Meet the Team

We are a group of folklorists with a range of interests and backgrounds. We collaborate with individuals who have a vested interest in folklore across the world, from professional folklorists, to artists, to non-profit organizations, to general folklore enthusiasts. Learn more about each of us here!

Wisefolk Productions, LLC Affiliates

A selfie Daisy took while outside doing fieldwork in SE Ohio. Daisy is a light-skinned person with short blonde hair, is wearing a black shirt with brown overalls, black rimmed glasses, and has a small cat patch above their chest pocket.

Daisy Ahlstone

Daisy is our amazing folklorist wrangler in their many roles as the WiseFolk Productions, LLC co-owner, Folkwise director, host for Folkwise Live, and as a content creator! Originally from southern California, Daisy has hopped across the states in their pursuit of folklore obtaining a B.A. in Folklore from University of Oregon and an M.A. in American Studies / Folklore from Utah State University. They are now currently based in Ohio completing a PhD in Comparative Studies with a concentration in Folklore from the Ohio State University (see here: @osu_folklore).

Daisy specializes in environmental folklore, legend, semiotics, and material culture. They apply these areas of focus interdisciplinary with discourse analysis, rhetoric, public policy, and collaborative project-based theories. Folklore is important to them because:

“…it helps me stop and notice the ways my community and support network constantly surround me – from art on my walls, memes people send me, the way I cook a meal – these are all representative of the folkloric forms we use to communicate and express our relationships to each other in small ways every day. Folklore reminds me that my communities are the most important parts of my life, and that we express those relationships through a range of creative forms.”

Email Daisy at daisy.ahlstone@gmail.comor follow me on:

Dr. Dom Tartaglia on ‘Gaming with Folkwise’.
ID: Dom is a white male with shoulder-length long black-brown hair, wearing white headphones while sitting in front of a microphone. Background is pink lighting over a bookshelf.

Dr. Dom Tartaglia

You all know and love Dr. Dom as one of our hosts on our Folkwise Live show on games and folklore! But, do you know what else he does? In addition to being a host and content creator, Dom serves as the Creative Director of WiseFolk Productions, LLC. Not only known for his amazing cosplays, Dom carefully plans out and thinks about the most creative ways to ensure the audience is having a great time. He also does all of the video-editing of the interviews and gameplay highlights! 

Originally from Ohio, Dom received his B.A. degrees in Anthropology and Classics from the University of Cincinnati. He received his M.A. and PhD in Folklore from @iufolkethno. Dom specializes in festivals, “meats” (referring to his foodways research), and vernacular video game communities. In particular, Dom’s research and passion in regards to vernacular video game communities has led him to be an advocate about how digital platforms such as Twitch provides an opportunity for folklorists to engage on an entirely different level with these communities. Folklore is important to him because, “I love being around enthusiastic people and folklore gives me access to the raw enthusiasm”. 

Email Dom at drdomtartaglia@gmail.com or follow me on:

Portrait of Kerry, a white woman with curly brown hair, wearing red lipstick and a grey shirt.

Kerry Kaleba

Kerry wears several different hats within Folkwise! She is not only the WiseFolk Productions, LLC Chief Financial Officer, but also one of our researchers and content creators and serves as our “General Agent of Chaos but sometimes Order”. Kerry’s background in theater from Virginia Tech led her into earning a M.A. in Folklore from George Mason University, Folklore Program and obtaining another M.A. in Arts Management from George Mason University. Kerry is our second Virginia based Folkwise folklorists that also works in Washington, D.C.

Kerry specializes in legends, tourism, heritage programming, material culture (specifically textiles), and folkloric adaptations to other medias. Folklore is important to her because, “Storytelling is the basis of communication and collaboration. And, folklore and practices are often an overlooked survivor of academia and society.”

Email Kerry at kerry.kaleba@gmail.com or follow me on:

Mid-shot of Sam, a white man with long brown hair, standing with arms crossed and smiling in a grey “Jurassic Trail” shirt against a wood wall.

