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Posts from the ‘Practical Information’ Category

The Cost of Applying for that Academic [Anthropology or Folklore] Job on the Final Day

This note encodes a particular observation on the academic job search process that I have witnessed on several occasions as a faculty member involved in, or witnessing, a number of faculty searches in anthropology and folklore studies. There is plenty of good advice out there on the academic job search but I do not recall anyone ever making the following observation.

This note applies to searches that are not of the “wide open” variety. That is, I am speaking about cases where a department wants a particular set of specialties.

Anthropology job searchers play close attention to the job ads in their field. A sometimes puzzling development is when a department runs their ad again with a new, later due date. It may be obvious that this happens when the search committee is not happy with the size or qualities of the applicant pool. What is not so obvious is the effect that last minute applications have on this process. I am talking to you last minute applicants!

As the due date for applications approaches, those managing the search have to make an assessment. Is the pool large enough to pass muster with college or university HR officials? In many institutions, the powers that be will not allow a search to move forward to the screen and interview stage if there are too few applicants.  Too few applicants is a sign that something has not gone right.  In some institutions, the human resources authorities want to see that the pool has attracted an appropriately diverse pool in terms of gender and other demographic variables. For multiple practical reasons, the assessment of the pool typically has to happen before the original due date is reached. If the due date is reached without being extended and the pool turns out to be inadequate, the search might be declared “busted.” Particularly under current economic conditions, faculty searches are very prized occurrences and no one wants to risk seeing the plug being pulled from above.

So, in a hypothetic search for a specialized colleague, it is almost due date time and there are too few applicants. Rather than risk a range of problems, the department extends its deadline. Then, minutes before the original deadline, a wave of applications arrive. Arriving on the last day are just enough solid applications to cause the original pool to be viable after all.  If those late appliers had applied earlier, the original deadline would have stuck and they would have been part of a small but viable pool. For any one of them, their chances would have been better had this happened. Now, in this example instance, they have to wait around a month or more to see what happens. Their chances are harmed because delay=risk. (A Dean can close an in-process search for all kinds of reasons.) They are also harmed because the pool, with additional time, will attract additional candidates. Additional candidates=additional competition.  This scenario happens in the real world and the N number of applicants who turn their stuff in on the last day are the cause.  They mess things up for themselves and they mess things up for the hiring department. Applying at the last minute is, of course, better than not applying at all, but if you are an applicant, it is not in your self-interest.

If you are applying for an anthropology or folklore (or etc.) job with a narrow area or historical focus or in a specialized or emergent research area or for a job with a complicated mandate or in an off-the-beaten-path location, paying attention to this potential dynamic is very much in your interest. It is simply better to be an excellent candidate in a small but viable pool in a search that is unfolding quickly and early in the annual hiring season.

What can the Open Folklore project help me do now? [3] (The Community Arts Network Edition)

This post is the third in a series [1] [2] discussing what the efforts bundled as the Open Folklore project can do for the community now, before the portal site that will live at is finalized.

A part of the Open Folklore effort that has not been discussed here previously concerns the plan to durably archive content-rich websites of relevance to scholars and practitioners in the field of folklore studies. Recently a need arose to put these plans to a quick test. The Community Arts Network (CAN), a not-for-profit service organization that had built up a large and widely used website found itself needing to cease operation of its elaborate site. On August 31, Debora Kodish of the Philadelphia Folklore Project contacted the Open Folklore team at Indiana about the possibility that the project might be able to assist in the preservation of the CAN assets.  Discussions and investigations quickly followed and the IU Libraries decided to pursue archiving the site. This work was complete before the time of the scheduled shut down on Labor Day.  It all worked and now we can see what a website archived in the manner that we anticipate using looks and feels like.  The words of appreciation that have been offered from the community arts and public folklore communities have been most appreciated and are a major source of encouragement for what we are trying to get going with Open Folklore.

To help explicate a bit further, this is a re-posting of an announcement being circulated by the Community Arts Network (CAN). It was crafted with input from the librarians at Indiana who are central to the current early-phase work on the Open Folklore project. Thanks go to everyone who has been involved in these efforts.  (See the CAN Facebook page for additional discussion.)

