traditional narrative; material culture; family folklore; gender studies
Folklorist Margaret R. Yocom (PhD, English, U of Massachusetts, Amherst) specializes in traditional narrative, material culture, family folklore, and gender studies. The director of the Northern Virginia Folklife Archive, she established the English Department's Folklore, Mythology, and Literature Concentration; the Folklore and Mythology Minor; and the Folklore Concentration in Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies. She teaches courses in traditional narrative and storytelling, traditional arts, folkore and gender, ethnographic writing, the traditional ballad, and folklore and creative writing.
She has conducted fieldwork in her home Pennsylvania German culture as well as with the Inuit of northwestern Alaska and several Northern Virginia communities. Her major fieldsite is a North Appalachian mountain community in the western Maine mountains.
She has published articles and photographs on traditional narrative, ethnographic fieldwork, regional study, ethnopoetics, family folklore, gender, and material culture. Her most recent work includes "'We'll Take Care of Liza and the Kids': Spontaneous Memorials and Personal Response at the Pentagon, 2001" in Spontaneous Shrines and Other Public Memorializations of Death (2006); "Exuberance in Control: The Dialogue of Ideas in the Tales and Fan Towers of Woodsman William Richard of Phillips, Maine" in Northeast Folklore: Essays in Honor of Edward D. Ives (2000); and "'Awful Real': Dolls and Development in Rangeley, Maine" (1993). She is the assistant editor of Ugiuvangmiut Quliapyuit: King Island Tales (1988); and in 1994, she edited and wrote Logging in the Maine Woods: The Paintings of Alden Grant. Her current folklore project is a book on the traditional arts of the Richard family of Rangeley, Maine, entitled "Generations in Wood."
She has published creative non-fiction in Friends Journal. Her poetry has appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, The Folklore Muse: Poetry, Fiction, and Other Reflections by Folklorists (2008), and Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore.
Active in public sector folklore, she serves as folkorist at the Rangeley Lakes Region Logging Museum in Rangeley, Maine, as well as consultant to various projects at the Smithsonian Institution, NEA, NEH, and the Maine Arts Commission. She also serves on the boards of the National Council for the Traditional Arts, the Ethnographic Thesaurus project, the Maine Folklife Center, the Rangeley Lakes Region Historical Society, and the Rangeley Lakes Region Logging Museum. She co-founded the Folklore and Creative Writing Section of the American Folklore Society and serves as liaison between the American Folklore Society and the Association of Writers and Writing Programs.