Margaret R. Yocom (Ph.D., English, University
of Massachusetts, Amherst: 1980), a folklorist who
specializes in family folklore, oral narrative, material
culture, and gender studies, is an associate professor
of English at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia.
The director of the Northern Virginia Folklife Archive,
she established the English Department’s Folklore,
Mythology, and LIterature Concentration; the Folklore
and Mythology Minor; and the Folklore Concentration
in Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies.
She teaches courses in traditional narrative and
storytelling, traditional arts, gender, ethnographic
writing, and folklore and creative writing.
She has conducted fieldwork in her home Pennsylvania
German culture as well as with the Inuit of northwestern
Alaska and several Northern Virginia communities.
Her major fieldsite is a North Appalachian mountain
community in western Maine.
She has published articles and photographs on ethnographic
fieldwork, regional study, ethnopoetics, family folklore,
gender, and material culture. Her most recent work
includes “‘We’ll Take Care of Liza
and the Kids’: Spontaneous Memorials and Personal
Response at the Pentagon, 2001" in Spontaneous
Shrines and Other Public Memorializations of Death
(2006); “Exuberance in Control: The Dialogue
of Ideas in the Tales and Fan Towers of Woodsman William
Richard of Phillips, Maine” in Northeast
Folklore: Essays in Honor of Edward D. Ives (2000);
and “ ‘Awful Real’: Dolls and Development
in Rangeley, Maine” (1993). She is the assistant
editor of Ugiuvangmiut Quliapyuit: King Island
Tales (1988); and in 1994, she edited and wrote
Logging in the Maine Woods: The Paintings of Alden
Grant. She has published non-fiction in Friends
Journal and poetry in Voices: The Journal
of New York Folklore. Her current folklore project
is a book on the traditional arts of the Richard family
of Rangeley, Maine.
Active in public sector folklore, she serves as folkorist
at the Rangeley Lakes Region Logging Museum in Rangeley,
Maine, as well as consultant to various projects at
the Smithsonian Institution, the NEA, and the Maine
Arts Commission. She also serves on the boards of
the National Council for the Traditional Arts, the
Maine Folklife Center, the Rangeley Lakes Region Historical
Society, and the Rangeley Lakes Region Logging Museum.
She co-founded the Folklore and Creative Writing Section
of the American Folklore Society, and serves as liason
between the American Folklore Society and the Association
of Writers and Writing Programs.