Katherine Borland

Katherine Borland

Katherine Borland




433 Hagerty Hall
1775 College Road
Columbus, OH 43210

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Areas of Expertise

  • Politics of Culture
  • Latin American Folklore
  • Festival and Dance
  • Ethnographic Method
  • Development Theory
  • Experiential Education
  • Postcolonial (World) Literature
  • Women's Oral Narrative


  • Ph.D., Indiana University, Folklore
  • M.A. Temple University, English and the Teaching of Writing

Katherine Borland is the Director and Graduate Studies Advisor at the Center for Folklore Studies, and Professor in the Department of Comparative Studies. 

She studies and teaches about the artfulness of ordinary life, and the ways in which traditional expressive arenas constitute contested terrain. She recently published International Volunteer Tourism: Critical Reflections on Good Works in Central America (co-edited with Abigail E. Adams, Palgrave 2013).  Currently, she is engaged in two research projects: the ethics and aesthetics of solidarity activism, and an exploration of intersubjective meanings in women’s oral narrative, using the oral tales, letters, plays and performances of Beatrice Hanson as her text.

In her teaching she works to develop and hone student’s interpretive, synthesizing and analytic skills through shared inquiry, team research and writing.  She is a passionate advocate of both experiential and discussion based pedagogies.

Research & Project Links

Interview with Beatrice Hanson (12/1986) by Katherine Borland. The audiofile reproduces the racetrack story upon which the article, "'That's Not What I Said': Interpretive Conflict in Oral Narrative Research," is based [Women's Words: The Feminist Practice of Oral History, pp. 63-76.  Eds. Sherna Berger Gluck and Daphne Patai.  New York: Routledge, 1992].  A transcript of the narrative is available in "Horsing Around with the Frame: The Negotiation of Meaning in Women's Verbal Performance," Praxis (Spring 1990): 83-107.

Selected Publications

  • Arts of Solidarity: Identification and Difference in the Honduran Resistance and Solidarity Movements.  In Art of Solidarity, eds. Jessica Stites-Mor and Maria del Carmen Suescun-Pozas.  In Review.
  • Exotic Identities: Dance, Difference and Self-Fashioning.  Co-written with Sheila Bock. Journal of Folklore Research  48 (1) 2011:1-36.  Explores the practices of embodying an other to explore/construct the self. 
  • Cosmopolitans in Ohio Face a Troubled World.  Proceedings of the Congress of the Latin American Studies Association. 2010.  Documents the emergence and increasing popularity of voluntourism and critiques its idealist intentions.
  • Special Issue of the Journal of American Folklore: Latin American Dance in Transnational Contexts, 122 (486) 2009.  With an introduction by Sydney Hutchinson, includes essays on Purepecha Courtship (Joyce Bishop), Aztec Dancers at North American Powwows (Sandy Garner), Argentinian Tango (Ana Cara) and New Jersey Salsa (Katherine Borland)
  • Unmasking Class, Gender and Sexuality in Nicaraguan Festival. Univ. of Arizona Press. 2006. A study of the politics of culture in Masaya's Fiesta de San Jerónimo and related cultural performances during the Somoza, Sandinista and Neoliberal eras.