Sarah Gordon

Dr. Sarah Gordon
Department of Folklore
Education Building, ED4043
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, NL   A1B 3X8
Tele:  709-864-8601
Email:  s.gordon@mun.ca

Sarah M. Gordon is interested in the use of verbal and narrative folklore to manage dynamics of power, emphasizing place-making, anticolonialism, traditional storytelling, research practices, and digital folklore—though not all at the same time!

Dr. Gordon is a settler student of Dene traditional stories whose greatest privilege is to work with leaders in self-governing Délı̨nę on traditional knowledge work. Currently, she is Principal Investigator of a SSHRC-funded Insight Development Grant called Ts’eneyǝ hé ɂedenets’erı̨dı, Growing and Becoming Yourself: A study of the Délı̨nę Got’ı̨nę Creation Story that will use virtual reality to unpack meaning of the Dene Creation Story by building out myth worlds.

Her past research with the Délı̨nę Knowledge Project discussed the role of cultural tools in preserving local identity in the face of locally- and colonially-imposed pressures to assimilate to urban Canadian norms. Her work in Délı̨nę contributed to the Abandoned Mines Project, which studied the impacts of abandoned mines on Indigenous communities in northern Canada, and to the Social Economy Research Network of Northern Canada.

In addition to her Northern work, Dr. Gordon studies the interaction between internet folklore and offline events and social behaviours; in particular, she is interested in how online expressive culture impacts and is impacted by “real-world” inequities and hegemonies. She also studies the histories and practices of folklore as an academic field, reflecting on its uses to mitigate and reproduce precarities. 


Recent Publications:

2021. “But One Generation Removed from Extinction: Folklore and the Mitigation of precarity." In “Creating from the Margins: Precarity and the Study of Folklore,” edited by Sarah M. Gordon and Benjamin Gatling. Special issue, Journal of Folklore Research 58(3) 7-28.

2021. Gordon, Sarah M. and Benjamin Gatling. “Introduction.” In “Creating from the Margins: Precarity and the Study of Folklore,” edited by Sarah M. Gordon and Benjamin Gatling. Special issue, Journal of Folklore Research 58(3) 1-6.

2021. Gordon, Sarah M. “A Woman’s Place is in the (Greasepaint-)White House: How the 2016 Presidential Election Sparked a Creepy Clown Craze.” Journal of American Folklore 134(531) 25-52.

2015. “Narratives Unearthed: Or, How An Abandoned Mine Doesn’t Really Abandon You.” In Mining and Communities in Northern Canada. John Sandlos and Arn Keeling, Eds. University of Calgary Press.

2015. "Gúlú Agot’ı T’á Kǝ Gotsúhɂa Gha – Learning About Changes: Rethinking Indigenous Social Economy in Délı̨nę, NWT."  Co-authored with Simmons et. al. In Northern Communities Working Together: The Social Economy of Canada’s North. Chris Southcott, ed. University of Toronto Press.