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Plains Folk


Emporia State
University (ESU)

ESU English Dept.

English Faculty

Jim Hoy's Biography

Dr. James F. HoyJames F. (Jim) Hoy is Professor of English at Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas. Reared on a stock ranch near Cassoday, he has lived in the Flint Hills area all his life, except for graduate school in Missouri and a teaching stint in Idaho.

Hoy holds a B.S. degree (1961) from Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS; an M.A. (1965) from Emporia State University; and a Ph.D. (1970) from the University of Missouri-Columbia. After a couple of years of itinerancy following undergraduate school, he taught two years at El Dorado (Kansas) Junior High (1963-65) before moving into college teaching. He served as Chair of English at ESU for ten years, returning happily to the ranks of full-time teaching and research in 1990.

Hoy's academic interests include medieval English literature, Western American literature, Australian Outback folklife and literature, and Great Plains folklore. He has published over a hundred articles, both scholarly and journalistic, and is the author or co-author of nine books, including FLINT HILLS COWBOYS: TALES OF THE TALLGRASS PRAIRIE, published by the University Press of Kansas.

His chief interest is the folklife of ranching, both historical and contemporary, in various parts of the world, with special emphasis on the Great Plains and particularly the Flint Hills of Kansas. He explores this interest in frequent lectures and programs for school, community, and professional groups throughout the region. Since 1983 he has written (with Tom Isern) a weekly newspaper column, PLAINS FOLK. In 1996 he was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, serving as Chair for the last two years of his term (2001-2002).

Hoy's research has taken him onto the backroads of the American West, the tracks of the Australian bush, and the lanes of the English countryside, seeking, among other things, to discover cattle guards, hay barracks, folk songs, and old-timers willing to talk about the way things were.

As a folklorist and a native plainsman, Hoy is committed to documenting and celebrating the lives of his fellow plains folk, seeking out the extraordinary in the ordinary while encouraging pride of region in those fortunate few who dwell in the Great Plains and understanding of region in those who must live elsewhere.
University Office:
Plumb Hall 404R
Emporia State University (ESU)
Emporia, KS 66801-5087
Voice: 620 341 5549
Fax: 620 341 5547
938 County Road 130
Emporia, KS 66801
Voice: 620 343 3192

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Last updated: 30 November 2009