Lowell Brower

Credentials: Folklore

Position title: Lecturer, Teaching Faculty

Pronouns: he/him/his

Email: labrower@wisc.edu

Office: Van Hise 1346

Lowell Brower

Languages: English, Kiswahili, Kinyarwanda

Research/Interests: Post-conflict folklore and ‘the folklore of emergency;’ supernatural storytelling; African verbal traditions; Upper Midwestern culture; internet folklore and online communities; the folklore of migration; rumor panics and conspiracy theories; the folklore of nationalism; the folklore of cows and cattle culture.

About: Lowell Brower is a fourth-generation Wisconsinite, thrilled to be coming back home to join the UW-Madison Folklore Program after teaching and advising as the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Folklore and Mythology at Harvard University from 2018-2022. Working at the intersection of Folklore, African Studies, Anthropology, Internet Studies, and Refugee and Migration Studies, Lowell’s research focuses on verbal traditions, communal storytelling, cultural re-imagination, and ‘the folklore of emergency’ amid violence, displacement, and profound social rupture. A speaker of Kiswahili and Kinyarwanda, Lowell has conducted long-term ethnographic fieldwork in communities throughout Tanzania and Rwanda. Lowell’s other research interests include Upper Midwestern culture, supernatural legends, rumor panics, and the weaponization of folklore in digital spaces. Lowell’s current book project is entitled “Once Upon a Time in the Land of Never Again: Storytelling and Survival in Post-Genocide Rwanda.” Lowell earned a PhD in African and African American Studies from Harvard University, an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and a B.A. in English, and African Languages and Literature (with a Folklore Certificate!) from UW-Madison.

Courses Taught:

  • Introduction to Folklore
  • Internet Folklore and Online Communities
  • The Supernatural in the Modern World
  • African Folklore, The Folklore of Emergency
  • The Folklore of Migration and Displacement
  • The Folklore of War and Peace
  • Fieldwork and Ethnography in Folklore


PhD – Harvard University

MA – Harvard University

MFA – University of Washington

BA – UW-Madison

Social Media:

Twitter: @_LABrower

TikTok: @drlowbrow