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Felicia (Faye) McMahon

Research Associate

Felicia McMahon

Contact Information
frmcmaho@syr.edu

206A Maxwell Hall
443-6231
Office Hours:
M/W 1:00-2:00

Senior Research Associate, Campbell Public Affairs Institute

Degree

Ph.D. Univ. of Pennsylvania, 1992

Specialties

Folklore

Personal Website

http://www.maxwell.syr.edu/anthro.aspx?id=6442451111

Courses

Folk Arts, Festival and Public Display (ANT 300/Honors 340-360/Sol 360)

Migrating Memories, Migrating Arts (ANT 300/Honors 340-360)

Biography

I am Research Associate in Anthropology, former Fulbright scholar to eastern Germany (1995-1996) and an elected Board Member and past President [1998-2001] of the Fulbright Association Chapter of Central New York. My published research focuses on public folklore, specifically in the Adirondacks of northern New York State, reunified Germany and currently with new refugee communities in Central New York. I have worked professionally fro twenty years with several non-profit organizations in Cayuga, Seneca, Delaware, Chenango, Oneida, and Onondaga counties to coordinate folk arts programs. Currently I am working with refugee resettlement agencies on projects relating to cultural intervention. As a scholar of folklore, I am especially interested in the ways recontextualized traditions act as a force for the social cohesion of communities displaced by war. My current research and the department's Folk Arts Initiative is supported by several external grants and two  Chancellor's Awards from  the Office of the Chancellor at Syracuse University. A complete description of the Folk Arts Initiative can be found at the following webpage:
http://www.maxwell.syr.edu/anthro.aspx?id=6442451114

 

Publications

BOOKS / MONOGRAPHS

2007 (2009 paperback edition) Not Just Child's Play: Emerging Tradition and the Lost Boys of Sudan. University Press of Mississippi  (2008 Recipient of Chicago Folklore Prize)

2005 Play, an Interdisciplinary Synthesis: Play and Culture Studies  (Volume 6), co-edited with Don Lytle and Brian Sutton-Smith. Landham, MD: University Press of America. 

1995 (1999 paperback edition) Children's Folklore: A Sourcebook, co-edited with Brian Sutton-Smith, Jay Mechling, Tom Johnson. Utah State University Press (hardcover published 1995 by Garland Press; Awarded 1996 Opie Prize for Best Book, American Folklore Society).

 

ARTICLES, CHAPTERS, AND FORMAL REPORTS

(In press) South Sudanese-American Foodways. IN Ethnic American Food Today: A Cultural Encyclopedia, edited by Lucy Long. Alta Mira Press.

2013 Emerging Traditions: Dance Performances of the Sudanese Didinga in Syracuse." IN New York State Folklife Reader: Diverse Voices, edited by Elizabeth Tucker and Ellen McHale. University of Mississippi Press. 

2012 Repeat Performance: Dancing Didinga with the Lost Boys of Sudan. IN Refugee Performance: Practical Encounters, edited by Michael Balfour. University of Chicago Press.

2009 The Dinka of Sudan The New Leaf (Summer) 

2009 "Bosansko Sijelo"-A Sip of Bosnian Hospitality The New Leaf (Spring)

2008 One the Needle, Another the Thread: Ahiska (Meskhetian Turks) in Syracuse Voices: Journal of New York Folklore 34 (Fall/Winter):38-40. 

2008 Field Notes: Nepali of Bhutan in Syracuse, NY Voices: Journal of New York Folklore 34 (Fall/Winter): 26: 9.

2008 Pauline Yarema: Ukrainian Gifts of Love. Voices: Journal of New York Folklore 34 (Spring/Summer) 

2008 The Karen of Burma The New Leaf (Winter) 

2005 Repeat Performance: Dancing DiDinga with the Lost Boys of Sudan. Journal of American Folklore 465 (Summer): 354-379. 

2005 An American Festival at the Mall. IN Play, an Interdisciplinary Synthesis: Play and Culture Studies (Volume 6), edited by Felicia McMahon, Donald Lytle and Brian Sutton-Smith. Landham, MD: University Press of America, pp. 233-255. 

