Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology
Thank you for your interest in Folk Studies and Anthropology! Our department offers
an undergraduate major in Anthropology, undergraduate minors in Folklore and in Anthropology,
a Master of Arts in Folk Studies, a Folk Studies JUMP (Joint Undergraduate-Master's Program), and a number of General Education and Colonnade
courses. We also are the home of two award-winning public outreach programs, the Kentucky Folklife Program and the Kentucky Archaeological Survey.
Issued June 2020
In accordance with Western Kentucky University’s dedication to social justice, as outlined recently in We Are One WKU, the Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. We condemn the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others. We condemn police brutality, racially motivated violence, and the slow violence of systemic racism that have oppressed African Americans and other people of color for centuries. And we condemn the ongoing violent acts of law enforcement and vigilantes towards peaceful protesters seeking justice and reform. We value human life, dignity, and justice. As anthropologists and folklorists, it is our ethical responsibility to both recognize how our disciplines have been complicit in systemic racism and white supremacy, and to actively work to dismantle it.
For those interested in supporting in the current moment and the ongoing struggle for social justice, we offer a list of organizations that are leading the movement and taking immediate action to aid protesters who have been arrested:
Black Lives Matter / blacklivesmatter.com
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People / www.naacp.org
American Civil Liberties Union / www.aclu.org
Southern Poverty Law Center / www.splcenter.org
List of Community Bail Funds / bailfunds.github.io
We also encourage supporters to educate themselves about local, state, and national issues related to social justice; to contact your government representatives and demand action for social justice; and to register to vote by contacting your secretary of state or using voter registration organizations listed at www.headcount.org/organizations.
Finally, as educators, we welcome questions about or requests for recommendations of anti-racist teaching and learning resources, and we will continue to work to foreground such resources in our own work and to share them with the communities we are privileged to serve.
What do I do with a degree in Folklore or Anthropology?
According to a survey of recent graduates:
- 88% of graduates of our Masters of Arts in Folk Studies program are employed in a job related to our field or were accepted into doctoral programs after graduating
- 73% of our undergraduate Folklore Minors were employed after graduation
- 17% of our Minors went on to a graduate program after graduation
- Graduates of our programs are public folklorists, museum curators, educators, preservationists, film producers, professors, and even intelligence analysts.
According to a recent survey of our undergraduate Anthropology graduates:
- 74% are employed following graduation
- 21% progressed on to graduate school
- Our former students are working in related fields including contract archaeology, cultural resource management, museums, medical anthropology, visual media, international education, the non-profit sector, and other exciting areas.
Please come visit us in our departmental office in Room 237 of the Ivan Wilson Fine Arts Center, or contact us for more information.
Oct 24th, 2021
WKU Folk Studies students, faculty, and staff attended the American Folklore Society 2021 Annual Meeting, presenting research and projects, connecting...
Sep 1st, 2021
Folk Studies MA student Caitlyn Sheets has received an In These Mountains Graduate Student Fellowship, with funding provided by the regional arts...