What role does folklore play in modern life? What is folklore, anyway? In this episode, Amelia Golcheski interviews West Virginia state folklorist Emily Hilliard to learn why folklore is more than just myths and legends. It can also be about labor movements, local histories, and even the “right” way to eat a hot dog. Amelia and Emily also discuss the recent teachers’ strike in West Virginia, misconceptions about life in so-called “Trump Country,” and approaches to public humanities that are invested in showing the importance of regional history.
Emily Hilliard is the West Virginia state folklorist and founder of the West Virginia Folklife Program at the West Virginia Humanities Council. She holds a B.A. in English and French from the University of Michigan, and an M.A. in folklore from the University of North Carolina. Find more of her work at emilyehilliard.com.
The music on this episode is excerpted from the song “New Day” by Lee Rosevere (licensed via Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International).