Dr. Marilyn M. White is a retired Professor of Anthropology at Kean University in NJ, where she taught from 1985 to 2011. She previously taught at Western Kentucky University for eight years.
For the American Folklore Society, she served on the Executive Board and was an early member and then Chair of the Cultural Diversity Committee. She also served on the following committees: Nominating, Zora Neale Hurston Prize, Gerald L. Davis Travel Stipend, Américo Paredes Prize. She is the long-term President of the Association of African and African American Folklorists. She is on the board of the New Jersey Folklore Society and of City Lore (NYC). She is also a member of the Middle Atlantic Folklife Association and previously served on its board and as Vice President. She has served on folk arts panels for the NEA, as well as for a number of state arts agencies, and as an evaluator for folk arts apprenticeships or programs in New Jersey and Kentucky.
Dr. White received her Ph.D. in Anthropology (Folklore) from The University of Texas at Austin, her MA in Folklore from Indiana University, and her BA in English from Hampton University.
She has several publications and has presented papers and organized panels and forums at numerous annual meetings of the American Folklore Society. She served on the Editorial Board of the Encyclopedia of Women’s Folklore and Folklife (2008). She has given a number of lectures for various community, university, and school groups in the United States and abroad.
Her research interests include African American folklore, family folklore, stratification, jokes and humor, and she has been conducting long-term research in Little Cayman.