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Student Documentaries

Here are some of the documentaries that OSU students have produced based on ethnographic work conducted as assignments for folklore and folklore-adjacent courses.


The Social Culture of Sororities and Fraternities

This audio feature was produced in the spring of 2022 by Ally Kouche, Julia Mayer, Simon Drake, and Aya Imam. In it, they explore the unwritten social norms surrounding one of Ohio State’s biggest social powerhouses: Greek Life. They interviewed students, both within the groups and outside of them, to examine the folklore surrounding the rankings of Greek Life organizations and what implications they have on the student culture.

The Alpha Chi Omega Sorority House. Photo by Julia Mayer

Stuck on a Story

College students often personalize their devices with a variety of covers, photographs, and stickers. From these decorations, we can see each individual's interests, hobbies, and groups they belong to. In this audio feature - Stuck on a Story: Laptop Stickers as Campus Folklore and Self-Expression - we explore and analyze some of the sticker-covered laptops of the Ohio State University (OSU), and discuss the way by which these stickers can be harnessed as a form of self-expression for students on such a vast campus. Recorded and produced by Jason Blum, Mimi Cai, Ren Hentz, and Willem Hoyles, spring 2022.

Photo by Jason Blum of Jake's computer which displays many stickers




Discovering Dungeons

In this short audio documentary made in the spring of 2022, student producers Julia Blank, Chandrahas Chappidi, Emma Maher, and Juno Thomas immerse you in the world of monsters and magic with four longtime Dungeons and Dragons players. “Discovering Dungeons: A Firsthand Look at the Game of Dungeons and Dragons” is narrated by Juno Thomas.

Custom Dungeons and Dragons map drawn by Devon Messner



Lincoln Love

Resident Advisors (RAs) are peer leaders who supervise others living in campus residence halls. They are often the first resource for students with academic, institutional, or personal questions and have diverse responsibilities that facilitate community, safety, and support. This documentary is about RAs living and working in Lincoln Tower, a residence hall at OSU, during the 2021-22 school year. As is explored, they have developed close friendships characterised by storytelling, inside jokes, and unique relationships. This feature was produced by Sara Franquesa-Guivernau, Emmanuela Duruji, and Nicole Neifert.

RAs Nicole Neifert, Kaylee Miller, and Ruth Tadese stand in front of Lincoln Tower's main entrance


The Rivalry

In this documentary from spring 2022, producers Julia Kovesdi, Mia Mulhearn, and Gabby Sloane explore the rivalry between The Ohio State University and University of Michigan; a rivalry that is rooted in - but also extends far beyond - college football. Both sides are passionate, headstrong, and believe their team is superior. Contributors talk about their favorite traditions, what the rivalry means to them, and how it has impacted their life growing up, as a student, and as players.

Inside the Ohio Stadium during an autumn game day

Skating Culture in Columbus

Skating and skateboarding is something you will often see on The Ohio State University (OSU) Columbus campus. In this documentary from spring 2022, producers Jay Ozello, Carissa Holcomb, Will Yagodich, and Jaime Yeomans explore the culture of local skate groups. Interviewees include Gray McKay, an OSU student who does aggressive rollerskating; skateboarder Ryan Reeds; and Charisma Christensen, an OSU student who does not skate but has had many experiences with campus skaters.

Co-producer Carissa Holcomb skating outside friend’s house


Hometown Legends

In this documentary from spring 2022, producers Hannah Cvelbar, Montana Reynolds, and Yingming Wu research two local supernatural legends, one which circulates in southwestern Ohio and the other from eastern China. They learn not only how and when the legends are shared, but also how they affect actual real-life behavior. The interviewees in this documentary are Tammy Lynch and Lincoln Montunnas from Bethel, Ohio and Jing Wu from Suzhou, China. 

Bethel, Ohio, where the faceless hitchhiker legend is popular