Sam Kendrick

Samuel is one of our several content creators in Folkwise A.K.A. our “Chief Meme Officer”! Originally from and currently based in Missouri, Samuel received his M.A. in Folk Studies from Western Kentucky University in 2020. When he’s not making some fire memes for Folkwise, Samuel specializes in occupational lore, tattoos, art, the public presentation of folklore, and anything else that happens to pique his interest. Samuel recently completed an Archie Green Fellowship doing fieldwork on the occupational folklife of agricultural crop-dusting pilots, which will be preserved in the American Folklife Center archive at the Library of Congress and also made available online to researchers and the public!

Folklore is important to him because… “I like to folk things up. Kidding. It’s important to me because it’s the acknowledgment of the importance of the world and those who live in it. It’s about how we, as a culture, acknowledge identity, how we view the world, how we interact within our personal
worlds and the outside world. It’s part of who I am, how I was raised, and part of my family. In short, it’s who I am.”

Interested in knowing more about Samuel? Be sure to follow his twitter or instagram accounts, or even visit his portfolio!

Portfolio: https//:samuelgkendrick.com/

Email Sam at samuelgkendrick@gmail.com or follow me on:

Selfie of Kaitlyn, a white woman with long brown hair, smiling and wearing a green and blue shirt with a gold metal bracelet.

Kaitlyn Kinney

Kaitlyn is the Communications Director for WiseFolk Productions, LLC, thinking creatively about how to raise folklore’s visibility online. Based in Virginia, Kaitlyn received her B.A.s in Anthropology and English and earned her M.A. in Folklore from the George Mason University, Folklore Program.

Outside of Folkwise, Kaitlyn is currently working on several projects on the intersections between death and folklore including a documentary on a local Virginia cemetery with Folkstreams. And, she is aiding in the publication of the recently deceased and much-beloved folklorist Janet Langlois’s forthcoming book ‘Other Worlds: Talking About the Dead Returning’, which examines personal experience narratives of deathbed visions in hospice care. 

Kaitlyn primarily specializes in death studies, medical folklore, personal experience narrative, stigmatized vernaculars, social movements, digital folklore, true crime and new media as a means for examining how people communicate (or don’t communicate) about death and dying in their everyday lives. She additionally specializes in agricultural folklore and foodways. Folklore is important to Kaitlyn because “to paraphrase from Mary Hufford, folklife and folklore are hidden in full view and lodged in the various ways we have of discovering and expressing who we are and how we fit into the world. Folklore provides an important reflexive approach towards understanding the informal and artistic expressions of everyday life even when sometimes the experience itself is uncomfortable to engage with.”

Email Kaitlyn at kkinney2@gmu.edu or follow me on:

Selfie of Caroline, a white blonde woman with long hair wearing red lipstick, a red blouse, and gold earrings and necklace.

Caroline Miller

Caroline is one of our 12 amazing content creators and you most likely recognize her from our Rolling with Folkwise table-top rpg project that infuses folklore scholarship alongside tabletop gameplay! Proudly from North Carolina, Caroline received her B.A. in Anthropology from Elon University and her M.A in Folklore from UNC at Chapel Hill. Currently based in Indiana, Caroline is busy tackling her PhD in Folklore at Indiana University, Bloomington and is presently doing ethnographic fieldwork for her dissertation in Ireland working with Irish Travellers.

Caroline specializes in Personal Experience Narrative, Irish folklore, Women’s Folklore, Southern US foodways and drinkways, collaborative methodologies, rumor and legend, as well as moonshining traditions and “craft” moonshine. Folklore is important to Caroline because in her opinion it, “is the best lens for trying to better understand the human condition. Studying folklore allows me to think deeply about the aspects of daily life that shape who we are as individuals and as part of various cultures. Everyone has important stories to tell, and Folklore provides a million different ways to enter into a conversation about them. Whether through talking to people about their food traditions, personal experiences, crafting skills, supernatural experiences, or any number of aspects of their lives, Folklore gives an opportunity to build connections with other people and find out what makes them, them.”

