I regularly teach courses at both the graduate and undergraduate level. I have taught a wider range of courses historically than I have taught recently. With the conclusion of my Directorship (2013-2019) of the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, I anticipate again teacher a greater diversity of classes. In the most recent period, my staple graduate courses have been Curatorship (F731) and Material Culture (F540). My primary undergraduate course at present is Museums and Material Culture (F440).
In the initial years of my appointment at Indiana University, my undergraduate teaching work was especially focused on the development and improvement of an introductory course in folklife studies [World Arts and Cultures (F121)]. This course introduces students to a sample of the world’s arts and cultures, while examining basic concepts used in folklife studies and exploring general issues in the study of phenomena such as folk medicine, foodways, vernacular architecture, clothing, and festival.
I have also taught an undergraduate course focused on Native North American expressive culture [Native American Folklore, Folklife, and Folk Music (F352)] and worldviews [Indigenous Worldviews (F275)].” The other is a course focused on “The New Social Problems: Expressive and Communal Responses (F253). In this later course, the field of folklore studies provides a vantage point for understanding new issues of social and communal concern and debate, phenomena such as nanotechnology, intellectual property contests, the trade in living human tissue, genetic engineering, etc. The later course grew out of my participation in a Teagle Foundation funded project of the American Folklore Society designed to promote innovation in undergraduate folklore studies curriculum.
Other graduate courses that I sometimes teach include Folklore Theory and Practice (F516) and Contesting Culture as Property (F804).
I presently work with graduate students pursuing studies in a wide range of fields of interest to me. Working with M.A. and Ph.D. students as they develop and implement their own research programs and as they secure professional positions in the field is one of the great pleasures of my own professional life.