Oregon Folklife Network


Riki (Rachelle H.) Saltzman, PhD, Executive Director, Oregon Folklife Network

E-mail: riki@uoregon.edu
Phone: 541-346-3820

Riki joined the Oregon Folklife Network as Executive Director in July 2012. Since her arrival, she has overseen the development of the Oregon Culture Keepers Roster, raised over $600,000 in grant dollars, directed several public programs, including Folk Arts in the Parks (2013-14), and created statewide partnerships. Saltzman serves on Travel Oregon’s AgriTourism Leadership Working Group and on the Century Farm and Ranch Board. She works with a variety of communities and individuals to provide assistance with multicultural and diversity issues, project development, event planning and implementation, presentation of traditional arts and artists, grant writing, and curriculum content. As OFN’s director, Saltzman collaborates with groups and organizations to develop projects, writes grants, makes presentations to community groups and state agencies, supervises staff and interns, and fundraises.

Public Folklore Background

From 1995-2012, Saltzman was the Folklife Coordinator for the Iowa Arts Council/Department of Cultural Affairs. During her time in Iowa, she developed two award-winning, online folklife curricula, Iowa Folklife 2 and Iowa Folklife: Our People, Communities, and Traditions (American Folklore Society, 2010 and 2006, Dorothy Howard Folklore and Education Prize) and co-produced Iowa Roots with Iowa Public Radio. With funding from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture (ISU), she researched and developed Iowa Place-Based Foods. Saltzman began her position at the Iowa Arts Council as Curator for the Iowa portion of the Smithsonian’s 1996 Festival of American Folklife & the 1996 Festival of Iowa Folklife. Since 1982, Saltzman has worked at private non-profit and state agencies in nine states, where she directed a range of public programs, organized conferences, curated exhibits, conducted research, and was awarded grants from the NEA and NEH as well as from state and non-profit organizations.

Research Interests

  • Foodways—place-based foods, food and identity
  • Display events (ritual, festival, holidays) and performance
  • Performance and ethnic identity
  • Storytelling, commemoration, and collective memory
  • British folklore, American ethnic folklore, refugee and immigrant arts

Current OFN Projects

  • McKenzie River Folklife documentation
  • Statewide Folklife Survey
  • FisherPoets Gathering Documentation

Teaching/UO Folklore Program

  • Folklore and Foodways (Food, Festival, and Celebration)
  • Public Folklore: History, Theory, and Practice
  • Ritual, Festival, and Revolution


  • PhD, Anthropology (Folklore), University of Texas at Austin (Wenner-Gren Dissertation Grant-in-Aid)
  • MA, British History, University of Texas at Austin
  • BA, Honors and Distinction, History (major); Folklore & French (minors), University of Delaware (Phi Beta Kappa)

Professional Affiliations

Selected Publications

Saltzman is the author of numerous public folklore publications, encyclopedia entries, and peer-reviewed articles in professional journals.


Pork, Place, and Praxis: Foodways in Iowa. in Food and Folklore: A Reader. Lucy Long, editor. Oxford: Bloomsbury Press, pp. 382-90 (forthcoming).

From Whim Whams to Spotted Dick: “Pudding, [England’s] Universal Dish”. in Comfort Food Meanings and Memories. Michael Owen Jones and Lucy Long, editors. Oxford, MS: University Press of Mississippi (forthcoming).


Adventures in Culinary Tourism: Exploring Iowa’s Place-based Foods and Cultures. in Food and Folklore: A Reader. Lucy Long and Yvonne Lockwood, editors. Oxford: Bloomsbury Press (forthcoming).


A Lark for the Sake of Their Country; the 1926 General Strike volunteers in folklore and memory, Manchester University Press: an exploration of folklore, memory, and the politics of identity. American Folklore Society, 2012 Wayland D. Hand Prize for Outstanding Book in Folklore and History.


Rites of Intensification: Eating and Ethnicity in the Catskills. in Culinary Tourism. Lucy Long, editor, pp. 226-244. Kentucky: University of Kentucky Press.


Public Displays, Play, and Power: The 1926 General Strike. Southern Folklore: Façade Performances (Special Issue) 52(2):161-186.

‘This Buzz Is For You’: Popular Responses to the Ted Bundy Execution. Journal of Folklore Research: “Arbiters of Taste: Censuring/Censoring Discourse” (Special Issue) 32(2):101-120.

with Moira Smith, Arbiters of Taste: Censuring/Censoring Discourse. Journal of Folklore Research and co-editor with Moira Smith of this Journal of Folklore Research: “Arbiters of Taste: Censuring/Censoring Discourse” (Special Issue) 32(2):85-100.


Calico Indians and Pistol Pills: Historical Symbols and Political Action, New York Folklore xx(3-4):1-18.

Folklore as Politics in Great Britain: Working-Class Critiques of Upper-Class Strike Breakers in the 1926 General Strike. Anthropological Quarterly: Symbols of Contention, Part II (Special Issue) 67(3):105-121.


A Feminist Folklorist Encounters the Folk: Can Praxis Make Perfect? in Feminist Theory and the Study of Folklore, Susan Hollis, Linda Pershing, M. Jane Young, editors. Chicago: University of Illinois Press.


Shalom Ya’ll: The Jews of Memphis. Southern Exposure XI(5):28-36.