Ohio State nav bar

OSU Field School

Remote video URL

Since the summer of 2016, OSU Center for Folklore Studies faculty, staff, and students have been building relationships with core community partners in several Southeastern Ohio counties and developing archival projects that support, document, and preserve local culture. The Ohio Field School Program has two major foci: the various local documentation and archival initiatives we support through the Ohio Field School Collection in the Folklore Archives and the training of students from across the University in methods of collaborative ethnography. The project asks the question: How do Ohioans create a sense of place in a changing environment?

Ohio State students assist in this project by documenting spaces of sociality and the work of grassroots community organizations with an ethic of service-oriented work. They interview farmers, forest workers, business owners, community leaders, local historians, entrepreneurs, trappers, hunters, gardeners and others who have storied the lands they occupy in various ways. In the process, students consider the relations between city dwellers and rural groups, between old-timers and in-migrators, and between diverse groups of residents. Through years-long collaboration and a broad toolkit of engaged methods, the Ohio Field School has become a well-spring for diverse kinds of outreach and engagement including reimagining intergenerational succession, reclaiming marginalized narratives of place, and assisting in environmental restorative efforts.