The North Carolina Folklore Journal, a publication of the North Carolina Folklore Society, first emerged in 1948 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as North Carolina Folklore. The Journal did not immediately establish itself and ceased publication after one issue. A few years later, however, it re-appeared upon North Carolina’s cultural landscape and has enjoyed a continuous run that started in 1954–again at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
From 1966 through 1976, the Journal was published at North Carolina State University. It was during this period (in 1973) that the name changed to North Carolina Folklore Journal. The Journal then moved to Appalachian State University, where it was published for 20 years, from 1977 through 1997. The Journal’s next home was East Carolina University until 2004, when it returned to North Carolina State University until 2005. The Journal moved to Western Carolina University in 2006, and in 2014, it returned to East Carolina University.
2014 – Present: Leanne E. Smith
Leanne E. Smith teaches writing in the Department of English at East Carolina University. She received her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College and serves on the board of the Folk Arts Society of Greenville. While her interests are varied, her research is often related to food, music, and dance.
2006 – 2013: Philip E. (Ted) Coyle
Philip E. (Ted) Coyle is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at Western Carolina University and author of the book Náyari History, Politics and Violence: From Flowers to Ash. Dr. Coyle’s areas of research includes study of the relationship between local people and National Park Service units like the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
2004 – 2006: Carmine Prioli
Carmine Prioli is Professor Emeritus of English at North Carolina State University and author of the book Hope for a Good Season: The Ca’e Bankers of Harkers Island. Dr. Prioli’s areas of study include North Carolina coastal folklife.
1998 – 2003: Karen Baldwin
Karen Baldwin (1943 – 2007) was Director of the East Carolina University Folklore Archive. Dr. Baldwin’s areas of study included family folklore, folklife of special groups, women’s cultures, folk medicine, foodways and festival, traditional poetry, situating personal identity in group-based cultural forms, folklore, and education.
1978 – 1997: Thomas McGowan
Thomas McGowan is Professor Emeritus of English at Appalachian State University and Speaker, Humanities Forum, N.C. Humanities Council. Dr. McGowan has long studied oral narrative, North Carolina namelore, and Watauga County folk arts.
1977: Rogers Whitener and Thomas McGowan
Rogers Whitener (1916 – 2014) was a Professor Emeritus of English at Appalachian State University and syndicated columnist. Dr. Whitener is also the author of Thrice Told Tales.
1973 – 1976: Leonidas Betts
Leonidas Betts (1937 – 2003) was a pottery collector and scholar as well as an Associate Professor of English at North Carolina State University.
1971 – 1972: Guy Owen and Leonidas Betts
Guy Owen (1935 – 1981) was a novelist, poet, editor, critic, and Professor of English at North Carolina State University. Dr. Owen founded Impetus which would later become Southern Poetry Review which grants an award yearly in his honor. His novels include Season of Fear, Ballad of the Flim-Flam Man, and Journey for Joedel which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
1966 – 1970: Richard Walser and Guy Owen
Richard Walser (1908 – 1988) was a Professor Emeritus of English at North Carolina State University and winner of the North Carolina Award for Literature in 1976. Dr. Walser published more than 30 books and pamphlets including Literary North Carolina.
1965: Daniel W. Patterson
Daniel W. Patterson is the Kenan Professor Emeritus in the Department of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Patterson has authored numerous articles and the book The Shaker Spiritual that, according to Theodore E. Johnson, Director, Shaker Library and Museum, is “The finest piece of scholarship in the field of Shaker studies written in this [the 20th] century.”
1954 – 1964: Arthur Palmer Hudson
Arthur Palmer Hudson (1892 – 1978) was a Professor of English from 1930-1953 and Executive Secretary of the Curriculum in Folklore from 1950-1963 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Hudson was the editor of “The Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore” and author of “The Impact of Folklore on American Poetry.” Dr. Hudson was also a Fellow of the American Folklore Society.
1948: Hoyle S. Bruton
An early Secretary-Treasurer of the The Folklore Council of the University of North Carolina, Dr. Bruton planted the seed of what was to become the North Carolina Folklore Journal. Though his editorship lasted only one issue, his vision to preserve North Carolina’s folklore through the publication of a journal has been realized.