Title: Associate Professor
Office: Bate 2123
Andrea Kitta is a folklorist with a specialty in medicine, belief, and the supernatural. She is also interested in Internet folklore, narrative, and contemporary (urban) legend. Her current research includes: vaccines, pandemic illness, contagion and contamination, stigmatized diseases, disability, health information on the Internet and Slender Man. She is co-editor for the journal Contemporary Legend, a scholarly journal published annually by the International Society for Contemporary Legend Research.
Dr. Kitta is the recipient of the Bertie E. Fearing Award for Excellence in Teaching (2010-2011), received a Teacher/Scholar award from ECU (2015-16) and was a finalist for the Alumni Teaching Award (2015-2016). Her monograph, Vaccinations and Public Concern in History: Legend, Rumor, and Risk Perception, won the Brian McConnell Book Award in 2012. She also participated in the 2012 US-China Exchange Program between the American Folklore Society and the China Folklore Society. Her research on vaccines won the Bernard Duval Prize at the Canadian Immunization Conference and she received the Graduate Student Union's Award for Teaching Excellence for 2008.
She is currently working on The Kiss of Death: Contamination, Contagion, and Folklore (Utah State University Press).
B.A. in History, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
M.A. in Folk Studies, Western Kentucky University
Ph.D. in Folklore, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Folklore--Medicine, Belief, and the Supernatural
ENGL 7465: Folklore
ENGL 7465: Folklore: The Supernatural
ENGL 7365: Special Topics: Disability and Literature
ENGL 7080: Cultural Studies
ENGL 4360: World Literature
ENGL 3570: American Folklore
ENGL 2570: The Supernatural
HNRS 2011/2013: Experiencing Illness: Alternative Health Belief Systems
ENGL 1100: Foundations of College Writing
2016 “‘What Happens When the Pictures are No Longer Photoshops?’: Slender Man, Belief and the Unacknowledged Common Experience.” Contemporary Legend 3(5): 62-76.
2016 "The Significance of Folklore for Vaccine Policy: Discarding the Deficit Model," with Daniel Goldberg. Critical Public Health. At Press.
2016 Slender Man Goes Viral: Suicide, Violence, and Slender Sickness in the Slender Man Phenomena. October 21, 2016. The American Folklore Society’s Annual Meeting, Miami, Florida.
2016 Religious Belief in the Anti-Vaccination Movement: A Perspective from the United States. September 22, 2016. The 12th International Conference of the Société Internationale d’Ethnologie et de Folklore Working Group Ethnology of Religion: Alternative and Religious Healing in the Modern World. Amsterdam.
2016 Preserving Folk Culture on the Web. Invited to participate in a symposium at the American Folklife Center for their 40th Anniversary. Collections, Collaborations, and Connections: The American Folklife Center at 40. September 12, 2016.
2016 When the Photoshops Become Real: Belief in Slender Man and Slender Sickness. The Folklore Society, London. July 6, 2016.
2016 Supernatural Contagion: Suicide, Violence, and Slender Sickness in the Slender Man Phenomena. July 1, 2016. International Society for Contemporary Legend Research Annual Meeting, Tallinn, Estonia.
2015 Diagnosing Folklore: Perspectives on Health, Trauma, and Disability with Trevor Blank. Jackson, Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi. (In press).
2015 The History of the Anti-Vaccination Movement and Perceptions about Vaccine, Invited Lecture, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Grenfell Campus, Corner Brook, Newfoundland. March 24, 2015.
2015 Belief in Slender Man, Invited Lecture, Slender Man Symposium, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Grenfell Campus, Corner Brook, Newfoundland. March 23, 2015.
2014 "On Ebola," October 30, 2014. Published on the International Society for Contemporary Legend Research's website. http://contemporarylegend.org/2014/10/30/on-ebola/
2014 "Response to 'Why I Can't Stand White Bellydancers,'" April 7, 2014. Published on the American Folklore Society's website. http://www.afsnet.org/news/167898/Response-to-Why-I-Cant-Stand-White-Bellydancers.htm
2014 "Because I'm Smart": The HPV Vaccine and Representations of the Antivaccinators. November 6. 2014. American Folklore Society, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
2014 The Power of Stories: Folklore, Urban Legends, and Medicine. April 1, 2014. Arts@Science East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina.
2013 Untellability and the Stigmatized Vernacular among Dancers with Chronic Pain. October 19, 2013 American Folklore Society, Providence, Rhode Island.
2012 Vaccinations and Public Concern in History: Legend, Rumor, and Risk Perception. Routledge.
2011 "Intimate Territories: Everyday Conflicts over Guarding the Meaning, Ownership, and Integrity of Bodies." American Folklore Society, Bloomington, Indiana.
2011 Kitta, Andrea, N. DeLeon, and J. Jorgensen. "The Living Traditions of Belly Dance: Embodied Knowledge, Practice, and Theory." American Folklore Society, Bloomington, Indiana.
2011. "Folklore and Medicine." Fife Folklore Conference, Logan, Utah.
2010 "The History of the Anti-vaccination Movement and Perceptions of Vaccines." History of Medicine Lecture Series, Greenville, North Carolina.
2010 "Using Web 2.0 Technologies to Understand Public Concerns and Provide Information." Canadian Immunization Conference, Quebec City, Quebec.
2010 "'That Has to be an Urban Legend': Lay Understanding of Unusual Medical Information." American Folklore Society, Nashville, Tennessee.
2009 "'Polio Pics' and 'The Doctor from Toronto': The Use of Vaccination Contemporary Legends by the Public and the Medical Community." American Folklore Society, Boise, Idaho.
2009 "Folk Medicine" for Women's Encyclopedia, Locke, Liz, Theresa A. Vaughan, and Pauline Greenhill, eds. Encyclopedia of Women's Folklore and Folklife. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 220-222.
2009 "Vampire" for Women's Encyclopedia, Locke, Liz, Theresa A. Vaughan, and Pauline Greenhill, eds. Encyclopedia of Women's Folklore and Folklife. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 673-675.
2009 "Bellydance" for Women's Encyclopedia, Locke, Liz, Theresa A. Vaughan, and Pauline Greenhill, eds. Encyclopedia of Women's Folklore and Folklife. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 46-48.
2008 A Shot in the Dark: Lay Perception of Inoculations and Anti-Vaccination Discourse, November 30, 2008. Canadian Immunization Conference. Toronto, Ontario.
2007 The Anti-Vaccination Movement: Conspiracy, Legend, and Risk Perception, November 1, 2007. Pediatric Grand Rounds, Health Sciences Centre, St. John's, Newfoundland.
2007 "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly": The Stigmatization of Immunization Resistant Individuals, October 2007. Joint Meeting of the American Folklore Society and the Folklore Studies Association of Canada. Quebec City, Quebec.
2007 Vaccination and Risk Perception – Why You Should Listen to a Folklorist, January 17, 2007. Community Health Lecture Series, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland.
2006 Vaccine Reaction: An Analysis of the Content and Design of Anti-Vaccination Websites, October 2006. Annual Conference of the American Folklore Society. Milwaukee, Minnesota.