Faculty               Visiting Faculty               Faculty Emeriti               Alumni               Contact

students simple.jpg


Cameron Johnson

MA Candidate | Folklore

Having previously worked on collections at U.C. Berkeley’s Folklore Archive as well as those at the Minidoka National Historic Site and the Densho: Japanese American Legacy Project, Cameron’s interests are centered on the preservation and presentation of narratives in historically underrepresented communities. His current research within the Folklore program is concerned with the concept of archival authority and indigenous representation, specifically regarding the efforts to provide access to musical recordings produced and restricted in South Africa’s apartheid era.Cameron holds a B.A. of Anthropology and a minor of Rhetoric from the University of California, Berkeley and is eager to explore the various complexities of sound and object through a Folkloric lens.

Offer-Westort, Bob.jpg

Bob Offer-Westort

MA Candidate | Folklore

Bob Offer-Westort comes to the Folklore MA program from over a decade of community organising in homeless communities in San Francisco and Berkeley. He's interested in the internal structure of narrative, how received narratives in turn condition our personal and political lives, and how stories change in movement between narrative communities and through time. His planned research focuses on the region between the Nile and the Red Sea. Bob holds a BA in Social Anthropology from Long Island University.


Leah Simon

MA Candidate | Folklore

Leah is arriving from New York City after finishing her undergraduate work at the NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study. A current member of the Folklore program at U.C. Berkeley, she is motivated to research how nationalism and visual media inform sexual subjectivities. In her current research, she examines libidinal identities and their implications in practices of global gentrification. She hopes to better understand how popular perceptions of gender, authenticity, and sexuality have been discursively shaped in the past by the present and in the present by the past. During the time in her masters program, Leah looks forward to working closely with scholarship that focuses on womxn, the body, gender, and sexuality in folklore and postcolonial studies.


Sailakshmi Senthil Kumar

MA Candidate | Folklore | Archivist

Born in Chennai, India but raised in Fremont, CA, Sailakshmi (Nisha) comes to the folklore program after finishing her undergrad in anthropology at Berkeley in the spring of 2019. Her interests lie in diasporic Indian-American communities in the Bay Area and how they conceptualize more taboo forms of health like sexual, reproductive, and women's health. Having worked in Tamil Nadu, India in the winter of her sophomore year of undergrad, she is particularly interested in how notions of taboo cross transnationally to become modified or re-contextualized in new settings through narrative, gossip, and rumor. An avid cook, Sailakshmi also spends her free time attempting various new recipes.


Nalin Sindhurprama

MA Candidate | Folklore

Nalin received her BA from Chulalongkorn University in Thai language and literature with a focus on folklore. After graduating, she began researching the two decades that have ensued since the violence of the Khmer Rouge government in neighboring Cambodia. For her MA Thesis, she plans to conduct fieldwork on how Cambodians born after 1979 engage with narratives of the Khmer Rouge years that appear in memoirs, novels, films, comic books, political discourse, and official narratives. Her particular interest lies in how this generation uses media, including social media, to construct "Khmerness" in relation to the 1975-1979 period.


Molly Robinson

MA Candidate | Folklore

Molly joins the Folklore Program to explore the material and cultural histories of the so-called American South. She examines how these histories are brought to life in Gullah figurative painting and other art forms created in the part of the southeastern United States vernacularly dubbed the “Coastal Empire.” These interests issue from a broader concern with how we might learn to see legacies of difference, diasporic identities, and articulations of political desire through representation of Southern bodies in art. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago and prior to studying at Berkeley worked as a watercolorist for a real estate company and as a docent at a historic house museum in Savannah, Georgia.


Kate Brock

MA Candidate | Folklore

Kate received a B.A. in Creative Writing and Music Business from Anderson University in Indiana prior to pursuing an M.A. in Creative Writing at University College Cork in Ireland. There her studies included poetry and folklore pertaining to the Hag of Beara, Brigid, and Sheela-na-gigs. Her primary interests are women’s sexuality, femininity, and reproductive rights in Old and Modern Irish poetry and culture as well as the transformation of female figures in oral tradition and the archaeological record. She is currently studying Modern Irish and plans to conduct archival research in the National Folklore Collection in Dublin and ethnographic work in the West of Ireland.


Julia McKeown

MA Candidate | Folklore

Julia is a non-binary Peace Corps Volunteer currently living in and working with Youth in Development in Morocco. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and minor in creative writing from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2016. While there, she wrote a senior thesis on the community of vulnerability and positive youth development that occurs within the Triangle’s spoken word and slam poetry community (of which she is a proud member). In May of 2017 she was honored to participate in the Iowa Summer Writers Workshop with James Galvin at the University of Iowa. She is interested in continuing to explore how those ensnared by dominant narratives find spaces and mediums to create their own stories. In particular she is interested in previously colonized countries, questions of LBTQIA* identity in countries with a dominant religious narratives, movements of peoples across physical and socially constructed borders, and many other things. She is very much enjoying watching these interactions unfold in a country where her integration and language skills allow her to be ever more deeply involved in people’s lives.