Berea College Seeks Folklorist

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Berea College invites applications for a two-year, full-time Folklorist position to engage students, college, and Appalachian communities in Folklife projects. This staff member will teach two classes a year and train and involve students in community-engaged projects to the benefit of communities in the Appalachian region and locally. The Folklorist will be based in Berea College’s Special Collections and Archives and actively engage with varied areas of campus including the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center and the Carter G. Woodson Center for Interracial Education, among others, and our community partners. We seek demonstrable experience and/or research in expressive and living traditions, oral and public history, expressive arts, and/or cultural studies that center folklife in the contemporary moment. Candidates with engagement with the diversity of racial, ethnic, and gendered experience in the Appalachian region preferred. This position will serve as a connector between campus, students, and broader Appalachian community.

MA, MFA, or PhD in Folklore/Folklife and related fields. Two or more years experience with community-engaged research and a record in Folklife/Folklore and or Public Folklore.

Candidates should submit a letter of application that directly addresses Berea College and this position, a curriculum vitae, graduate transcripts (unofficial accepted), and contact information for two recommenders. Review of candidates will begin March 20th and will continue until the position is filled.

Founded in 1855, Berea College achieved national distinction as the first coeducational and interracial college in the South. Berea has a longstanding commitment to interracial education and is one of the most racially diverse private liberal arts colleges in the United States. With an emphasis on service to Appalachia and beyond, Berea enrolls 1,600 students from 43 states and U.S. territories and more than 70 countries. Berea College admits students who are unable to afford tuition and provides all of them a no-tuition promise, valued at more than $178,000. Berea’s students excel in the College’s supportive yet demanding academic environment, and many are the first in their families to attend college. As one of only nine federally recognized Work Colleges, all Berea students are expected to work 10-12 hours weekly in various positions across campus. Berea College was again named one of the nation’s “Best Institutions for Undergraduates to Earn their College Degree” in the 2022 edition of The Princeton Review’s book, The Best 387 Colleges. Berea also appeared on four other lists within the publication: Best Colleges in the Southeast; Best Value Colleges; Best Green Colleges; and Tuition Free Schools. Berea College is ranked #148 by The Princeton Review – the highest-ranked Kentucky college, and the #3 “Best Value College” in the nation. Berea is one of only two private institutions ranked in the Top 10 for Value in the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education (THE) 2022 College Rankings. The Washington Monthly ranks Berea College #13 among the nation’s liberal arts colleges, recognizing Berea for maintaining “consistently high rankings thanks to their economic diversity, relatively strong graduation rates, and commitment to meeting students’ financial need.” U.S. News and World Report Rankings lists Berea as #30 among National Liberal Arts Colleges, including ranking Berea #1 in Service Learning, #2 for Most Innovative Schools, #3 in Co-ops/Internships, #4 in First-year Experiences, and tied for #13 in Best Undergraduate Teaching.

Located where the Bluegrass Region meets the Cumberland Mountains, the town of Berea (pop. 16,000) lies forty miles south of Lexington and is approximately two hours from Cincinnati, Louisville, and Knoxville. More information about Berea College is available at

Berea College, in light of its mission in the tradition of impartial love and social equality, welcomes all people of the earth to learn and work here.

Berea College is always looking for talented, self-motivated individuals to join our team. If you think you are ready to be a part of an exciting team, then we encourage you to continue with this applicant friendly, online job application!

Berea College is an Equal Opportunity Employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, disability, or veteran status.

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