LuAnne K. Roth

  • Associate Teaching Professor
  • Writing and Rhetoric
  • Email:
  • Office Location: Roosevelt Hall, Rm 336


LuAnne Roth joined URI in 2018. Her research and teaching converge around the academic fields of folklore, film/media studies, and food studies.

Roth’s writing has appeared in the journals Western Folklore and Food, Culture and Society, as well as in such edited volumes as Of Corpse: Death and Humor in Folklore and Popular Culture (2003), Folklore/Cinema: Popular Film as Vernacular Culture (2007), Comfort Food Meanings and Memories (2017), and What’s Eating You?: Food and Horror on Screen (2017).

Particularly interested in how food is used to negotiate belief, class, ethnicity, gender, nationality, and race, Roth has been working on a project that interrogates media representations of the Thanksgiving meal. At the other end of the spectrum, she is working on an essay, “Putting a Face on Fear,” which investigates the 2016 “creepy clown” panic that spread through American culture.


PhD, English, University of Missouri, Columbia

MA, Folklore and Mythology, University of California, Los Angeles

BA, Psychology, Augsburg College, Minneapolis

Selected Publications

“‘Do the [White] Thing’: What Oppositional Gaze Narratives Reveal about Culinary Nationalism and Whiteness.”  Western Folklore 80.1 (2020): 81-117.

“‘You Are What Others Think You Eat’:  Food, Identity, and Subjectivity in Zombie-as-Protagonist Narratives” (article).  In What’s Eating You?: Food and Horror on Screen.  Ed.  Cynthia Miller and Bow Van Riper, pp. 271-292.  London:  Bloomsbury Publishing.

“Comfort (and Discomfort) Food: Social Surrogacy and Embodied Memory in Real and Reel Life” (article). In Comfort Food Meanings and Memories.  Ed. Lucy Long and Michael Owen Jones, pp. 182-211.  Jacksonville:  University of Mississippi Press.

“‘Three Men, and the Place is Surrounded’:  Women in the Zombie Apocalypse” (co-authored with Kate Shoults).  In But If a Zombie Apocalypse Did Occur: Essays on Medical, Military, Governmental, Ethical, Economic and Other Implications. Ed. Amy L. Thompson and Antonio Thompson, pp. 227-245. Jefferson, NC: McFarland Press.

“Sexing the Turkey: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality at Thanksgiving.” In Unsettling Assumptions: Tradition, Gender, Drag,ed. Pauline Greenhill and Diane Tye, pp. 148-71. Utah State University Press.

“Introduction: Zombies ‘R’ Us.” In Zombies ‘R’ Us: An Outbreak of Undeadly Creatively at Mizzou, ed. LuAnne Roth, Derrek Sabin, Margaret Stewart, and Kelly Washatka.  Espresso Books.

“Poison is Poison: Folklorist/Parent Seeks Curricular Antidote to the Myth of the First Thanksgiving.” Digest.

“Last Supper.”Journal of American Folklore, 124(491):105-108 (film review).

Talking Turkey: Visual Media and the Unraveling of Thanksgiving. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Missouri.

“Beyond Communitas: Cinematic Food Events and the Negotiation of Power, Belonging, and Exclusion” (reprinted).  Folklore/Cinema: Popular Film as Vernacular Cultureed. Sharon R. Sherman and Mikel J. Koven. Logan: Utah State University Press, pp. 197-220.

“Beyond Communitas: Cinematic Food Events and the Negotiation of Power, Belonging, and Exclusion.” Western Folklore 64(3-4):163-87.

“Rada,” “Petro,” and “African-American Yard Art.” The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Folklore, ed. Sw. Anand Prahlad. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press.

“Beef, It’s What’s for Dinner”: Vegetarians, Meat Eaters, and the Negotiation of Family Identity.” Food, Culture, and Society8(2):45-69.

“Dancing Skeletons: The Subversion of Death Among Deadheads.” In Of Corpse: Death and Humor in Folklore and Popular Culture, ed. Peter Narváez, pp. 263-93. Logan: Utah State University Press.

“The Music Never Stopped: Roots of The Grateful Dead.” Journal of American Folklore.

Awards and Honors

“The Art of Death” – Arts, Social Sciences, Humanities Scholars Program, Honors College and Office of Undergraduate Research, University of Missouri (2017-2018). Principal Investigator for an interdisciplinary research project that explores the impact of digital storytelling on death anxiety and psychological well-being.

Mary Lago Teaching Award, Department of English, University of Missouri (2015).

“Waste Not Want Not” – Undergraduate Research Team, Mizzou Advantage, University of Missouri (2014). Principal Investigator for an interdisciplinary research project investigating the causes of, and possible solutions to, the problem of food waste.

Smithsonian Folklife Festival, University of Missouri (2012). Coordinated MU’s participation at the festival.

Excellence in Education Award, University of Missouri (2011). Ten awarded annually across campus for contributions to out-of-class learning.

“Eat, Think and Be Wary” – The Food and Society Series, Mizzou Advantage, University of Missouri (2010). Coordinated films, arts programming, visiting speakers, and interdisciplinary networking events for campus and community.