Willow Mullins

Lecturer in Scottish Ethnology

  • Celtic & Scottish Studies

Contact details



50 George Square
Rm 4.37

Post code


 Willow G. Mullins specializes in folklore, the study of vernacular culture, with a special interest in material culture, economics, tourism and museums, foodways, and death.  Mullins has been engaged in a number of research projects leading to publications on  felt; domestic horror and food in Shirley Jackson's novels; the unhomely and Irish national economics in Tana French's Broken Harbor; and a collaborative book on the gaps created by implicit disciplinary boundaries, entitled Implied Nowhere: Absence in Folklore Studies. Her current research largely returns to material culture: centering on the materiality of death and an edited volume on biopolitics, environmental sustainability, and weatherlore. New projects focus on cultural sustainability in domestic life and cultural sustainability in tourism. 


Ph.D. Univeristy of Missouri, Folklore, Culture Studies, and Oral Tradition

M.Sc. University of Rhode Island, Textile Conservation

B.A. Brown University, Folklore

Responsibilities & affiliations



Undergraduate teaching

For Us/For Others: Heritage, Cultural Sustainability, and Tourism  (formerly Scotland & Heritage)

Scottish Studies 1A

Museums and Cultural Representation: Nine Conversations at the Scottish National Museum  

Material Culture

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Research summary

My research has covered a wide range of ethnological and folklore related topics that center on the intersections of the material, the vernacular, cultural representation, and cultural sustainability. material culture, economics, cultural sustainability, museums and tourism, foodways, and death

Current research interests

Current research interests are focused on cultural sustainability in both tourism, out-facing representation, and domesticity, in-facing self-identity and cultural adaptability. I am working on projects that explore how the environment intersects culture and cultural development through daily practices like weatherlore and foodways.

Past research interests

Past projects have centered on felt textiles from Central Asia, both their conservation and the narratives used to sell them as part of development and aid projects to western buyers; the intersection of economics and vernacular culture, in particular the use of authenticity as a marker of value; and the gaps created by the disciplinary history of folklore studies. Smaller projects have explored representations of domestic horror in fiction.

Knowledge exchange

I am an active member of International Society for Ethnology and Folklore and the American Folklore Society. I typically present at 1-3 conferences per year. Current publishing projects are collaborative works with authors at universities in the US. 

View all 13 publications on Research Explorer

Conference details

American Folklore Society Annual Meetings since 2006

International Society of Ethnology and Folklore, since 2021

Society for Cinema and Media Studies, 2008-2009

Textile Society of America, 2001-2002