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Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology Faculty and Staff - Michael Ann Williams

Dr. Michael Ann Williams

Dr. Michael Ann Williams

Professor, Folk Studies

Office:  FAC 266
Phone:  270 745-5903


Graduate Courses:
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

Background and Interests

Ph.D., Folklore and Folklife, University of Pennsylvania
M.A., Folklore and Folklife, University of Pennsylvania
B.A., Anthropology, Franklin and Marshall College

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. I have also worked on various applied projects with my graduate students, including 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 have 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.  From 2014-2015, I was President of the American Folklore Society.

Selected Publications

2006. Staging Tradition: John Lair and Sarah Gertrude Knott. Champaign: University of Illinois Press.

2004. Homeplace: The Social Use and Meaning of the Folk Dwelling in Southwestern North Carolina. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press. Paperback edition. 

1995. Great Smoky Mountains Folklife, Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.


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 Last Modified 12/5/17