Emily Hilliard


Masters of Arts in Folklore, August 2011

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Areas of focus: American vernacular music, foodways, women's creative domesticity, ethnography, audio documentary

Thesis: “Vimala Cooks, Everybody Eats: Domesticity, Community, and Empowerment”

Archie Green Fellowship & Merit Fellowship Award Recipient


Bachelor of Arts in English and French, May 2005

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Graduated with Distinction, James B. Angell Scholar



State Folklorist / West Virginia Humanities Council                                                                                                                              

November 2015-present, Charleston, WV

Founder and director of the West Virginia Folklife Program, supported by the National Endowment for the Arts; Recipient of the 2016 Henry Reed Fund Award and 2018 Parsons Fund Award from the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.


Writer & Media Producer                                                                                                                         

November 2011-present

Writer and media producer for publications including NPR, Ecotone, The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets, Southern Cultures, Lucky Peach, The Bitter Southerner, West Virginia University Press, and the Southern Foodways Alliance’s James Beard Award-winning Gravy; Co-founder and writer, Nothing in the House: A Pie Blog


Adjunct Faculty / Marshall University Graduate Humanities Program                                                                                                                           

August 2017-present, South Charleston, WV

History and Theory of the Arts seminar, Fall 2017


Marketing Coordinator / Smithsonian Folkways Recordings                                                                                                                                                                                           

July 2012-October 2015, Washington, D.C.      

Managed multimedia communications and social media for non-profit record label of the Smithsonian Institution; Album co-producer, Ella Jenkins’ More Multicultural Songs and Tribute to Jack Hardy; Production assistant, Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection


Folklorist & Project Manager / Sandy Spring Museum/Maryland Traditions              

November 2013-June 2014,  Sandy Spring, MD

Conducted, created, and presented fieldwork survey and report of Sandy Spring traditional artists and tradition bearers, launching the Museum’s folklife programming


Lecturer  / University of Michigan’s New England Literature Program                                                                                                                                             

February 2008-July 2014, Alton Bay, NH                  

Taught place-based American literature, creative writing, history, sound, and folklife undergraduate courses for intensive spring semester program; Researched, developed, and implemented class curriculum and program administration


Director & Editor / Longhouse Scholars Program                                                                                                                          

May 2013-January 2014,  Rensselaerville, NY    

 Oversaw all operations, planning, and execution of food media education program, supervising and editing student writing and multi-media documentaries; Edited The LongHouse Chronicle print publication


Program Coordinator  / National Council for the Traditional Arts                                                                                                                          

June 2011-August 2012,  Silver Spring, MD

Curated and moderated demonstrations, performances, and panels at national and regional folk festivals; Coordinated multimedia communications and social media for festivals and National Endowment for the Arts' National Heritage Awards Fellowships



American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, 2009

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 2008



Appalachian Food Summit board member, 2018-present

Ohio Arts Council Traditional Arts Apprenticeship panelist, 2018 & 2019

Folk Art PA Apprenticeship panelist, 2017

National Endowment for the Humanities grant panelist, 2016

WOMM, WXYC & Radio CPR radio host, 2009-2013

Maryland Traditions’ Apprenticeship Awards & Project Grant panelist, 2012

University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill Concentration in Folklore Speaker Series organizer, 2010-2011

North Carolina Folklore Society student board representative, 2010



The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress Gerald E. and Connic L. Parsons Fund Award recipient, 2018

The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress Henry Reed Fund Award recipient, 2016

Appalshop Performing our Future Forum fellow, 2016

Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) Travel Grant recipient, 2015

Berea College Appalachian Sound Archives fellow, 2014

The Kitchn Best Sweets & Baking Blog finalist, 2014

Southern Foodways Alliance Greenhouse Film Grant recipient, 2013

University of North Carolina Archie Green Fellowship, 2010

University of North Carolina Graduate School Merit Fellowship Award recipient, 2009



Guest Faculty, Vermont Folklife Center Discovering Community Summer Institute, August 2019

Visiting Presenter, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, January 2019

Guest Lecturer, Appalachian Folklore class, George Mason University, April 2018

Panelist, Field Recording Panel, Big Ears Festival, Knoxville, TN, March 2018

“Documenting Folklife and Foodways in West Virginia,presenter in "Cornbread Convocations and Dancin’ Dumplin’s: Engaged Scholarship Programs in Appalachian Foodways" panel, Appalachian Studies Association 40th Annual Appalachian Studies Conference, March 2017

