The first time that I taught the introductory folklore graduate course it was in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Oklahoma. Among the many nice and smart people in that class was Chie Sakakibara, then a doctoral student in geography preparing for dissertation research on the intersections of expressive culture and human-environment relations in the context of climate change. Chie has gone on the earn her doctorate and she is now an Assistant Professor of Geography at Appalachian State University. In addition to highlighting her work in general, I want to especially mention her work (with Aaron Fox and others) on a significant “musical heritage repatriation project” reconnecting recordings made by ethnomusicologist Laura Boulton (a big presence on my own campus as well as at Columbia University) with the Iñupiat community of Barrow, Alaska. Learn about this important effort here.
Chie also discussed her work on NPRs Studio 360. See: http://www.studio360.org/episodes/2009/10/09
Congratulations to Chie on her new post at Appalachian State and thank you for your collaborative work with the people of Barrow and our colleagues at Columbia.