Emma Bussard

Emma Bussard

Emma Bussard

Inspired by almost a decade of living and working on the African continent, Emma decided to pursue a Masters in Folklore Studies to refine her skills and knowledge and gain professional experience within the field of folklore. With a visual arts background, specifically in photography, Emma is passionate about ethnographic research and cultural documentation. Her time as a Peace Corps Volunteer (in Malawi and in Liberia) taught her the importance of listening to local perspectives and working collaboratively with community members to center local voices and knowledge. She believes that properly contextualizing a story is one of the most important steps of presenting fieldwork.

 

Emma has, over the course of recent years, conducted research on heritage tourism and handicrafts in Malawi. She hopes to raise awareness of the stories of local artisans behind the products in the tourist market and inspire intentional tourism initiatives. Themes which she is exploring in her thesis project include decolonization, digital storytelling, cultural authority, and representation.

 

In addition to her studies, Emma also serves as the Editorial Assistant for the Journal of American Folklore, which is currently housed at George Mason University, where she works alongside Dr. Lisa Gilman (Editor-in-Chief) and Lorraine Walsh-Cashman (Managing Editor) to produce quarterly publications in conjunction with the American Folklore Society.