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 doctor/patient communication.
Dr. Kitta is the recipient of the Bertie E. Fearing Award for Excellence in Teaching (2010-2011), and her monograph, Vaccinations and Public Concern in History: Legend, Rumor, and Risk Perception, won the Brain 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 Diagnosing Folklore: Perspective on Health, Trauma, and Disability with Trevor Black (University Press of Mississippi) and The Kiss of Death: Contamination, Contagion, and Folklore (Utah State University Press).
BA in History, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
MA in Folk Studies, Western Kentucky University
Ph.D. in Folklore, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Primary Areas of Research/Teaching
Folklore--Medicine, Belief, and the Supernatural
7365: Special Topics: Disability and Literature
7080: Cultural Studies
4360: World Literature
3570: American Folklore
2570: The Supernatural
1100: Composition I
Selected Publications and Presentations
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 Encyclopaedia, 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 Encyclopaedia, 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 Encyclopaedia, 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.
American Folklore Society