innovation. In today’s society these quilts are a medium for the expression of personal identity and memories. This thesis draws upon existing literature on body art, material culture, memory, and identity as well as original fieldwork to examine the rapidly growing phenomenon of t-shirt quilts and connect them to the larger history of quilting, dress, and collecting in the United States. [Frisch 2010:vi]
Looking ahead to her Ph.D. work, Ms. Frisch will be continuing her studies of quilting this summer at the Smithsonian and several European museums. Congratulations to her on the completion of an important M.A. study.
I am pleased to report that Dr. Liora Sarfati recently and successfully defended her dissertation on the material culture of contemporary Korean Shamanism, thereby earning her Ph.D. in from the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University. I was honored to be a part of her committee and I look forward to seeing her fine and innovative work published and discussed in the years ahead.
Congratulations go to Jethro Gaede*, who has today successfully defended his dissertation and earned the Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of Oklahoma. Jethro’s dissertation is titled “An Ethnohistory of the American Indian Exposition at Anadarko Oklahoma: 1932-2003.” I was honored to serve on Jethro’s committee, both as an OU faculty member and as a visiting member since my move to Indiana. Well done.
*Jethro is an instructor of anthropology at Monroe Community College.