Welcome to Arkansas State University!

Dr. Richard Burns

Associate Professor of English and Folklore


  • Ph.D. Folklore/Anth, University of Texas at Austin
  • M.A. Folklore/Anth, 1980, University of Texas at Austin
  • B.S. Education, 1973, University of Texas at Austin
  • B.A. Psychology, 1973, University of Texas at Austin

Teaching Specialties

  • American Folklore
  • Folklore of the Southern United States
  • African-American Folklore
  • Foodways
  • Speech Play and Verbal Art
  • Mississippi Delta Folklore
  • Material Folk Culture
  • Ethnomusicology
  • Prison Folklore
  • Folk Narrative
  • Rural and Urban Ethnography

Courses Taught

  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Special Topics: Graduate Studies in Folklore
  • American Folklore
  • Introduction to Folklore
  • African-American Folklore
  • Material Folk Culture
  • Special Topics in Heritage Studies: Folklore of the Powerless

Research Interests

(Representative Publications)

  • "Dozens." Encyclopedia of African American Folklore. Anand Prahlad, ed. Greenwood Press, 2006
  • "' I got my duffel packed, I'm goin' to Iraq': Marching Chants in the Military." Ballads and Songs-International Studies, Volume 2 (2006). Special Issue: Ballad Mediations: Folksongs Recovered, Represented, and Reimagined, pp. 6-18.
  • " Mississippi Delta Folklore." Encyclopedia of World Folklore. Greenwood Press, 2006.
  • " Prisonlore." Encyclopedia of American Folklife. Simon Bronner, ed. M.E. Sharpe, Inc.
  • " Toasts." Encyclopedia of African American Folklore. Anand Prahlad, ed. Greenwood Press, 2006
  • " Worldview." Encyclopedia of World Folklore. William Clements, ed. Greenwood Press.
  • " Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival (aka: King Biscuit Blues Festival)." The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. Online at http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net (November 2006).
  • Current Project:
    Book Manuscript, Prison Folklore.


  • 1996-1997 Faculty Achievement Award for Research and Scholarship, Arkansas State University.
  • Awarded matching grants from the Lecture-Concert series to bring blues performers to the Delta Blues Symposia, 1995-2004.
  • Heritage Studies Mini-Grant, ASU, $450, 2005.
  • College Faculty Achievement Award for Service, 2004-2005.

Richard Burns

Contact Information

P: (870) 972-2164


Building: HSS
Room: 4083