The Community Arts Network (CAN), Indiana University Bloomington Libraries, and the American Folklore Society are pleased to announce that the CAN Web site has been archived as part of the Open Folklore project ( Open Folklore is intended to be an online portal to open-access digital folklore content and plans to launch a prototype in October at the American Folklore Society meeting in Nashville, Tenn.

After CAN announced it would be forced to immediately shut down its Web site due to lack of funds, the IU Bloomington Libraries offered to capture the CAN Web site using Archive-It, a subscription service from the Internet Archive that allows institutions to build and preserve collections of born-digital content. The Internet Archive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was founded in 1996 to build an “Internet library” with the purpose of offering permanent access for researchers, historians, and scholars to collections that exist in digital format. Because CAN is a content-rich Web site that is of great interest to folklorists, the IU Bloomington Libraries made use of their subscription to Archive-It to preserve the site without charge.

The archived CAN is static, but is fully text searchable, though some external links and some internal scripted functions may no longer work. It is, however, a unique and permanent record of the site as it existed at the time. Users may visit the archived site at The full text of the site may be searched at the Archive-It home site,

Art in the Public Interest, CAN’s non-profit, will continue to seek funding to develop the CAN materials into a sophisticated archive library.

Debora Kodish, founder of the Philadelphia Folklore Project first suggested that Open Folklore might have a role to play in preserving CAN, and this suggestion was enthusiastically and swiftly adopted. IU Bloomington Libraries Dean Brenda Johnson described this sequence of events as an excellent proof of concept for Open Folklore and for the value of collaboration between a research library and the scholarly community it serves. “This is a sterling example of why digital preservation efforts are so important. Without the active collaboration of the folklore community, and without IUB Libraries participation in Archive-It, a unique and valuable online resource would have vanished.”

I invite you to check out the archived CAN site.

What can the Open Folklore project help me do now? [2]

This is a second in a series of postings describing things that can already be done with folklore studies scholarship that has been made available through the efforts of the Indiana University Bloomington Libraries. These various projects are being brought together in the Open Folklore project. While it will soon provide a portal to this diverse range of this content at, a great deal of content has already been made available. The first post described accessing folklore books via the Hathi Trust Digital Library. This post explains accessing several bundles of materials via the IUScholarWorks Repository.

IUScholarWorks Repository is a DSpace-based institutional repository for Indiana University Bloomington.  Folklore studies materials that have been incorporated within it include the following items and groups of items. While I could describe how to access these materials, it will be easiest for new users to just click the links given and explore the repository.

The journal Folklore and Folk Music Archivist (1958-1968) can be accessed here:

[As discussed here previously] a range of reports, monographs and working papers published by The Fund for Folk Culture can be accessed here:

The back files of the journal New Directions in Folklore (1997-2003) can be found here:

Newly added, and of special interest, are several special publications issued by the American Folklore Society, including the book 100 Years of American Folklore Studies: A Conceptual History edited by WIlliam M. Clements and published by the Society during its centennial year, 1988.  These materials can be found here:

The motherlode of folklore scholarship in IUScholarWorks Repository are the back files of the journal Folklore Forum.  Published since 1968, forty years of journal content (1968-2008), constituting 1314 items, is available here:

Folklore Forum is a publication of Trickster Press, the student-run publishing house in Indiana’s Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology.  Trickster continues to publish Folklore Forum as a gold open access journal (see here). In addition to making its back files available in IUScholarWorks Repository, the Trickster Press team, working with the IUB Libraries has also made available content from the Folklore Forum Bibliographic and Special Series (87 items), which can be found here:

Books from the Folklore Forum Monograph Series, can be found here:

In addition to these Folklore Forum-related materials, Trickster Press has also opened four of its out of print book titles.  These are:

Log Buildings in Southern Indiana by Warren Roberts (1996) available here:

Folklore on Two Continents: Essays in Honor of Linda Degh edited by Carl Lindahl and Nikolai Burlakoff (1980) available here:

