Andrea Kitta

Bate 2123


Andrea Kitta is a folklorist with a specialty in medicine, belief, and the supernatural. She is also interested in Internet folklore, narrative, and contemporary (urban) legend. Her current research includes: vaccines, pandemic illness, contagion and contamination, virality, stigmatized diseases, disability, health information on the Internet, and Slender Man. She is a fellow of the American Folklore Society.
Dr. Kitta is the recipient of the Bertie E. Fearing Award for Excellence in Teaching (2010-2011), received a Teacher/Scholar award from ECU (2015-16) and the Board of Governors Distinguished Professor for Teaching Award (2018-2019). Her monograph, Vaccinations and Public Concern in History: Legend, Rumor, and Risk Perception, won the Brian McConnell Book Award in 2012. Her monograph The Kiss of Death: Contagion, Contamination, and Folklore won the Chicago Folklore Prize and Brian McConnell Book Award in 2020.


  • B.A. in History, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
  • M.A. in Folk Studies, Western Kentucky University
  • Ph.D. in Folklore, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Research Interests

  • Folklore–Medicine, Belief, and the Supernatural
  • Internet Folklore
  • Disability Studies
  • Slender Man

Courses Taught

  • ENGL 7465: Folklore
  • ENGL 7465: Folklore: The Supernatural
  • ENGL 7365: Special Topics: Disability and Literature
  • ENGL 7080: Cultural Studies
  • ENGL 6485: Disability Studies Theories and Literatures
  • ENGL 4360: World Literature
  • ENGL 3570: American Folklore
  • ENGL 2570: The Supernatural
  • HNRS 2011/2013: Experiencing Illness: Alternative Health Belief Systems
  • ENGL 1100: Foundations of College Writing

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • 2024 Conspiracy Thinking: Folklore and the Role of Conspiracy Theory in Contemporary Society., edited collection with Jesse Fivecoate. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. At press.
  • 2023 “You May Become Who You Thought was Disposable”: COVID Politics and Ableism” Journal of American Folklore, At press.
  • 2023 “Fake Grannies, Extra Doses, and the One Hundred: COVID-19 Vaccine Hunting and Accessibility.” in Behind the Mask: Vernacular Culture in the Time of COVID, eds. Diane Goldstein, Ben Bridges, and Ross Brillhart. 153-169.
  • 2023 “God is My Vaccine: Religious Belief and COVID in the United States.” Cultural Analysis, Forum Series 1, 1-13.
  • 2021 “How to have Belief in an Epidemic: The Tenuous Nature of Public Intellectualism and Belief Scholarship” for Advancing Folkloristics, eds. Meredith McGriff, Kristina Downs, and Jesse Fivecoate. At Press.
  • 2021 “Getting Others to Take Folklore Seriously while Remaining a Serious Folklorist” with Trevor J. Blank and Lynne S. McNeill for Advancing Folkloristics, eds. Meredith McGriff, Kristina Downs, and Jesse Fivecoate. At Press
  • 2019 The Kiss of Death: Contamination, Contagion, and Folklore. Logan, Utah: Utah State University Press.


  • 2020 Chicago Folklore Prize given for the best book of folklore scholarship that year, American Folklore Society, The Kiss of Death: Contagion and Contamination in Folklore.
  • 2020 Brian McConnell Book Award, International Society for Contemporary Legend Research.
  • 2019 Board of Governors Distinguished Professor for Teaching Award, 2018-2019, East Carolina University.
  • 2018 Excellence in Research and Creative Activity, 2017-2018, East Carolina University, English Department
  • 2016 Teacher/Scholar Award, East Carolina University.


Curriculum Vitae (Word Document)