Dr. Michael Ann Williams
Professor, Folk Studies
Department Head, Folk Studies and Anthropology
Fine Arts Center 237
Office Phone: 270-745-5898
Current Office Hours: M, TH 9-11 (or by appointment)
BA Anthropology, Marshall College
MA Folklore and Folklife, University of Pennsylvania
PhD Folklore and Folklife, University of Pennsylvania
I have taught folklore at Western Kentucky University since 1986. In 2004, I became the head of the newly created Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology. My research interests have included social and symbolic use of space in vernacular architecture, government policy and its impact on Appalachian communities, and cultural representation and the staging of tradition. Recently my graduate students and I worked on an oral history project documenting the former logging town of Ravensford, North Carolina, part of a larger cultural resource documentation effort accompanying a transfer of land from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. I served as chair of the Kentucky Historic Preservation Review Board from 1993-2005 and I am an advisor to the Kentucky Oral History Commission. I have also been an active member of the Vernacular Architecture Forum, formerly serving as the newsletter editor and as a vice-president and board member.
Courses I teach:
FLK 464/464G Vernacular Architecture
FLK 470/470G Museum Procedures and Preservation Techniques
FLK 560 Cultural Conservation
FLK 561 Folk Art
FLK 577 Folklore Theory
FLK 585 Topics: Foodways
Staging Tradition: John Lair and Sarah Gertrude Knott. University of Illinois Press, 2006.
Homeplace: The Social Use and Meaning of the Folk Dwelling in Southwestern North Carolina. Paperback edition, University of Virginia Press, 2004.