Folklore: Folklore, Occupational Folklife, Agriculture, Foodways, Supernatural Beliefs, Fear, Urban Legends, and Folklife Festivals.
Kim D. Stryker is an independent folklorist living in Falls Church, VA in a modern farmhouse with her husband, two big dogs, and a variable amount of chickens.Together, the have built up a successful small business with Furnace Record Pressing, the first vinyl record pressing plant in Virginia in twenty years.
She is the founder of the Save the Smithsonian Folklife Festival grassroots campaign that successfully won an agreement between the National Park Service and the Smithsonian Institution. She has a M.A.I.S. in Folklore Studies from George Mason University. Her thesis is a long-term ethnographic study of “pick-your-own” farmers in the Virginia Piedmont. She organized the 50th Anniversary Reunion of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and organizes an annual reunion as well.
She is also the recipient of the 2018 Archie Green Fellowship form the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress which documents the work lives of people in the Virginia wine industry. In addition to teaching, she is a frequent public speaker on topics of popular interest related to Folklore, such as: holiday traditions, Mardi Gras, May Day, Wassailing, and the occupational culture of orcharding and winemaking.
She is currently adjunct faculty at GMU teaching “Intro to Folklore and Folklife” and ENGH 202: "Food and Folklore".
Transcribing additional interviews for my collection at the Library of Congress documenting the work lives of people in the Virginia Wine Industry.
2017-2018 Archie Green Fellowship, the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress
“Folklore is the boiled-down juice of human living. It does not belong to any special time, place, nor people. No country is so primitive that it has no lore, no country has yet become so civilized that no folklore is being made within its boundaries.” -Zora Neale Hurston
ENGH 315 Introduction to Folklore and Folklife
My goal is that you will learn about the many facets of Folklore and Folklife as a discipline and as a part of your own lives. Through examining definitions, reading online resources and articles, and observing the Folklore and Folklife all around us, you will gain an appreciation for the pervasiveness of this fascinating subject and the ways your own folklore permeates your creative and cultural lives and that of others.
ENGH 202 Texts & Contexts: "Food and Folklore"
Students will examine the cultural contexts behind the food we eat (and the food we don’t). Through examining definitions, reading online resources and articles, and observing the Folklore of Food all around them, students will gain an appreciation for the pervasiveness of this fascinating subject and the ways their own perception of foods influences their cultural lives and the lives of others. This course will make you ask questions, challenge preconceived notions and think critically about the role of food in human society.