Rory Turner

Assistant Professor, Sociology and Anthropology

VM G14


AB Brown University 1986

MA Indiana University 1992

PhD Indiana University 1998

Areas of Scholarly Expertise and Interest

Folklore theory, Public Folklore, Cultural Sustainability, Ritual, Festivals and Performance, Fieldwork, Africa, Maryland traditions, Intangible Cultural Heritage, Symbolic Anthropology

Recent Publications/Presentations/Performances


Talking About the Weather, American Anthropology Association Annual Meeting, Washington DC, Dec 6, 2014. 

Concluding Keynote Talk at Sequestering Tradition?: A Cultural Sustainability     Symposium Sterling College, Craftsbury Common, VT August 18, 2013.

"Digging in the Dirt of the Landscape of Cultural Sustainability." Plenary Lecture delivered at the American Folklore Society Annual Conference on Oct. 16, 2013 in Providence, RI.

"Cultural Sustainability and Post-Capitalism." Paper delivered at annual meeting of the American Folklore Society Oct. 27, 2012 in New Orleans, LA.

"Breaking Bubbles, Changing Lives: Ethnography, Practice and Project Based Pedagogy at Goucher College." Paper delivered at annual meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology, March 28, 2012 in Baltimore, MD                

"Communitas Revisited." Paper delivered at annual meeting of the American Folklore Society, Oct. 15, 2011 in Bloomington, IN Revisited. Paper delivered at annual meeting of the American Folklore Society, Oct. 15, 2011 in Bloomington, IN

Invited Talk on Music and Cultural Sustainability, May 19, 2011, Portland State University

Keynote Address on Cultural Sustainability for the Arkansas Arts Council Artslink Conference 2010, Little Rock, AR


2013                CFCH at the Heart of America. Smithsonian Folklife Festival Festival Blog. Retrieved June 16, 2014. 

2012                Eff, Elaine and Rory Turner Introduction to Culture at a Crossroads: Mid-Maryland Traditions, by Allison Kahn, 1-3. Frederick: Catoctin Center for Regional Studies:

2011                Book review: A Bird Dance near Saturday City: Sidi Ballσ and the Art of West African Masquerade. Patrick R. McNaughton. Journal of Folklore Research Reviews

2004                From Bridge to Boardwalk: An Audio Journey Across Maryland's Eastern Shore. Co-Project Director, Baltimore: Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation

1995                Poems from Ukpo. Anthropology and Humanism. 20(1):66-67

1994                Book review: The Social Basis of Health and Healing in Africa. Steven Feierman and John M. Janzen. American Ethnologist, 21: 953-954

1993                Festivals: Restoration as Performing Art.  Restoration and Management Notes 10(2):177-180

                       The Human Life: Vistas and Verdicts by Okechukwu Ogbuka, editor. Onitsha, Nigeria: Hybrid Press

1990                Bloodless Battles: The Civil War Reenacted. TDR 34 (4):123-136
                       Cultural Performances: Public Display Events and Festivals. In The Emergence of Folklore in Everyday Life, ed. George Schoemaker. Bloomington, In: Trickster Press, pp. 83-93

1989                The Play of History: Civil War Reenactments and their use of the Past. Folklore Forum 22 (1):54-61

Awards/Significant Accomplishments

Founding Academic Director of Master of Arts in Cultural Sustainability program at Goucher College

Co-Founder Maryland Traditions Program at the Maryland States Arts Council


Rory Turner, Ph.D. is a member of Goucher College's undergraduate faculty.. He founded, launched and continues to teach in Goucher College's Master of the Arts in Cultural Sustainability Program. Formerly Program Director for Folk and Traditional Arts and Program Initiative Specialist at the Maryland State Arts Council, he co-founded and directed the Maryland Traditions program from 2000-2007. Maryland Traditions developed a robust infrastructure for the study and support of traditional arts and culture in Maryland including grant programs, research, and, and award winning products such as the Bridge to Boardwalk audio journey of Maryland's Eastern Shore. He is former president of the Middle Atlantic Folklife Association. Publications include articles, reviews and creative writing in such journals as Folklore Forum, Anthropology and Humanism, and TDR (The Drama Review).  He has served on grant review panels for the City of Baltimore, the Pennsylvania Commission for the Arts, the New Jersey State Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts.