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Interim Associate Dean

University of Central Oklahoma (405) 974-3434 College of Liberal Arts LAS 250L , Box 182


Theresa A. Vaughan, Ph.D., is the interim associate dean of the UCO College of Liberal Arts and a professor of humanities in the UCO Department of Humanities and Philosophy. She holds a B.A. in anthropology and French from the University of Michigan (1990), an M.A. in folklore from Indiana University (1995) and a Ph.D. in folklore with a double minor in anthropology from Indiana University (1999). Her regular courses at UCO have included Non-Western Humanities, Introduction to Religious Studies, World Religions, Anthropology of Religion, Bronze Age Humanities, Native American Humanities and Medieval Folklore, as well as both General Humanities: Ancient to Medieval and General Humanities: Renaissance to Modern. She has been a full-time faculty member at UCO since 1999, and served as chairperson of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy from 2008-16, and assistant dean of the College of Liberal Arts from 2019-23. 

Research, Published Work, and Scholarly Activities

Vaughan's research interests currently include medieval folklore and folklife, feminist theory in both folklore and anthropology, foodways, and the history of medicine and folk medicine. She was co-editor (with Liz Locke and Pauline Greenhill) of the Encyclopedia of Women's Folklore and Folklife, published by Greenwood Press (2008), which won the Elli Köngas-Maranda Prize in Women's Folklore from the Women's Section of the American Folklore Society. She has published articles and reviews in a variety of journals, including the Journal of American FolkloreAmerican EthnologistWestern Folklore, and AVISTA Forum Journal, as well as a number of book chapters. Her most recent book is Women, Food, and Diet in the Middle Ages: Balancing the Humours, published by the University of Amsterdam Press in 2020. A complete C.V. is available at

Professional and Community Involvement

Vaughan has been active in the American Folklore Society since 1994. She has held a number of leadership positions, including co-convenor of the Women's Section, coordinator of the Sue Samuelson Foodways Student Essay Prize for the Foodways Section and chair of the AFS Annual Meeting Program Committee for Tulsa 2022.  She is also a long-time member of the American Anthropological Association and the Association for the Study of Food and Society.

She is the past editor of Folklore Feminist Communications and currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Folklore Research. She is currently the lead editor for Digest: A Journal of Foodways and Culture.

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