"Beyond Apprenticeships: Innovations and New Models in Statewide Folk Arts Programs," panelist, American Folklore Society and International Society for Folk Narrative Research Joint Annual Meeting, 2016

Guest Lecturer, Senior English Seminar, Fairmont State University, April 2016

Guest Lecturer, Folklore Graduate Seminar, West Virginia University, March 2016

“Writing from Family Recipes,Food writing workshop teacher at Hindman Settlement School's Dumplin's and Dancin', 2015

“Uncovering Lead Belly: Considering Huddie Ledbetter’s Previously Unreleased Recordings,panel moderator and presenter, Association for Recorded Sound Collections Annual Conference, 2015

 Kitchen Culture: Subversive Domesticity panel moderator, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, 2014

Guest Lecturer, American Studies Foodways Seminar, University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill, March 2013

Instrument Maker Panel moderator, Maryland Traditions Folklife Festival, 2012

"Vimala Cooks, Everybody Eats: Domesticity, Community, and Empowerment," North Carolina Folklore Society Annual Meeting, 2011 & the American Folklore Society Annual Meeting, 2010



“‘The Reason We Make These Deep Fat-Fried Treats:’ In Conversation with the Rosettes of Helvetia, West Virginia,” in The Food We Eat, The Stories We Tell: Contemporary Appalachian Tables, edited by Elizabeth S.D. Engelhardt with Lora E. Smith, Ohio University Press, forthcoming 2019.

Foreword to Folk Songs from the West Virginia Hills by Patrick Gainer, West Virginia University Press, 2017. 

Foreword to The West Virginia Pepperoni Roll by Candace Nelson, West Virginia University Press, 2017.

Algeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo entries in Ethnic American Food Today: A Cultural Encyclopedia (2015), edited by Lucy M. Long. Roman and Littlefield, pp. 24-27, 157-159, 533.

Cotton Candy, Nutella, and Oreos entries in James Beard Award finalist The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets (2015), edited by Darra Goldstein. Oxford University Press, pp. 190-191, 487-488, 493-493.


SELECTED PUBLISHED WORK (Additional writing clips here)

"Building a Broom By Feel: Jim Shaffer," in Southern Cultures: Things Issue, Fall 2017.

"One Year in Helvetia," Bitter Southerner, February 2017

“Written and Composed by Nora E. Carpenter: Song Lyric Scrapbooks, Home Recordings, and Self-Documentation,” in Southern Cultures: Documentary Arts Issue, Spring 2016.

“The Anthropology of Pie.” Sift Magazine, Fall 2015.

“Swiss Village + West Virginia + Mardi Gras = Fasnacht,” NPR The Salt, February 17, 2015.

“Heavenly Work: The Fleeting Legacy of the Shakers,” Ecotone Fall/Winter 2014.

“Something Good from Helvetia,” Southern Foodways Alliance’s Gravy, April 11, 2014.



"Building a Broom by Feel: An Interview with James Shaffer" audio documentary and video documentary for West Virginia Public Broadcasting and the West Virginia Folklife Program. Screened at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress' "Reel Folk: Cultural Explorations on Film Event". Aired on Inside Appalachia podcast, West Virginia Morning, and the West Virginia Channel, 2017.

Helvetia Foodways Oral History Project for the Southern Foodways Alliance and West Virginia Folklife Program, 2017.

"Never Whack: George O'Neal of Lil' Farm" audio documentary. In Scene on Radio podcast by John Biewen, The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. 2016.

“The Wharf” short film by Emily Hilliard and Ashley Melzer. Southern Foodways Alliance Greenhouse Grant Recipient, 2013.

“The Billy and Bobby Show” audio documentary. In Recycled. Aired on KGNU Boulder, KZYX Mendocino, KXOT Tacoma, WNIJ Northern Illinois, WMBR Cambridge.



Archival processing & research, Audio and video documentary production, Blogging, Collaborative ethnography, Curation, Editing, Event planning & coordination, Folklife fieldwork, Grant writing, Management, Marketing & communications, Oral history, Photography, Public speaking, Radio hosting & production, Recipe development & testing, Social media, Teaching & curriculum development, Transcription, Writing



English, French



Available upon request