Rachel Hopkin

Folklorist and Radio Producer

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This is the page where I note my thoughts about matters concerning radio production, folklore, cultural sustainability, and what I’m currently working on, as well as general musings regarding life as a folklorist/radio producer.

Rachel Hopkin PhD

14 December, 2019

Rachel Hopkin PhD

Rachel Hopkin PhD


The doctorate is done and dusted and I shall officially graduate from the Ohio State University tomorrow.

I defended my dissertation on 21st November 2019, and turned in the final  document on 26th November.  It’s called: “Argentine Tango in Cincinnati: An Ethnographic Study of Ethos, Affect, Gender, and Ageing in a Midwestern Dance Community”.  A huge thanks to my amazing advisor, Amy Shuman, and to my committee – Katherine Borland, Ana Cara, and Dorothy Noyes – and to the tango dancers of Cincinnati without whose generosity, insights, and involvement, my research would have been possible.

Becoming a US Citizen

23 January, 2019

I’ve been very slack on the news front because of various commitments, the most significant of which is completing my dissertation. Read more

Latest Article – Poetics and Patisserie

30 March, 2018

My latest article has just been published in Performance Research. It’s called “Poetics and Pâtisserie”. Read more

New Books in Folklore Podcast

26 December, 2017

It’s been pretty quiet on the home front this year as I’ve largely been working on my dissertation which is an ethnographic research project focussed on the Argentine tango community in Cincinnati, Ohio. Read more

Texas Folklife Summer Stories 2017

7 July, 2017

Brian Griffith at the 2017Texas Folklife Summer Stories InstituteLast month, and for the fourth summer in a row, I was fortunate enough to serve as the Guest Instructor at Texas Folklife’s wonderful Summer Stories Institute (aka Stories from Deep in the Heart). This programme offers “award-winning in depth folklore and audio documentary training for Austin and Central Texas high public school students and teachers”.  Read more

The International Features Conference 2017 – Stockholm

1 July, 2017

The International Features Conference (IFC) has been happening every year for over four decades.  It’s the brainchild of the German radio feature maker, Peter Leonard Braun https://ifc2.wordpress.com/about-ifc/ – whom, I believe, still comes each year.  It’s dedicated to radio documentaries and the people who make them. Read more

Rest in Peace Auriel Andrew

6 January, 2017

Auriel Andrew featured in Country Down Under, the BBC radio doc I produced about Australian Aboriginal musicians and country music that was broadcast a couple of weeks ago. On January 2nd 2017, Auriel’s husband Barry wrote to me to say that she had died that morning.  It is a sad loss. Read more

Country Down Under – broadcast today on BBC Radio 4

20 December, 2016

Country Down Under, the radio documentary which I made earlier this year, is getting its BBC Radio 4 broadcast today.  Read more

Forthcoming Radio Documentary about Australian Aboriginal Musicians and Country Music

24 June, 2016

Rachel in a Bush Hat

Rachel in a Bush Hat

I’ve just returned from an amazing first visit to Australia. I was there for two weeks, recording material for a forthcoming BBC radio programme. Provisionally entitled “Country Down Under”, the documentary looks at how American-style country music embraced by Australian Aboriginal musicians. The genre first became popular amongst Australia’s dispossessed native people during the interwar years. At that time, many worked as drovers and were stationed on large cattle ranches, or they worked on the land in other ways. They had access to recordings of Hank Williams and others via the radios and phonographs that generally belonged to their white oppressors. Read more

From Purcell to Pastry – latest in the FolkOhio radio series

15 June, 2016

The FolkOhio radio series focuses on the Buckeye State’s traditional culture and I am lucky enough to produce these pieces as part of my role at the OSU’s Center for Folklore Studies at OSU for broadcast on WOSU. Read more