Danille Elise Christensen is Assistant Professor of Public Humanities in the Department of Religion and Culture. She received her PhD in Folklore from Indiana University’s Department of Folklore & Ethnomusicology in 2009. Her ethnographic and archival research focuses on the intersections of vernacular traditional practice, ideology, and popular culture in the United States; specific research interests include domestic material culture, craft, environmental humanities, and the ethnography of communication. In 2010, Dr. Christensen was one of four Research Associates working on the Civil Rights History Project, a Congressionally mandated effort to locate and document oral histories related to the Civil Rights Movement. From May 2010-May 2013, she was Managing Editor of the Journal of Folklore Research, a peer-reviewed international forum for current theory and research in the study of vernacular expressive culture.
Trained in performance-centered approaches to the study of cultural expression, much of Dr. Christensen’s work has centered on the ways material culture is embedded in talk and action. Her courses in American Studies, Appalachian Studies, and Multicultural Communication encourage hands-on fieldwork, community engagement, and attention to the cultural politics of everyday expressive forms, including handmade book genres, sporting events, musics, narrative, and foodways. She is completing Freedom from Want (under contract with University of North Carolina Press), a book about the promotion and practice of home canning in the United States over the past century.