Fields of Folklore: Essays in Honor of Kenneth S. Goldstein edited by Roger D. Abrahams (1995) available here:

and The Old Traditional Way of Life: Essays in Honor of Warren E. Roberts edited by Robert E. Walls, George H. Schoemaker, Jennifer Livesay, and Laura Dassow Walls (1989) available here:

In classic institutional repository mode, various materials produced in IUB’s Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology are also available in IUScholarWorks Repository. These materials, which include conference proceedings, post prints, MA theses, sound recordings, and syllabi can be found here:

This heterogeneous corpus of folklore scholarship is continuing to grow and it is anticipated that the Open Folklore portal will make consulting it easier in the years ahead.  In the meantime, there is plenty for the early adopters to read, study and enjoy.

Thanks to all who have worked to make these resources openly available.  Thanks as well to the many people who have expressed support for the Open Folklore project.

Worldwide List of OA Journals in Anthropology

Thanks to for compiling a worldwide list of (gold) open access journals in anthropology and neighboring fields. (Many folklore and ethnology titles are included.) In addition to listing known journals with links, a search utility has been set up on the site. Find the OA anthropology journal list here: . This is a great resource for a number of reasons, including the presence here of titles such that have not been included in the Directory of Open Access Journals. The listing should be of special value to higher education librarians and the students and faculty that they support. had already established itself as the best blogroll in anthropology (see here), so this was a logical and wonderful next step.

Opening Three More Established Folklore Studies Journals

More excellent news from the effort to make more of the scholarly literature in (and beyond) folklore studies freely available. This account comes from Simon Bronner (re-posted from his H-FOLK announcement), who led the effort to open up the three important titles discussed here. This effort was done in collaboration with the IUScholarWorks project in the context of broader efforts undertaken with the American Folklore Society. (More about these soon.)

The only point I would add to Simon’s account is that the content will not cease being available in Hathi Trust when it also becomes accessible via Google Books. This is reassuring and useful in a number of ways, including the fact that Hathi Trust is a major digital library managed in the public interest by a large and growing consortium of libraries and universities. Indiana University is a leading partner in it. Thus this content (and so much else from the digitization of the important IU Folklore Collection) is not solely being stewarded–and made useful and accessible online–by a corporation whose time horizons and motivations are understandably different from scholarly ones. That said, Google has been an invaluable partner by providing the digitization (or digital creation) of these resources and it will be very useful to be able to search and use such content in two contexts, each with different sets of digital tools and built for different purposes. Thanks go to Simon and the relevant scholarly organizations/communities for the years of effort that went into these titles and for the work of making them available to the world. Folklore studies is stronger for these efforts.

Penn State Harrisburg, which features a doctoral program in American Studies with a folk cultural area of study, in cooperation with Indiana University ScholarWorks and Google is happy to report the availability online of back issues for three important journals in folklore studies: Folklore Historian, Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Review, and Keystone Folklore. The material is available at no cost in HathiTrust Digital Library at the moment until it migrates to Google Books (where it will still be available gratis). All the material is viewable as full-text with the exception of some issues of Keystone Folklore Quarterly, which are at present have limited search functionality.

The URLs are:

Keystone Folklore:

Keystone Folklore Quarterly:

(Keystone Folklore was the publication of the Pennsylvania Folklore Society and featured important early works in folklife and material culture, public folklore, and ethnic-urban folklore, many produced by students at the folklore and folklife program at the University of Pennsylvania).

Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Review:

Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Newsletter:

(Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Review was the publication of the Jewish Folklore and Ethnology section of the American Folklore Society, before the establishment of the Jewish Cultural Studies series published by Littman. It featured many special-themed issues, including Yiddish folklore, material culture, folk dance, foodways, pilgrimage, Israeli ethnography, folk literature, and Jews in the Heartland).

Folklore Historian:

(Folklore Historian is the still active publication of the History and Folklore Section of the American Folklore Society. Back issues feature essays on the history of folklore studies globally as well as studies incorporating or reflecting on historical methodologies; special issues include “Theorizing Folklore,” “Symposium on the Contributions of Francis James Child to Folklore Studies,” “Martha Beckwith: The First American Chair of Folklore Studies.”


