Riki (Rachelle H.) Saltzman, PhD, Executive Director, Oregon Folklife Network                                                                                                                                  Phone: 541-346-3820

Riki Headshot 2012Riki joined the Oregon Folklife Network as Executive Director in July 2012. She works with a variety of communities and individuals to provide assistance with multicultural and diversity issues, project development, event planning and implementation, presentation of traditional arts and artists, grant writing, and curriculum content. As OFN’s director, she collaborates with groups and organizations to develop projects, writes grants, makes presentations to community groups and state agencies, supervises staff and interns, creates partnerships, and fundraises.

Public Folklore Background:

From 1995-2012, Saltzman was the Folklife Coordinator for the Iowa Arts Council/Department of Cultural Affairs. During her time in Iowa, she developed two award-winning, online folklife curricula, Iowa Folklife 2 and Iowa Folklife: Our People, Communities, and Traditions (American Folklore Society, 2010 and 2006, Dorothy Howard Folklore and Education Prize) and co-produced Iowa Roots with Iowa Public Radio. With funding from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture (ISU), she researched and developed Iowa Place-Based Foods. Saltzman began her position at the Iowa Arts Council as Curator for the Iowa portion of the Smithsonian’s 1996 Festival of American Folklife & the 1996 Festival of Iowa Folklife. Since 1982, Saltzman has worked at private non-profit and state agencies in nine states, where she directed a range of public programs, organized conferences, curated exhibits, conducted research, and was awarded grants from the NEA and NEH as well as from state and non-profit organizations.

Research Interests:

Foodways—place-based foods, food and identity

Display events (ritual, festival, holidays) and performance

Performance and ethnic identity

Storytelling, commemoration, and collective memory

British folklore, American ethnic folklore, refugee and immigrant arts

Current OFN Projects:

Oregon Arts in the Parks

McKenzie River Folklife documentation

Southern Oregon Folklife Survey (Malheur, Harney, Lake, & Klamath Counties) (2013-14)

Columbia River Gorge Documentation (2014-15)

FisherPoets Gathering Documentation

Teaching/UO Folklore Program:

Folklore and Foodways (Food, Festival, and Celebration)

Public Folklore: History, Theory, and Practice

Ritual, Festival, and Revolution


PhD, Anthropology (Folklore), University of Texas at Austin (Wenner-Gren Dissertation Grant-in-Aid)

MA, British History, University of Texas at Austin

BA, Honors and Distinction, History (major); Folklore & French (minors), University of Delaware (Phi Beta Kappa)

Professional Affiliations:

American Folklore Society Board, 2011-13;

Association for the Study of Food & Society Board, 2008-current (and coordinator for the William Whit and Alex McIntosh student paper prizes)

Editorial advisory board for Heartland Foodways (University of Illinois Press)

American Folklore Society, Association of Western States Folklorists (Public Folklorists Working in the West)


Saltzman is the author of numerous public folklore publications, encyclopedia entries, and

peer-reviewed articles in professional journals.

2012      A Lark for the Sake of Their Country; the 1926 General Strike volunteers in folklore and memory, Manchester University Press: an exploration of folklore, memory, and the politics of identity. American Folklore Society, 2012 Wayland D. Hand Prize for Outstanding Book in Folklore and History.

2014      Adventures in Culinary Tourism: Exploring Iowa’s Place-based Foods and Cultures. in Food and Folklore: A Reader. Lucy Long and Yvonne Lockwood, editors. Oxford: Bloomsbury Press (forthcoming).

2004      Rites of Intensification: Eating and Ethnicity in the Catskills. in Culinary Tourism. Lucy Long, editor, pp. 226-244. Kentucky: University of Kentucky Press.

1995      Public Displays, Play, and Power: The 1926 General Strike.  Southern Folklore: Façade Performances (Special Issue) 52(2):161-186.

‘This Buzz Is For You’: Popular Responses to the Ted Bundy Execution. Journal of Folklore Research: “Arbiters of Taste: Censuring/Censoring Discourse” (Special Issue) 32(2):101-120.

with Moira Smith, Arbiters of Taste: Censuring/Censoring Discourse. Journal of Folklore Research and co-editor with Moira Smith of this Journal of Folklore Research: “Arbiters of Taste: Censuring/Censoring Discourse” (Special Issue) 32(2):85-100.

1994      Calico Indians and Pistol Pills: Historical Symbols and Political Action, New York Folklore xx(3-4):1-18.

Folklore as Politics in Great Britain: Working-Class Critiques of Upper-Class Strike Breakers in the 1926 General Strike. Anthropological Quarterly: Symbols of Contention, Part II (Special Issue) 67(3):105-121.

1993      A Feminist Folklorist Encounters the Folk: Can Praxis Make Perfect? in Feminist Theory and the Study of Folklore, Susan Hollis, Linda Pershing, M. Jane Young, editors. Chicago: University of Illinois Press.

1983      Shalom Ya’ll: The Jews of Memphis. Southern Exposure XI(5):28-36.

2 Responses to Director Comments (RSS) Comments (RSS)

  1. I am taking a Foodways course with Willow Mullins at Washington University in St. Louis. I am writing a research proposal on ‘Passover: A Meta-Story.’ She mentioned you and I have found a 1983 article in ‘Southern Exposure.’ Could you send me a link to your article? I plead old age and tiredness in trying to find the article. My next step would be the librarians at the University.

    I appreciate your time.

    Ed Koslin

    • Ed,
      So very sorry! I just saw your message. I’ll respond from my outlook email to yours about my SE article.

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