Eric L. Ball is Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies at Empire State College, State University of New York, where he also chairs the undergraduate program in cultural studies in the Center for Distance Learning. His articles on place and culture have appeared in a number of journals, including the Journal of Folklore Research, Studies in Art Education, and the Journal of Modern Greek Studies. He is interested in approaches to arts and humanities education that decenter those conceptions of art, literature, and culture that limit the potential of everyday traditions to foster the well-being of local communities. He authored and is currently teaching a fully online undergraduate course entitled "Exploring Place." In the course, students from New York and around the world research the arts, cultures, or histories of the places in which they live and share the results of their research with others.
Anne-Christine Hornborg is Associate Professor in the Department of History and Anthropology of Religions, Lund University, Sweden, where she also lectures in the Human Ecology Division. She has conducted extensive fieldwork among the Mi'kmaq and has also performed research in Tonga and Peru. Her dissertation, "A Landscape of Left-Overs: Changing Conception of Place and Environment among Mi'kmaq Indians of Eastern Canada" (2001), examines issues of reflexive anthropology, phenomenology, discourse and power, tradition, and ritual, as have her articles in Anthropology and Humanism, European Review of Native American Studies, and Recherches Amérindiennes au Québec. Her current research is in the field of ritual studies, the interdisciplinary study of rituals.
Kristin Peterson-Bidoshi is Assistant Professor of Russian in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Union College. Peterson-Bidoshi conducts fieldwork in Eastern Europe and has written on the use of oral tradition in the works of Nikolai Gogol, Anton Chekhov, and Liudmila Petrushevskaia. She has also published articles on Russian language pedagogy. Her current research focuses on the contemporary Albanian literary fairy tale as a reflection of a nation's quest for cultural identity.
Melissa Schrift is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Sociology at Marquette University. Her current research interests center on material and popular culture, performance, race and identity politics, and cultural tourism. She is the author of Biography of a Chairman Mao Badge: The Development and Mass Consumption of a Personality Cult (Rutgers, 2001). She is currently pursuing two research projects: one on the Melungeons and the social construction of race and a second on prison tourism. She has recently published an article on the Angola Prison Rodeo and is currently preparing a paper on prison museums. [End Page 377]
Natalie M. Underberg is Assistant Professor of Digital Media and Folklore, School of Film and Digital Media, University of Central Florida. As Program Coordinator for the UCF Cultural Heritage Alliance, her work centers on finding new ways to present and interpret folklore through technology-based heritage projects such as the East Mims Oral History Project Web Site. Currently she is President of the Florida Folklore Society, whose annual meeting this year will feature the theme "Story, Performance, and Technology."