2003 Emerging Traditions: Performances of Sudanese DiDinga in Syracuse. Voices: Journal of New York Folklore 28 (Fall/Winter 2002): 32-37. 

2002 Fasching in Sachsen: Sinn, Unsinn oder Wahnsinn? IN Inspecting Germany, edited by Thomas Hauschild and Bernd Juergen Warnekn. Hamburg and London: LIT Verlag, pp. 513-520.

2001 Entries: "ball;" "blind man's bluff;" "children's game;" "doll;" "hide and seek;" "hopscotch;" "jump rope;" "London Bridge;" "playground;" "tag;" "toy." Encyclopaedia Britannica

2000 The Aesthetics of Play in Reunified Germany's Carnival. Journal of American Folklore. 113: (450): 378-390. 

1999 Playing with Play: Germany's Carnival as Aesthetic Nonsense. Play & Culture Studies. 2: 177-190. 

1998 That Farm Was Her Heart and Soul. New York Folklore 24: 97-106. 

1998 Women "Rum Runners" and the Outlaw Tradition in the Adirondacks. Adirondac (Nov./Dec.): 16-18. 

1995 A List of Brian Sutton-Smith's Play-Related Publications, appendix to The Future of Play Theory, edited by Anthony Pellegrini. Albany: SUNY Press. 

1993 The Worst Piece of 'Tale': Flaunted Hidden Transcripts in Women's Play. Play Theory and Research  1 (4): 251-258.

1993 Regional Sports: 'Playing' With Politics in the Adirondacks. New York Folklore 19: 75-86. 

1991 Forging the Adirondacker. Western Folklore (July): 277-295.

1991 Guido's Frog Legs  and Cappelletti and Chicken Feet.  In Cook and Tell, edited by Roberta Krell, Special Publications of the California Folklore Society (April). 

1990 Inside Millie's Kitchen: Voices of the Adirondacks. New York Folklore (Winter/Spring): 1-16.

Teaching Appointments

Renee Crown Honors Program (Spring 2008-present)

 

 

Research Interests

Folklore, public folklore, material culture, ethno aesthetics, refugee artists

 

 

Research Grants and Awards

2011 Chancellor's Humanities Award, Syracuse University, for "Refugee and Immigrant  Collaborative for Traditional Arts" $20,000

2009 New York Folklore Society Technical Assistant and Mentoring Grant: Sudanese- Didinga, Syracuse, NY $1,500

2008 NY State Council on the Arts, Principal investigator for "Folk Arts: The New Soul of Syracuse" (Syracuse University) $15,000

2008 Chancellor's Humanities Award, Syracuse University, for "Folk Arts: Soul of Syracuse" $15,000

2008 New York Folklore Society Mentoring and Technical Assistance $2,100

2007 Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors NYS Music Fund, Principal Investigator for "Refugee and New Immigrant Traditional Music Festival" $37,000

2007 NY State Council on the Arts, Principal investigator for "Folk Arts: Soul of Syracuse" (Syracuse University) $14,500

2006 NY State Council on the Arts, Principal investigator for "Folk Arts: Soul of Syracuse" (Syracuse University) $8,000

2006 NY Council for the Humanities, Principal investigator for "Refugee Communities: Soul of Syracuse" (Syracuse University) $2,300

2006 NY Council for the Humanities Speaker, "Aesthetics and Improvisation," Utica Monday Nite Series $500

2003 New York Folklore Society Mentoring Grant for Utica Monday Nite, Utica, NY $2,000

2002 NY Council for the Humanities, Principal investigator for PARC: "Sudan: The    Wars of Our Fathers Are Not Ours" (Syracuse University) $1,500

2002 New York Folklore Society Mentoring Grant for Sudanese artists, Syracuse, NY $1,500

1991 American Studies Association Annette K. Baxter Award, Best Graduate Student Paper $350

 AWARDS

2013 Chancellor's Award for Public Engagement and Scholarship (CAPES), Faculty  Inspiration Award Recipient, Syracuse University