Email Caroline at carhmill@iu.edu or follow me on:

Photo of Anna, a white woman with dirty blonde hair wearing a patterned baseball hat and cheetah-print jacket, lounging on the grass and looking off into the distance.

Dr. Annamarie Morel

Anna is our super chill “Artiste” and applies her endless creativity as a content creator and researcher, especially in her work with our Table Top RPG show on Twitch ‘Rolling with Folkwise’! Keep an eye out for her work on our most recent offshoot of Call of Cthulhu (another TTRPG) on the Jersey Devil and the Pine Barrens!

Anna is currently working at the Tenderloin Museum and Treasure Island Museum in San Francisco, California. However, she has roots in Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Anna holds a BA in Arts & Ideas at University of Michigan, an MA in Popular Culture Studies at BGSU, and graduated with her PhD in American Studies from Penn State, Harrisburg in February 2021.

Anna specializes in digital folklore, visual and material culture, popular culture, and photography! Folklore is important to Anna because “it has helped me appreciate the art of everyday life! It gives me a greater understanding of the value of all kinds of expression, from selfies and bumper stickers to county fairs and birthday parties.”

Email Annamarie at obrien.annamarie@gmail.com or follow me on:

Photo of John, a white man wearing a baseball cap, jacket, and khaki pants. He holds a stick out proudly in front of a brick tunnel in-between two mountains.

Dr. John Price

John is one of our several content creators and jokingly refers to himself as a “Bitter Old Millennial Suddenly Inspired by the Talented and Optimistic Zoomers of the Folklore World”. John came into folklore via American Studies receiving an M.A. from George Washington University and a P.h.D from Penn State, Harrisburg. Originally from New Jersey, John is one of our several folklorists currently based in Virginia and he specializes in studying the intersections between folklore and popular culture.

Folklore is important to him because… “Folklore is the foundation of culture; you can’t study or understand culture without first addressing its foundation.”

John addresses this currently in a variety of ways as the editor for the journal New Directions in Folklore (NDiF), which is a refereed, open access e-journal of NewFolk(@AFS), a community of over one hundred scholars, professionals, and graduate students dedicated to pushing the envelope of scholarship in the exploration of contemporary culture. John is also a host on the podcast ‘Meandering Through America’ that explores influential and pivotal cultural texts that have helped define our society and ourselves.

Email John at jprice172@gmail.com or follow me on:

Mid-shot of Jared, a white man with short brownish blonde hair wearing a grey button up shirt and a red scarf. he is standing in front of a fence with Niagara Falls in the background.

Dr. Jared L. Schmidt

Jared is one of our many Folkwise content creators that you may recognize already from his Folkwise Mini Lecture on vampires and garlic. Jared hails from Minnesota, land of the hot dish and many lakes, but is currently based in coastal Oregon. Jared has a M.A. in Applied Anthropology from Minnesota State University, Mankato and another M.A. in Comparative Literature and Folklore Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently, Jared recently defended his dissertation on occupational folklife of costumed third-person interpreters at the living history farm, Old World Wisconsin. He is about to graduate with his PhD in Folklore Studies from University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Jared specializes in Heritage Studies, Folk Art, Museum Studies, Material Culture, Foodways, Occupational Folklife, and Vampires. Folklore is important to him, “–because it informs so much about our individual and community identities. How this is performed can vary widely from person to person and can often times be connected to incredibly heartfelt stories. Helping document and preserve these, whether they be art, stories, memes, etc., is assists us better understand the human condition”.

Email Jared at schmidt29@wisc.edu or follow me on:

Portrait of Shirley, a white person with short brown hair, wearing a brightly floral shirt and black glasses with a purple background.

