2020 Queer Croning Biographies

Artist Bios

Kay Turner 

Kay Turner is an artist working across disciplines, including performance, writing, music, and folklore. Recent performance works conceived and performed by Turner, with the help of her merry band of many Austin women, include “When Gertrude (Stein) Met Susan (Sontag)” seen at OUTsider 2016 and “Hansel and Gretel Queered (Devouring)” presented at OUTsider 2017. A portion of a new work “Spurning Fertility” will be seen as part of “Queer Croning.” 

With musician and photographer Gretchen Phillips, she founded the lezzie rock punk band “Girls in the Nose,” which performed at OUTsider 2017. Her New York-based music project is “Otherwise: Queer Scholarship into Song.” Turner’s books include Transgressive Tales: Queering the Grimms (with Pauline Greenhill, Wayne State University Press); Beautiful Necessity: The Art and Meaning of Women’s Altars (Thames and Hudson); Baby Precious Always Shines: Love Notes Between Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas (St. Martins Press); Between Us: A Legacy of Lesbian Love Letters (Chronicle Books); and I Dream of Madonna (Harper Collins).

Turner is working on a new book What a Witch, a study of the witch figure in fairy tales, history, and contemporary culture.  Turner holds a PhD in Folklore and Anthropology from UT Austin and is Adjunct Professor in Performance Studies at NYU. She was president of the American Folklore Society from 2015-2018 where she initiated a Croning Ceremony for members of the Women’s Folklore Section in 1989. The ceremony is performed every three years at the Annual Meeting of the American Folklore Society.  She lives in Brooklyn and Austin and may be reached at nosegayk@aol.com.

 Emily Socolov 

Emily Socolov, PhD, is a folklorist, visual artist and activist based in New York City and Austin, Texas, with a deep interest in life history, cultural imaginaries and social justice. She was founding Executive Director of Mano a Mano: Mexican Culture Without Borders, a non-profit arts and culture organization serving the Mexican immigrant community in New York. Her programming initiatives reflected a commitment to culturally situated learning and mentorship of community-based creative artists.  She continues her work with immigrants and asylum-seekers in Texas with RAICES and Texas Here to Stay. Socolov is currently Visiting Scholar at the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies at UT-Austin where she is working on a book on gender, biography and the Red Scare in 1950’s America. 

A frequent collaborator with the Smithsonian Institution’s Division of Folklife and Cultural Heritage’s annual festival, she has worked as a presenter and researcher on the US-Mexico Borderlands, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, the Basque Country and Catalonia. She has served as Project Director in the Community Cultural Initiatives program at the Center for Traditional Music and Dance in New York and has taught folklore and anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin, The University of Pennsylvania and Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. She was a past fellow at the Latin American Studies Institute at the University of Texas. Her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania focused on Mexican dance-drama.  She has an MA from New York University in Performance Studies where she wrote on themed entertainments and tableau vivant.  Emily is Licentiate from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History in Museography (Museum Studies). She currently serves on the Executive Board of the American Folklore Society.   

As a visual artist, Emily works with found and repurposed objects, creating installations of social relevance. Her work has been in exhibitions at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Prince Street Gallery (NYC), and at Women and Their Work Gallery and La Peña in Austin. 

 Socolov created the visual arts program at KlezKanada: A Festival of Jewish/Yiddish Music and Culture. She has taught workshop in Amulets, Toy Theater (with Jenny Romaine and Tine Kindermann), The Culture of Childhood in Eastern Europe (with Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett), among other courses. 


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