• green_light


    Official Start

  • red_light


    Submission Deadline

  • blue-ribbon


    Winners Announced

  • star


    ePals Choice Winner Announced

What is a Folklorist?

What is a Folklorist?


Who knows what a folklorist does? I do! I’m Jim and I have traveled around the world in my job as a folklorist. Watch this short video to get ready for the Challenge. Use the space below to chat with me. I’d love to help you with the Challenge and answer any questions you have about being a folklorist. Good luck!


2 thoughts on “What is a Folklorist?”

  1. Kirk says:

    How many places in the world have you gone as a folklorist? Do you speak different languages?

  2. Jim says:

    Many thanks for the question. Before I began working at the Smithsonian in 2003, I had the good fortune to live for extended periods of time in Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Germany, Kyrgyzstan, Norway, Poland, and Turkey—primarily to teach courses on American folklore and film at universities in those countries, but also to conduct research on some of their local customs and traditions. More recently, as part of my work with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, I have traveled to Azerbaijan, Bhutan, China, Czech Republic, Hungary, Korea, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Thailand, Ukraine, and Vietnam to learn more about their folk culture. Being able to communicate in other languages is an important part of living and working overseas, which is why I speak Bulgarian, French, German, Polish, Russian, and Spanish (with varying degrees of proficiency). Best wishes, Jim

Leave a comment: