Rachel Hopkin

PhD Candidate

Rachel Hopkin is a PhD Candidate in Folklore in OSU’s English Department. She began her career as a radio producer in various music departments at the BBC in the UK. She then moved to Argentina and has continued to work on an independent basis for broadcasters around the world. In 2010 she settled in the US and earned an MA in Folk Studies at Western Kentucky University two years later. In 2013, she was awarded a rare “National Interest Waiver” Green Card in recognition of her work as a folklorist/radio producer with a special focus on US traditional culture.

Rachel’s dissertation research involves an ethnographic study of Argentine tango social dancing in Ohio. Her academic publications include:

Peer-Reviewed Articles 

  • Villainy, Mental Health, Folklore and the Mediatic Literature: Andreas Lubitz and the Germanwings Crash. 2018. Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies (in press).
  • Poetics and Pâtisserie: Multilayered Performances of Croissants. 2017. Performance Research [in press].
  • The Way of the Croissant: Traditional Perspectives on a Traditional Pastry. 2017. Digest: A Journal of Foodways and Culture 5/2.
  • The Critical Conservationist: George Gibson and Patterns of Vernacular Resistance. 2017. Western Folklore, 76/1:5-40.
  • The Bottle Artist, 2011. Tennessee Folklore Society Bulletin, Volume LXVII/1&2:35-59.
  • Lost Sound: The Forgotten Art of Radio Storytelling. 2018. Book by Jeff Porter. Journal of American Folklore 131 (520): 225-228.
  • Ola Belle Reed and Southern Mountain Music on the Mason-Dixon Line. 2017. 2 CDs and book by Henry Glassie, Clifford R. Murphy, and Douglas Dowling Peach. Journal of American Folklore 130 (516): 248-250.

Outside of academia, Rachel’s recent professional experience includes producing several radio documentaries, among them Country Down Under, about Australian Aboriginal musicians who play country music for the BBC, and Banjo Pickin’ Girls and Fiddlin’ Women, about early Kentucky women musicians for the Australia’s Radio National; and serving as Guest Instructor for the Texas Folklife’s annual Summer Stories Institute since 2014.  In addition, she co-hosts the New Books in Folklore podcast – an interview-based show in which authors discuss their recent publications.  Many of her radio pieces can be heard online at https://rachelhopkin.com. 

Areas of Expertise
  • Folklore
  • Radio Production
  • Argentine Tango
  • Croissants
  • Music
  • MA, Folk Studies, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY, USA
  • Bachelor of Music, Trinity College of Music, London, England
  • Diploma of Music, Kodaly Institute of Music, Kecskemet, Hungary