Folklore: Folklore, music, dance, public humanities, performance studies, African Studies, women's and gender studies, migration, war, politics and culture, ethnographic fieldwork, filmmaking, digital storytelling.
Lisa Gilman is Director of the Folklore Program and Professor of Folklore and English at George Mason University in the United States. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of American Folklore. Her research interests include intangible cultural heritage, performance, music, dance, trauma, war, migration, gender, and sexuality. She is currently working on a multi-sited (Malawi, Turkey, France, U.S.) global project on arts and culture initiatives by refugees for refugees. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on the above topics. Her books include Folklore and Ethnomusicology Fieldwork Methods Handbook (with John Fenn, 2019), My Music, My War: The Listening Habits of U.S. Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan (2016), The Dance of Politics: Performance, Gender, and Democratization in Malawi (2009), and the co-edited volumes Africa Every Day: Fun, Leisure, and Expressive Culture on the Continent (2019) and UNESCO on the Ground: Local Perspectives on Intangible Cultural Heritage (2015). She produced the documentary Grounds for Resistance (2011) about the anti-war activism of U.S. veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
She teaches courses in folklore, public humanities, ethnographic fieldwork, digital storytelling, gender and sexuality, and African Studies. She is currently Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of American Folklore
I am currently working on a global, multi-sited project on arts initiatives by refugees for refugees. I have been doing fieldwork with Syrians in Turkey, Uyghurs in Paris, Congolese, Rwandans, and Burundians in Malawi, and several groups within the United States. I will expand to more locations as the project progresses.
I am also collaborating with a team of youth who live in the Dzaleka refugee camp in Malawi to document the incredible talent and creativity in the camp and raise the visibility of the situation for refugees in Malawi.
2019. Africa Every Day: Fun, Leisure, and Expressivity on the Continent. Ohio University Press. (co-edited with Oluwalemi M. Balogun, Melissa Graboyes, and Habib Iddrisu).
2019. Folklore and Ethnomusicology Fieldwork Methods Handbook. Indiana University Press. (co-authored with John Fenn).
2016. My Music, My War: The Listening Habits of U.S. Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Wesleyan University Press.
2015 UNESCO on the Ground: Local Perspectives on Intangible Cultural Heritage. Indiana University Press. (co-edited with Michael Dylan Foster).
2009 The Dance of Politics: Performance, Gender, and Democratization in Malawi. Temple University Press.
2011 Grounds for Resistance: Stories of War, Sacrifice, and Good Coffee. Distributed by Films Media Group. A documentary about contemporary G.I. resistance.
Special Journal Issues Guest Edited
2021. African American Expressive Culture, Protest, Imagination, and Dreams of Blackness. (co-editor Tanya Boucicaut). Special Issue of the Journal of American Folklore 134 (534).
2015 UNESCO and Intangible Cultural Heritage: Local Perspectives on Global Policy for Intangible Cultural Heritage (co-editor M.D. Foster). Special Issue of the Journal of Folklore Research.
2000 Folklore and Theory. Special Issue of Folklore Forum, 30(1/2).
1997 Folklore and Instruction in Africa (co-editor E.O. Ogwang). Special Issue of Folklore Forum 28(1).
Forthcoming. Cake is Better than Sex: Folklore and Asexuality. Special issue Folklore and Queer Theory. Journal of Folklore Research.
2022 The Study of Folklore, Gender, and Sexuality in the U.S.A. Van Hoa. [Vietnamese Journal].
2022 “Our Culture is Dying”: Safeguarding versus Representation in the UNESCO 2003 ICH Convention’s Implementation. The International Journal of Heritage Studies. 17(0): 39-52.
2021 Trans. 著 贾志杰 译 彭牧 校. 在两种对照性背景中检视非遗训练的价值：以非洲南部和美国为考察点[Examining the Value of ICH Training in Two Contrasting Settings: Southern Africa and the USA]. 民俗研究[Folklore Studies/Chinese Journal] 3.
2020 Festivals, Tourism, and Cultural Conservation: Comparing the Livingstone Cultural and Arts Festival and the Nc’wala Traditional Ceremony in Zambia. Cultural Analysis 18(2). https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~culturalanalysis/volume18_2/vol18_2_Gilman.html
2019 Some Remarks from a Folklorist and American Perspective. Response Essay to “The Butt of the Joke? Laughter and Potency in the Becoming of Good Soldiers. Some Remarks from a Folklorist and an American Perspective.” Cultural Analysis 17(1):25-56.
