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Dorothy Noyes

Dorothy  Noyes

Dorothy Noyes

Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor English


424 Hagerty Hall
1775 College Road, Columbus, OH 43210

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Areas of Expertise

  • Folklore theory and history
  • Political and symbolic anthropology
  • Performance, ritual and festival
  • Political and symbolic anthropology
  • Cultural transfer and cultural process in international relations
  • Catalonia, Romance-speaking Europe and the Mediterranean


  • PhD, University of Pennsylvania, 1992

Dorothy Noyes is Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of English, with a joint appointment in the Department of Comparative Studies, at the Ohio State University. She is core faculty in the Center for Folklore Studies, which she directed from 2005 to 2014, and Senior Faculty Fellow at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies. She holds  courtesy appointments in Anthropology, French and Italian, and Germanic Languages and Literatures; she also teaches in the Program in International Studies.  

Noyes studies political ritual and the traditional public sphere in Europe; she also writes on folklore theory and on the international policy careers of culture concepts. She is the author of Fire in the Plaça: Catalan Festival Politics After Franco (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003); Humble Theory: Folklore’s Grasp on Social Life (Indiana University Press, 2016); and Sustaining Interdisciplinary Collaboration: A Guide for the Academy, with Regina F. Bendix and Kilian Bizer (University of Illinois Press, 2017). Her current book projects are Exemplary Failures: Gesture and Pedagogy in Liberal Politics and, co-edited with Tobias Wille, The Global Politics of Exemplarity.

Elected Fellow of the American Folklore Society in 2005, Noyes served as AFS President in 2018 and 2019. She spent six years on the executive board of the Société Internationale d'Ethnologie et de Folklore, and has lectured or taught in more than twenty countries. In 2019 she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Tartu, Estonia. Her interdisciplinary projects have included a six-year stint as fellow of the Göttingen Interdisciplinary Working Group on Cultural Property. In 2021 she received the Ohio State University’s Distinguished Scholar Award. In addition to graduate folklore theory courses, she teaches Common Sense: Knowledge, Experience, and Social Life; The Fairy Tale and Reality; American Regional Cultures in Transition; Cultures of Waste and Recycling; Cultural Diplomacy; and Poetry and Politics in the 20th Century Mediterranean.

Selected Publications

Curriculum Vitae


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