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College of Arts and Letters | Michigan State University

Kurt Dewhurst

103 Museum
Phone: 517-355-2370


Museum Studies


C. Kurt Dewhurst’s research interests include cultural change and continuity in folk arts, material culture, ethnicity, and occupational folk culture. Other areas of interest include museum studies theory and practice as well as national and international cultural heritage policy. His research is shaped by a commitment to undertaking research projects in collaboration with representatives of underserved communities and cultural groups, responding to social/community needs.

Dewhurst is a founder of the Folk Arts Division at the Michigan State University Museum. In addition to his administrative duties, he coordinates a variety of folklife research, collection development, and outreach programs. He is a founding director of the Festival of Michigan Folklife and a coordinator of the Great Lakes Folk Festival. He served as a coordinator for the National Folk Festival (when it was hosted in East Lansing).

A past president of the Michigan Museums Association, Dewhurst also served as a past member of the executive board of the American Folklore Society, past chair and council member of the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, and past vice chair of the Michigan Humanities Council. Currently, he serves as president of the Fund for Folk Culture Foundation, as chair of the advisory committee of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, and as a member of the Board of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

Dewhurst teaches courses in folklife, material folk culture, and museum studies.

Courses Taught

AL 485 Foundations of Museum Studies