2019. Chilimika: Dancing in the New Year in the Nkhata Bay District of Malawi. Africa Every Day: Fun, Leisure, and Expressive Culture on the Continent., eds. Kemi Balogun, Lisa Gilman, Melissa Graboyes, and Habib Iddrisu.Ohio University Press.
2019. The Butt of the Joke? Laughter and Potency in the Becoming of Good Soldiers. Some Remarks from a Folklorist and American Perspective. Cultural Analysis17. https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~culturalanalysis/volume17/vol17_Slok_Andersen.html
2018 Women, Men, and Other Gendered Identities. The Oxford Handbook of American Folklore and Folklife Studies, ed. Simon Bronner. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
2017 Performance, Maternalism, and Joyce Banda’s Brief Presidency in Malawi. Africa Today 64 (1): 29-52
2017 The Politics of Cultural Promotion: The case of the Umthetho Festival of Malawi’s Northern Ngoni. In Public Performances, ed. Jack Santino. Utah State University Press.
2015 Demonic or Cultural Treasure: Local Perspectives on Vimbuza, Intangible Cultural Heritage, and UNESCO in Malawi. Journal of Folklore Research 52 (2-3): 199-216.
2015 Demonic or Cultural Treasure: Local Perspectives on Vimbuza, Intangible Cultural Heritage, and UNESCO in Malawi. UNESCO on the Ground: Local Perspectives on Intangible Cultural Heritage, eds. Michael Dylan Foster and Lisa Gilman, pp. 59-76. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
2013 抗争”之辨：多重能动性、性别和马拉维(Resisting Resistance: Multiple Agencies, Gender, and Politics in Malawi), trans. 李生柱、彭瑞红（trans. Li Shengzhu and Peng Ruihong）民俗研究 (Journal: Folklore Studies.
(期 2): 第-页 (12-25)
2013 Troupes Hors-Sol: Music, Espace, Mémoire dans la Guerre en Irak (Grounding the Troops: Music, Place, and Memory in the Iraq War). Écoute: Discour, Pratiques, Médiation (Volume !: The Journal of Popular Music Studies). 10 (1): 171-88.
2012 Oppositional Positioning: The Military Identification of Young Anti-War Veterans. In Warrior Ways: Explorations in Modern Military Folklore, eds. Tad Tuleja and Eric Eliason. Utah State University Press
2010 An American Soldier’s Ipod: Layers of Identity and Situated Listening in Iraq. Music and Politics 4 (2).
2009 Complex Genres, Intertextuality, and the Analysis of Performance. Journal of American Folklore 122 (485): 335-62.
2006 (co-author John Fenn) Dance, Gender, and Popular Music in Malawi: The Case of Rap and Ragga. Special issue of Popular Music 25(3): 369-81.
2005 Dance, Power, and the Creation of National Community in Malawian Politics. Congress on Research in Dance Spring 2005 Conference proceedings, pp. 100-04. Florida State University. Tallahassee, Florida. Dance & Community.
2004 (co-author Clara Henderson) Women as Religious and Political Praise Singers within African Institutions: The Case of the CCAP Blantyre Synod and Party Politics in Malawi. Women and Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture 8: 22-40.
2004 The Traditionalization of Women’s Dancing, Hegemony, and Politics in Malawi. Journal of Folklore Research 41(1): 33-60.
2001 Purchasing Praise: Women, Dancing, and Patronage in Malawi Party Politicking. Africa Today 48(4): 43-64.
2000 Cultural Change and the Case of Malipenga in Malawi. In Mashindano! Competitive Music Performance in Tanzania and East Africa, eds. Frank Gunderson and Gregory Barz, pp. 321-45. Dar es Salaam: Mkuki na Nyota Publishers.
2012 Rose Ziba Chibambo. Dictionary of African Biography, eds Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Emmanuel Akyeampong, pp. 65-66. Oxford Press.
2008 (co-author Elizabeth Locke) Rape. Encyclopedia of Women's Folklore and Folklife, eds. Locke and Theresa Vaughan. Greenwood Press.
2000 The Rose Chibambo Story Part I, Wasi: The Magazine for the Arts Vol. 11(3): 17-19.
2000 The Rose Chibambo Story Part II Wasi: The Magazine for the Arts Vol. 12 (1): 13-19
2001 The Rose Chibambo Story Part II Wasi: The Magazine for the Arts Vol 12 (2): 8-9.
Book and Film Reviews
2017 Book Review. Mustafa Kemal Mirzeler. Remembering Nayeche and the Gray Bull Engiro: African Storytellers of the Karamoja Plateau and the Plains of Turkana (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014). Journal of American Folklore 130(517): 360-61
2011 Book Review. Simon Bronner, ed. Manly Traditions: The Folk Roots of American Masculinities (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005). Journal of American Folklore 124 (491) : 110-12.
