Good Leaders and Followers

This is a follow-up to my last post about the Future of Folkloristics conference. The conference participants talked about the skills of leadership and "followership." Many people don't think that they are, or can become leaders. They feel more comfortable as a follower. I don't have a problem with that, except the rules for good leaders …

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The Declining English Degree

I was interviewed for an article for Inside Higher Ed a week ago. It appeared today in Slate: Major Exodus By Colleen Flaherty Humanities advocates sometimes dispute data about declining numbers of majors in their disciplines: They don’t always reflect double majors, or overall enrollment in courses, or the diversity of majors now available to students …

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Student Tuition now supports Higher Education more than State Governments

From the Washington Post: It used to be that attending a public university all but guaranteed graduating with little to no debt. State governments funneled enough money into higher education that families could send their kids to a local school without worrying about taking out a second mortgage or private loans to pay their way. Not so anymore. …

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About the Field School: How Folklife Archives Work

The Folklore Studies Program at George Mason University is one of the few programs in the U.S. the offers comprehensive instruction in ethnographic methods and data collection.  Thirty-seven years ago, my colleague, Professor Emerita Margaret Yocom founded the Northern Virginia Folklife Archive. Students have been submitting original work to the archive since. In 2011, working …

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Why I am working so much?

"Respect the sanctity of the snow day," said one of my wise colleagues earlier this year.  As a department chair, I make every effort to remember her advice, but usually not for myself.Today our university is closed in response to the Titan winter storm, but I'm still working, grading papers, reviewing dissertation drafts, and the …

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