The Office of the Vice President for Research recognizes Elizabeth C. Fine, a professor in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, for studies that teach us about the human experience.
Her research includes cultural studies, African-American folklore, performance studies, and Appalachian studies.
In her recently published book, “Soulstepping: African American Step Shows,” Fine documents the history of step-dancing, in which people use their bodies, voices, footsteps, and handclaps in a rhythmic performance. Her book probes the intersections of verbal and nonverbal performances as she explores the history of stepping and its place as a ritual dance of identity and African heritage, and addresses issues of cultural politics.
One of the principal faculty members who spearheaded a new master’s program in material culture and public humanities, Fine also worked on several grants and fundraising activities that provided restoration money to reopen Virginia Tech’s oldest structure, Solitude.
She is the author of “Performance, Culture, and Identity,” co-edited with Jean Haskell Speer, and “The Folklore Text: From Performance to Print.”
She is an associate editor for Text and Performance Quarterly and her articles have been published in such journals as the Journal of American Folklore, Semiotica, Communication Monographs, Communication Education, Journal of the Appalachian Studies Association, National Women’s Studies Association Journal, Southern Folklore, Literature in Performance, Annals of Tourism Research, Sprache und Sprechen, and The Drama Review.
She has also produced and directed two documentaries.
Fine received her doctoral degree in communication from the University of Texas at Austin, her master’s degree in rhetoric from the University of California, Berkeley, and her bachelor’s degree in speech communication from the University of Texas at Austin.