Featured Scholar - April 2021
What are you watching/streaming?
To unwind I like to immerse myself in a good mystery. Lately, I've been exploring the Nordic noir genre and streaming crime dramas set in Scandinavia, as well as Iceland and Finland. Over the past year, I've watched Trapped, Deadwind, and Wisting. They're definitely not for the squeamish or faint of heart.
What games are you playing?
We started playing more board games during the pandemic. One of my sons is obsessed with wolves, so we've been playing Alpha. It's a game in which rival wolf packs compete for territory and prey. We've also recently started playing Dragonrealm, a fantasy game in which each player tries to amass the most gold.
What are you listening to?
I have fairly eclectic taste in music, but much of what I listen to falls within the Americana/ folk/ singer-songwriter genres. Lately, I've been listening to Tom Russell, Dom Flemons, Ramblin Jack Elliott, Andy Hedges, and Dave Stamey. When I start feeling discouraged about the current state of affairs, I find it helps to listen to some Woody Guthrie. I've also been known to sing along to sea shanties when I'm alone in the car. As a family, we listen to the Okee Dokee Brothers, especially their albums Winterland,Through the Woods, and Songs for Singin'. If you have kids, you should definitely give them a listen.
What are you reading?
I'm in the process of developing a course on Texas Folklore, so I'm going back and re-reading many of the classics, including works by J. Frank Dobie, Mody Boatwright, and Américo Paredes. I'm immersing myself in cowboy ballads, corridos, and the occupational folklore of the Texas oilfields. Currently, I'm reading “With His Pistol in His Hand”: A Border Ballad and Its Hero by Paredes. Next on my list is Folklore and Culture on the Texas-Mexican Border, a collection of Parades's essays edited by Richard Bauman.
What are you writing?
I am wrapping up a research report for the National Park Service. The report is the culmination of multiyear ethnographic research project examining Native American ties to the Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument. As part of the project, I conducted interviews with members of eight federally recognized tribes to better understand how their ancestors utilized the resources preserved within the park.