Downs Joins Texas Folklore Society at Tarleton




Thursday, April 29, 2021

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Folklorist Dr. Kristina Downs has joined the Texas Folklore Society (TFS) at Tarleton State University as secretary-editor/executive director. She also is an assistant professor in the Department of English and Languages.

In addition to teaching classes in folklore, she will coordinate and work at expanding the partnership between TFS and the Tarleton College of Liberal and Fine Arts.

“I am very excited,” she said. “I’ve known about their excellent publications for years and am delighted by the opportunity to play a part in producing future publications. Texas has an especially rich and diverse folk culture, and I look forward to helping bring attention to folklore throughout the state.”

Dr. Downs earned her PhD in Folklore from Indiana University and an MA in Folklore from George Mason University. She was managing editor of the Journal of Folklore Research for five years and she is co-editor of the forthcoming edited volume Advancing Folkloristics (Indiana University Press, 2021), which considers current issues in the field of folklore studies.

Lori Najvar, President of the Texas Folklore Society, said she’s delighted to welcome Dr. Downs into the society. “Her expertise in folklore and her interest in digital formatting will help TFS preserve folklore for future generations.”

Downs’ research focuses on the persistence of traditional narrative in contemporary environments. In her dissertation she examined representations of indigenous women as folk heroines in the United States and Mexico. She has conducted fieldwork at the Princess Pocahontas Pageant in Laredo.

“In welcoming Dr. Downs to this leadership role, we are moving forward in our partnership with the Texas Folklore Society,” said Dr. Eric Morrow, Dean of the College of Liberal and Fine Arts.

“She brings tremendous experience and scholarly work that aligns with the mission of TFS, and she will be a key leader in strengthening and advancing the work of the society, as well as that of Tarleton State and our college, in being among the leading institutions in Texas in the preservation and presentation of the rich culture and history of this state.”

A founding member of The Texas A&M System, Tarleton State is breaking records — in enrollment, research, scholarship, athletics, philanthropy and engagement — while transforming the lives of more than 16,000 students in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Bryan and online. True to Tarleton’s values of excellence, integrity and respect, academic programs emphasize real world learning and address regional, state and national needs.