2009 Book Review. Jonathan Pieslak. Sound Targets: American Soldiers and Music in the Iraq War (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009). Journal of Folklore Research Reviews.
2005 Book Review. Signe Arnfred, ed. Re-Thinking Sexualities in Africa, (Sweden: Almqvist & Wiksell Tryckeri AB, 2004.) African Studies Review 48(2): 145-46.
1999 Video Review: Africa: Between Myth and Reality, (prod. Joe Brett, New York: West Glen Films). H-Net (Humanities and Social Sciences Online) Multimedia Review (EH.Net@eh.net). (2 pages)
1998 Book Review: Ruth M. Stone, ed. Africa: The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, Volume 1, (New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1998.) Folklore Forum 29(1): 132-34).
1997 Book Review: Nongenile Masithathu Zenani. The World and the Word: Tales and Observations from the Xhosa Oral Tradition, (ed. Harold Scheub. University of Wisconsin Press, 1992.) Folklore Forum 28(1): 106-07.
2006 Dances of Nkhata Bay. Ten hours of video footage of Malawian dance performances linked to descriptive and analytical text. Ethnographic Video for Instruction and Analysis Digital Archive Project [EVIADA].
2011 Hooks, Yarn, and Bars. Participated in collaborative project to document and exhibit the work of the Crochet Club and the Hobby Arts Shop at the Oregon State Correctional Institute.
2022 Faculty Research and Development Award (FRDA). George Mason University
2019 Curriculum Impact Grant. Folklore and Festivals. George Mason University.
2016 Fund for Faculty Excellence Award. University of Oregon.
2016 Humanities Research Award. College of Arts and Sciences. University of Oregon.
2015-16 Rippey Innovative Teaching Award for development of “Politically Creative” Freshman Interest Group seminar
2012-13 Fulbright Teaching/Research Award. In support of research project “Dance and the Politics of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Malawi.” Teaching at Mzuzu University, Malawi.
2012 CO-PI. Randall V. Mills Archives of Northwest Folklore Preservation and Access Project for Media Collections. Oregon State Libraries.
2011 Rippey Innovative Teaching Award for development of “Politically Creative” Freshman Interest Group seminar.
2011 C0-PI. Oregon Folklife Network Grande Ronde Consortium Grant. Oregon Arts Commission.
2011 CO-PI. Randall V. Mills Archives of Northwest Folklore Preservation and Access Project for Media Collections. Oregon State Libraries.
2010 PI. Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program (TAAP), Interactive Map and Folk Arts Archive. National Endowment for the Arts
2010 Research Grant. Center for the Study of Women in Society. University of Oregon.
2010 Summer Research Award. The Office of Research and Faculty Development. University of Oregon
2008 Junior Professorship Development Award. College of Arts and Science. University of Oregon.
2007 Junior Professorship Development Award. College of Arts and Science. University of Oregon.
2006 African Studies Course Seed Grant. African Studies Program. University of Oregon.
2006 Junior Professorship Development Award. College of Arts and Science. University of Oregon.
2005-06 New Faculty Award. University of Oregon’s Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies.
2004 Scholarly and Creative Activities Grant. Texas A&M University Office of Vice President of Research.
2004 Women’s Studies Faculty Research Fellowship. Texas A&M University Women’s Studies Program.
2002 P.I. on grant to fund Folklore and Education seminar at the University of Toledo: “Women the Keepers of Tradition.” Ohio Humanities Council.
2000 Doctoral Student Grant-in-Aid of Research. Indiana University, Bloomington, Graduate School.
1999 Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Award
1998 Graduate Student Paper Prize for “Putting Colonialism into Perspective: Cultural History and the Case of Malipenga in Malawi.” African Studies Program. Indiana University, Bloomington.
Introduction to Folklore
Folklore and Folklife
Theories of Performance Studies
Public Humanities, Digital Storytelling, and Public Folklore
Folklore and Sexuality
Folklore and Gender
Folklore, Gender, and Sexuality
History and Theory of Folklore Research
Voices of Africa
Dance and U.S. Culture
Dance and World Cultures
Introduction to gender studies
Issues in Women’s Studies
Feminist Research Methods
West Africa: History, Society, and Culture (study abroad program in Dakar, Senegal)
PhD in Folklore with a minor in African Studies, Indiana University.
M.A. in Folklore, Indiana University.
B.A. in Political Science with a Certificate in Folklore and Ethnic Studies, University of Oregon.
2022 “We are all human”: Music, Diplomacy, and the Tumaini Arts Festival in Malawi’s Dzaleka Refugee Camp. 2022 annual meeting of the African Studies Association, Philadelphia, PA, Nov 17-20.
2022 Keynote Address. Performance and Power: The Value of Transdisciplinary and Public-Facing Work in Academic Spaces. International Graduate Research Symposium IGRS ’22. Istanbul Technical University. Istanbul, Turkey. June 1.
2022 “We are all People”: Music, Identity, and Cultural Survival in the Lives of Displaced Peoples. Eighth symposium of the International Council for Traditional Music Study Group on Music and Dance in Southeastern Europe. Istanbul, Turkey. May 13.
2022 Performance, Power, and Publics: One Person's Path Through the Changing Field of Folklore. Pertev Naili Boratav Lecture Series. Bogacizi University. Istanbul, Turkey, March 31.
2021 My Culture, My Survival: Refugees and the Power of Intangible Cultural Heritage. UNICAF University, Malawi, November 4.
2021 Whose Culture? Whose Responsibility? Gender, Power, and Class in Southern African Cultural Preservation. Annual meeting of the American Folklore Society, Oct. 18-23. Online.
2021 Meet the Editors: Demystifying the Journal Publishing Process. Annual meeting of the American Folklore Society, Oct. 18-23. Online.
2020 Examining the Value of ICH Training in Two Contrasting Settings: Southern Africa and the USA. Keynote Address International Forum on ICH [Intangible Cultural Heritage] Education and Formation as a Scholarly Discipline. Beijing Normal University, Dec. 5-6.
2020 Meet the Editors: Demystifying the Journal Publishing Process. Annual meeting of the American Folklore Society, Oct. 13-17. Online.
2019 “’Our Culture is Dying’: Safeguarding versus Representation in the Convention’s Implementation. Keynote address. Critical Developments in Cultural Sustainability: Sustaining Practice, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Oct. 23-25.
2019 Whose Culture? Whose Responsibility? Gender, Power, and Class in Malawian Cultural Preservation Initiatives. Annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Vancouver, B.C., Nov. 20-24, 2019
2019 Grounds for Resistance. Film Screening. Bogazici University. Istanbul, Turkey. July 16
2019 My Music, My War: The Listening Habits of U.S. Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Smithsonian Year of Music series at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Mar. 12.
2018 My Music, My War: The Listening Habits of U.S. Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Indiana University, Oct. 30.
2018 Safeguarding or Economic Development? Intangible Cultural Heritage in Malawi and Zambia. Annual meeting of the American Folklore Society, Buffalo, NY. October 17-21.
2018 My Music, My War. Public Presentation at Madison Urban League by invitation of Veterans for Peace, Chapter 25. Madison, Wisconsin. August 2.
2018 UNESCO on the Ground: Intangible Cultural Heritage and Economic Development. Presented to National and Provincial Cultural Officers. Livingstone, Zambia, May 24.
2018 Performance and Activism. Performance Studies Class. George Washington University, Washington DC, April 10.
2018 Performance and Power in Malawian Politics. Annual meeting of the American Ethnological Association. Philadelphia, Pennsyvania. March 22-24.
2018 Grounds for Resistance. Film Screening. January 24, University of Oregon. Eugene, Oregon.
2017 The Collaboration between Academic and Public Folklore at the University of Oregon. Annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, November 29-December 3, Washington DC.
2017 Chair and Roundtable convener. Everyday Life on the African Continent: A Collaborative Book Project. Annual meeting of the African Studies Association. November 15-19, Chicago, Illinois.
2017 Competing Definitions of “Community” in Malawian Public Discourse. Annual meeting of the American Folklore Society, October 18-22, 2017, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
2017 Participant. Her-Story: A Feminism and Folklore Retrospective 2017. Annual meeting of the American Folklore Society, October 18-22, 2017, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
2017 UNESCO on the Ground: Local Responses to Intangible Cultural Heritage Designation in Malawi. Public Lecture. National Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, China September 26.
2017 Folklore and Poverty, Public Lecture. National Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, China, China September 26.
2017 UNESCO on the Ground: Local Responses to Intangible Cultural Heritage Designation in Malawi. Public Lecture. Minzu University, Beijing, China, September 22.
2017 Defining Folklore in the 21th Century United States. Public Lecture. Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China, September 21.
2017 Performance Theory and Folklore Studies, Public Lecture. Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China , September 21
2017 Forum convener. Undergraduate Fieldwork in and beyond the Classroom. Annual meeting of the Western States Folklore Society, April 21-22, Eugene, Oregon