Shirley Shields

Shirley is our Chief Tumblr Correspondent, a Stream Mod, a Content Creator, and our Merchandise Coordinator. Based in Virginia, Shirley received her BFA in Creative Writing and minored in Folklore and Mythology from George Mason University in 2020. Shirley specializes primarily in folk narrative, belief & the supernatural, religion, queerlore, adaptation/translation, the folkloresque, and of course all of the fun and interesting ways all of these intersect. This is important to her work with a vampire zine launching this summer on Kickstarter called ‘Carpe Noctem: Vampires through the ages’. They have a lot of really cool and talented contributors and a wide range of vampires from all over the world!

Folklore is important to Shirley because “I’ve always loved fairy tales and myths, which was definitely my intro into Folklore. But after taking classes and learning more about the field as a whole, I kept finding new things to love about it. Folklore to me can serve not only as a way to better understand others, but as a map of how we all interact with each other; how we’re all ‘mosaics of the people we’ve met’. It’s a way to examine and appreciate all the little bits, to bring out parts we want to highlight, and even identify parts we may not want to carry with us anymore. The simple things many people barely acknowledge or think about day-to-day are still worthy of attention, and I love that I can participate both in conversations about simple habits, as well as larger ideas with broad societal consequences within the same discipline, and sometimes the same focus of study!”

Email Shirley at shirleyoucantbeserious@gmail.com or follow me on:

Photo of David, a white man with long brown hair in a pony tail standing in grass holding three fire-juggling pins. He is wearing a grey button up shirt, jeans, and is barefoot. There is a building and car in the background of the photo.

David Tauber

David is our Showrunner and Game Master from our #RollingWithFolkwise table-top rpg project that infuses folklore scholarship alongside tabletop gameplay! Originally from northern Utah, David received his B.A. in Anthropology and Religious Studies and his M.A. in History from Utah State University. Currently based in Ohio, David advocates that tabletop gaming has the potential to become an important tool within public humanities education. He encourages that anyone sharing this interest contact him!

David became involved in folkloristics during his time at Utah State University and specializes in Space/Place/Landscape Scholarship and the past as folklore. Folklore is important to David because “Vernacular culture provides a way to understand how the interpretation of the past impacts thoughts and attitudes in the present. This is a very important lens I use in my work and in understanding the world.”

Email David at davidtauber@aol.com or follow me on:

Portrait of Chrissy, a white woman with curly brown hair. She is smiling and wearing a white and floral shirt with plants in the background.

Dr. Chrissy Widmayer

You may recognize Chrissy from our Folkwise Live twitch stream as being the MOST SUS folklorist to ever play Among Us. Chrissy is not only one of our many content creators, but she’s also our editing specialist for many of the Folkwise Team! Originally from Michigan, Chrissy received a BA in Political Science from Kalamazoo College and came into folkloristics when she was completing her MFA in Creative Writing and taking as many folklore classes as she could with @gmufolklore. Currently based in Wisconsin, Chrissy has since received an MA in Folklore Studies and finished her PhD in Folklore Studies from University of Wisconsin-Madison in July 2021! Chrissy specializes broadly in American folklore and material culture, but focuses more closely in foodways, family folklore, gender and women’s studies/folklore, performance and performativity, oral history, life history, and digital folklore.

Folklore is important to Chrissy because, “I’m one of those people who was doing folklore my entire life without knowing it was a thing. I grew up listening to stories from my grandmother on my mom’s side and making Chaldean foods with my dad’s extended family. I loved my family’s Christmas traditions—putting a chicken on the top of our tree, leaving a note out for Santa long after we stopped truly believing, opening presents in order of age from youngest to oldest, etc. For so long, I didn’t know what folklore was, and when I finally encountered it, it was like finding kin. Studying folklore formally has opened my eyes to the world and I love the lens folklorists use to see it. Folklorists don’t judge; we offer curiosity and interest as our guiding principle and value everything we can learn. And folklore has taught me that that learning never stops. It is also important to me to share that with my students, to help others see how much of the world we let pass us by, so that they can better understand themselves and others.”

Email Chrissy at cjwidmayer@gmail.com or follow me on: