Office | Room 271, Peck Hall (PH)
Mail | MTSU Box 23, Murfreesboro, TN 37132
Degree InformationPh.D., Indiana University (2000)
M.A., University of Kansas (1994)
B.A., University of Massachusetts-Amherst (1987)
Areas of Expertise20th Century South
Death Rituals and Culture
Ethnomusicology (especially Country Music)
BiographyBorn and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Dr. McCusker earned a Ph.D. in History, Folklore and Ethnomusicology from Indiana University in 2000. She has published two books, Lonesome Cowgirls and Honky-Tonk Angels: The Women of Barn Dance Radio (Illinois, 2008) and, co-edited with Diane Pecknold, A Boy Named Sue: Gender and Country Music (Mississippi, 2004). She is currently working on a National Institutes of Health/National Library of Medicine-funded book, Just Enough to Put Him Away Decent: Death Care and the Emergence of a Modern South, 1900-1950 as well as a new edition of A Boy Named Sue. She has contributed to multiple videos and documentaries, most recently "The Hayloft Gang," currently being shown on PBS stations nationwide and has worked with programs such as the Smithsonian's Museums on Main Streets program and the National Endowment of the Humanities/National Library Association grants program.
"Patsy Cline and Narratives of Invisibility in the 1950s,"in Warren Hofstra, ed., Sweet Dreams: The Life and Times of Patsy Cline (Urbana: University of Illinois Press,
"At "Sunrise Tomorrow," I'll be "Safe in the Arms of Jesus" by "The Old Rugged Cross": Funeral Music and the Transformation of Southern Culture, 1935-1945," American Music (forthcoming).
With Laurie Witherow, "Bereavement and College Campuses: Establishing an Effective Ritual for the Classroom and Beyond," About Campus 17:1 (March-April, 2012),12-17.
National Institutes of Health/National Library of Medicine, $122,000
John Hope Franklin Fellow, John Hope Franklin Research Center, Duke University, Summer, 2009, $600
Andrew W. Mellon Fellow, Virginia Historical Society, Summer, 2009, $500;
Works in Progress
Just Enough to Put Him Away Decent (Under option, University Illinois Press);
With Diane Pecknold, A Boy Named Sue, Too: New Essays in Gender and Country Music (under consideration by the University of Mississippi Press).
"As They Lay Dying: Funeral Ledgers and the Emergence of a Modern South, 1917-1950."
Undergraduate Courses Taught
History 2020, Survey U.S. History II
History 3020, Topics in American History: The Great Depression
History 4070, Modern America Post-1945
Graduate Courses Taught
History 5070, Modern America Post-1945
History 6230/7230, Seminar: American Women's History