What Folklorists Do Now Available

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Cover design for the book "What Folklorists Do".

The official publication date for What Folklorists Do: Professional Possibilities in Folklore Studies was October 5, 2021. What Folklorists Do is a collection of 76 brief, informal, personal essays by folklorists from across our field—essays that describe the range of work those folklorists do and the ways their training in folklore studies informs that work. Editor Tim Lloyd’s introductory essay stresses the many contributions that an education in our field can make across our culture and society. 

Advance reviewers had this to say about What Folklorists Do:

Anthony Bak Buccitelli: “From those seeking to understand what a career in folklore studies might look like to veteran professionals of many decades, readers will expand their understanding of how the unified methods, theories, and skills that folklorists have long cultivated give us the means to work on the highest levels in industry, government, publishing, universities, and cultural institutions, among many other settings. This book should be required reading for popular enthusiasts, students, and working professionals alike.”

Kate Parker Horigan: “In engaging, accessible essays, this volume showcases an exciting range of occupational opportunities for folklorists. The contributors—in reflections that are diverse, inspiring, and at times funny—illustrate the versatility of the skills they have gained in this field at the intersection of humanities and social sciences. What Folklorists Do is instructive reading for anyone looking to apply (or employ) the fruits of academic training in folklore and related areas.”

John Roberts: “The significance of [the] book . . . extends beyond the important insights offered in the essays about how individuals have used their degrees in folklore to enhance and expand professional opportunities both inside and outside of academia. While the essays constitute the heart of this volume, its broader significance is captured in Lloyd’s introductory essay in which he discusses the ongoing debates about the value of the humanities in preparing individuals for the world of work in the 21st century.” 

You can get the book in hardcover, paperback, or as an e-book anywhere you buy your books. The Press’s webpage for the book ( includes a table of contents and links to buy the book directly from the Press or from commercial booksellers.

On October 5 the Press sponsored a Zoom launch event for the book, since there will not be in-person publisher displays at this month’s AFS annual meeting in Harrisburg. The event featured presentations by Tim Lloyd and four of the book’s authors:

Danille Christensen of Virginia Tech, whose essay “Doing Public Humanities” appears in the book’s Researching and Teaching sectionDiane Goldstein, emerita of Indiana University, whose essay “Creating Public Policy” appears in Advocating and Partnering  David Puglia of Bronx Community College, whose essay “Teaching at a Community College” appears in Researching and Teaching Pat Turner of UCLA, whose essay “Leading at a University” appears in Leading and Managing

The launch event was recorded and will soon be available on the IU Press’s YouTube channel.

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