I've been teaching at WVU since 2007, after spending eleven years at the University of Northern Colorado. I was thrilled to come to Morgantown, since both of my parents are WVU alums: my dad grew up in Grantsville (Calhoun County), and my mom grew up in Athens (Mercer County). I, however, was a born in Ohio and received my PhD from Ohio State. But I consider myself a Mountaineer now, and in fact, my book about the Mountaineer mascot, Mountaineers Are Always Free: Heritage, Dissent, and a West Virginia Icon, came out from West Virginia University Press in January 2020. Click here for more information.
I also recently published a short piece for The Conversation about why we knock on wood.
My areas of specialty are folklore, American literature, young-adult literature,
and English education. If you're interested in how some of those things collide,
Folklore and Education, the newsletter of the American Folklore Society's Folklore and Education section.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, my Fall 2020 office hours will be conducted by phone or video conference. To set up a meeting, please e-mail me
Click on the "vita" link in the right-hand sidebar for information about my work.
If you're looking for my archive of electronic folklore that circulated by email after September 11, 2001, please click on the tab labeled "9/11 E-lore Archive" at the top of this page, or the link in the right-hand sidebar for more information.