Simon Bronner

Other folklore, ethnology, and ethnomusicology titles that have been made available through the work of the IUScholarWorks project include:  the Folklore Forum backfiles (see new content here), New Directions in Folklore, and the Folklore and Folk Music Archivist. In addition, IUScholarWorks Journals publishes (with its partners) the titles Museum Anthropology Review, Anthropology of East Europe Review, and the Inter-American Journal of Education for Democracy.

European Ethnology Job at Göttingen

A job notice circulated for the good of the anthropology, ethnology and folklore studies community.

The Department of Cultural Anthropology/European Ethnology within the Philosophical Faculty of Georg-August University in Göttingen, Germany, seeks a

W2 – Professor in Cultural Anthropology/European Ethnology
to begin on April 1, 2010.

We are seeking a scholar who knows the subject in its entire breadth and has done exceptional work in research as well as methodology. Expertise in the analysis of local, region and national everyday culture is desirable as well as in the field of cultural exchange and migration in Europe and its regions. In terms of teaching, in depth knowledge and experience are expected in the central methods and theories of the discipline. In addition to the regular teaching duties, the position also requires readiness to carry out empirical projects with students in the masters program.

Applicants should be interested in interdisciplinary work, participate actively also in the Center for Modern Humanities and show openness toward research cooperation in national and international dimensions. An active interest in the work of the Göttingen Max Planck Institute for the study of religious and ethnic diversity is also desirable.

The precondition for application is the ”habilitation“ or equivalent achievements (such as tenure and/or a second monograph) as well as adequate teaching experience. Also desirable is experience with research planning and grant writing.

Getting appointed to a professorship is based on the conditions set out in §25 of the Law for Higher Education of the State of Lower Saxony (NHG). Particulars will be explained upon inquiry.

Further information is available at

We explicitly welcome applications from abroad. Women are underrepresented in academic teaching at the University of Göttingen. Applications from women holding the requisite qualifications are thus especially welcome and will be treated favorably within the framework of legal possibilities. Severely handicapped applicants of equal aptitude will be privileged.

Part-time employment can be made possible, depending on the circumstances.

Please send applications including a curriculum vitae, a publications list as well as an accounting of scholarly development including a detailed description of teaching experiences and research plans within 6 weeks of the appearance of this advertisement to:

Dekanin der Philosophischen Fakultät der Georg-August-Universität Göttingen Humboldtallee 17, D-37073 Göttingen, Germany.

Kindle for Academics

Alex Golub in Inside Higher Education on the Kindle for Academics.

Social Science Open Access Repository

Repeating news that various others have noted, it seems useful to call attention to the Social Science Open Access Repository. For many folklorists and anthropologists without access to an institutional repository into which to deposit pre-prints and or other materials for which suitable author rights have been retained, this looks like a very promising new option.

Scholarly Society-Library Partnerships Webcast Now Online

The video archive version of the recent Association for Research Libraries (ARL) webcast on “Reaching Out to Leaders of Scholarly Societies at Research Institutions” to which I contributed is now available online.  It can be gotten to for free, all that is required is signing in for ARL headcounting purposes.  Watching it in this way provides the same content experienced when the program was being done live.  The event lasted one hour.  Jennifer Laherty and I were the first of two pairs of speakers.  We present after about five minutes of introduction from the ARL staff organizers who spoke on the general goals of the initiative of which the program was a part.  Q&A follows the second presentation on data projects in astronomy (by Sayeed Choudhury and Robert Hanisch). Find the webcast via a link available here:

New M.A. Program at Texas A&M

Copied from a H-Folk posting by Harris Berger:

The Department of Performance Studies at Texas A&M University announces a new Master of Arts degree in Performance Studies. This interdisciplinary program emphasizes the ethnographic study of vernacular culture. The Department of Performance Studies has strengths in Africana studies, dance and ritual studies, ethnomusicology, folklore, performance ethnography, popular music studies, religious studies, theatre and media studies, and women’s studies. Application deadline for Fall, 2010 is January 15, 2010. Assistantships are available.

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