Kelley Totten

Assistant Professor

B.A. (Washington and Lee)
M.A. (Oregon)
Ph.D. (Indiana)
ED4042, Education Bldg.

Kelley Totten studies material culture, focusing on craft and the handmade. Her research interests include visual communication, performance, museums, creative ethnography, craft pedagogy, and creative social justice movements. She received her PhD in Folklore in 2017 from Indiana University for her dissertation, “Making Craft: Performing an Idea of Craft at US Folk Schools.” In addition to her continued studies on folk schools, Kelley is currently pursuing research projects that address creative programming in prisons.

Recent Publications

“Folk, Carnivalesque, Kitsch: Ruminations on Art and Aesthetics in Newfoundland and Labrador,” co-authored with Cory Thorne. Future Possible: Art of Newfoundland and Labrador, The Rooms Provincial Museum, St. John’s, NL. forthcoming.

Book review of Quilts and Human Rights by Marsha MacDowell, Mary Worrall, Lynne Swanson, and Beth Donaldson; Foreword by Desmond Tutu. Journal of American Folklore, vol. 132, no. 523, Winter 2019 (p. 82-84).

“(hand)Made in America,” Museum Anthropology Review, vol. 11, issue 1. 2017.

Book review of Cultural Histories of the Material World edited by Peter N. Miller. Journal of Folklore Research Reviews, March 2016.

Exhibit: Show and Tell: Craft at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Mathers Museum of World Cultures, Bloomington, IN, August 2017 – July 2018.

“How Local is My Closet? Establishing Values in Slow Textile Fiber Production,” American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., November 2017.

“Communicating through Making and Display – A Roundtable on Craft and Making Traditions as Education and Advocacy,” Forum Co-Chair, American Folklore Society Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN, October 2017.

“Public Work with Incarcerated Folk,” Invited talk, Association of Western States Folklorists Annual Meeting, Eugene, OR, April 2017.

“Souvenirs of Peru: Shifting Gazes from the Market to the Museum,” Summer Institute in Museum Anthropology Symposium, The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C., July 2013.

Exhibit: Hooks, Yarns, and Bars, Oregon Folklife Network and Center for Intercultural Dialogue collaboration with the Crochet 4 Community Club (Oregon State Correctional Institution) and Dr. Lisa Gilman, Emily West, Lyle Murphy, Shelise Zumwalt, and Bernie Brooks; Traveling exhibit, opened at the “Prisons, Peace, and Compassion” conference, Mount Vernon, WA, May 2011.