2012 Chancellor's Award for Public Engagement and Scholarship Academic Course, ANT 300/HNR 340: "Migrating Memories, Migrating Arts," Syracuse University

1997-2010 CNY Chapter of the Fulbright Association- elected positions:

               Treasurer: (2008--2010)

               Vice-President for Programs, (2001-2003; 2003-2005)

               Elected President (1998-2001)

               Executive Board Member (1997-2011)

2008 Chicago Folklore Prize for book-length ethnography, Not Just Child's Play: Emerging Tradition and the Lost Boys of Sudan

2000-2003 TASP Executive Board Member (elected)

1999 American Folklore Society Opie Prize for Best Edited Book, Children's Folklore: A Sourcebook  (with Sutton-Smith, Mechling and Johnson)

1995-1996 Fulbright Scholar Award (Germany)

1993 Folklore Fellows of the Nordic Institute (Turku, Finland) Elected Associate Member

1990 University of Pennsylvania Graduate Fellowship

1989 University of Pennsylvania, Folklore Department Fellowship

1987 University of Pennsylvania, Department. of Germanic Languages Delta Phi Alpha, Rho Chapter

1986 U.S. Department of Defense Dependent Schools Overseas Outstanding Teaching Performance Award-GERMANY

1985 U.S. Department of Defense Dependent Schools Overseas Exceptional Teaching Performance Award-GERMANY

Recent Activities

 

• Monograph reviewer, University of Wisconsin Press (2013)

• Submissions reviewer, Journal of American Folklore (2011)

• Smithsonian Education and Museum Studies lecture August 11, 2009 webcast:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46Z4Q9rwlBU

• Syracuse University Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy lecture Sept. 20, 2009 webcast:

               http://video.syr.edu/Video.aspx?vid=kd777emW0Uu7TiIPbDezNA

• Series Editor, Golson Books, Ltd. SAGE Publications, Encyclopedia of Play, (2008--2009)

• Regular Columnist, "Meet Your Neighbors," The New Leaf, Syracuse Real Food Coop (2005-2009)

• Senior Editor, New York Folklore Society, Voices: Journal of New York Folklore, Schenectady, NY (2003-2008)


 

 

 

 

Dissertation

 

"Wilderness and Tradition: Power, Politics and Play in the Adirondacks" (University of Pennsylvania, 1992)

 

 

 

 

 

Recent Invited Lectures

 

2011 Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, Human Rights Conference & Film         Festival, "Many Cultures, One Community," Utica, NY (October 13-15)

  2010 LeMoyne College, Keynote Speaker, "Many Faces, Many Stories, Many           Traditions; Sudanese 'Lost Boys and Lost Girls' in Syracuse, NY, Parents Weekend, (September 25)

 2009 Syracuse University, Keynote Speaker, "Diversity Through Unity," S.C.O.P.E. Annual Multicultural Dinner, SkyBarn (November 14)

  2009 Syracuse University, Opening remarks, Maxwell School Cultural Diplomacy    Symposium, Goldstein Auditorium (September 20)

  2009 Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies, Presentation on        "Facilitation and Collaboration: The Road to Cultural Democracy."  National Museum of African Art, Washington, DC (August 11)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Professional Service

 

• 2010-2011 Invited panelist for folk arts grants, New York State Council on the Arts

 • 2006-2010 Advisory Board, Lost Boys Chapter of Syracuse, NY

 • 2006 Invited panelist: Pennsylvania State Council on the Arts

 • 2005 Invited member for focus group, New York Council for the Humanities

 • 2001-2004 Invited panelist for folk arts grants, New York State Council on the Arts

 • 2000-2002 Editorial Consultant for folk arts and folklore, Encyclopaedia Britannica

 • 2001-2002 Symposium Planning Committee, Syracuse University

 • 2002-2003 Invited Member of the Planning Committee for American Folklore Society       Annual Meeting

 • 2000-2001, 2004 Facilitator for Community Wide Dialogue on Racism, Syracuse, NY