The Department of Special Collections and Archives at Berea College’s Hutchins Library has chosen Edward Karshner, Associate Professor of English at Robert Morris University, to receive a 2022 Media Fellowship.
Karshner’s study at Berea in July 2022 will be in pursuit of his interest in researching, teaching, and writing about Appalachian folklore, magic, and mysticism.
He will be making use of the many sound recordings of eastern Kentucky tales and stories collected by folklorist Leonard Ward Roberts during the 1950s and 1960s. He will draw upon the Roberts recordings for materials to use in teaching folklore classes, fiction writing, academic papers, and popular writing about how folklore informs and clarifies popular culture. Intended outcomes of the Fellowship include the sharing of unique, primary examples of folklore from the recordings in Reckon Review.
Karshner grew up in the Salt Creek Valley of Southeast Appalachian Ohio which draws together Ross, Hocking, and Pickaway Counties. After doctoral studies at Bowling Green State University, he began to explore cultural rhetoric as expressed in folklore. His primary interest was how landscape influences folk-ideologies. In the early part of his career, he travelled extensively in China, Slovakia, Austria, and the Czech Republic before spending over a decade studying Navajo Nation folkways, taboos, and ghost stories on the Navajo Nation in Pine Springs, Arizona. Now, as an Associate Professor of English at Robert Morris University in Pittsburg, he has returned to researching, teaching, and writing about Appalachia.
The Berea College Media Archives Fellowship is an outreach program of the Special Collections and Archives (SCA) department of Hutchins Library at Berea College. The program is designed to increase the scholarly use of SCA’s non-commercial audio and video collections.
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